Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 304 - Crimson Rosella

It's another photo essay this week - although there is some sign of relaxation on the horizon!

These birds are Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) and it's not hard to see where that common name came from!

These bird were regular, if rather timid, visitors to the house we rented in Halls Gap, in the Grampians a few week ago.  This is where a long lens is very useful.  I managed to get a pictures of these birds on a couple of mornings, but I may have to leave some for a later date.

These guys are adults, and they really are these colours!








As ever, to link to WBW just click on the blue button below!  SM


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 303 - Galah

It been a very, very busy week - so this week's WBW is rather more of a photo-essay than anything else.

These birds are Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) which were feeding on a sports oval.  The bird with the grey looking head is a young bird.










As ever, to link to WBW just click on the blue button below!  SM


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 302 - Emu

The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is Australia's second largest bird, standing between 1.5 and 2m tall and weighing in at 26-50kg!  By any standards that's a large bird.

Being a flightless bird it can run at about 50km per hour and is a surprisingly good swimmer.  (The bit about swimming is taken from the books, not my own observation).

These birds were in a damp paddock near Halls Gaps, and being an inquisitive sort of bird they eventually came so close to me that I could no longer focus the lens on them.

I rather like the two head only shots, not just because they are sharp, but because they include a fly in each picture!  In may even be the same fly!












As ever, to link to WBW just click on the blue button below!  SM



Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

These Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) were loafing about on the football oval at Halls Gap in the Grampians.  They gather there in (surprisingly) large numbers most days and are a bit of a tourist attraction really.

These are the most abundant - some would say over abundant - in my neck of the woods.  In some places where they are fed by tourists, they can become rather aggressive, especially when they are trying to get food.  As with many other wild animals, some people seem to forget that they are wild and not zoo animals.  A number of people have been hurt by this type of 'roo - slashed with the claws on the back legs. As you can see from the pictures, these claws are not small!









More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 301 - Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

More pictures from my trip to the Grampians in Eastern Victoria rather than Scotland!

These are Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), which are a wide spread Australian Cockatoo.  At about 50cm they they are pretty large when seen close by.  These birds are noisy and clearly intelligent, and can do a bit of damage as they seem to like eating housing materials!

Somebody must have spilt some muesli on the fence in the past, as the birds often came to visit at breakfast time.

I have to say they were great early morning company.













As ever, to link to WBW just click on the blue button below!  SM

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Coat of Arms

It's not often that you see creatures from heraldry stalking the landscape - but here are the two animals that feature on the Australian Coat of Arms having a bit of a late evening snack near to Halls Gap.

I would be reasonable to say that the light for these shots was not great!

Also these two iconic beasts would not line up for the perfect shot - so focus was a bit of one or the other, but not both.  The bird is an Emu and the Kangaroo is an Eastern Grey.

To be honest, the Kangaroo on the Coat of Arms is a different species - the Red Kangaroo - but the whole thing still made me smile.

More pictures of Emus and Roos to follow in coming posts!




More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 300 - Laughing Kookaburra

I'm not sure if there is a more iconically Australian bird than the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae).  This bird is famous the world over, and even managed to sneak into the sound track of some early Tarzan films, which were set in Africa but not filmed there!

Apart from the fact that they are tremendous birds to watch and listen to, one of the things I like about this species is the number of names it has been given.  Here is a sample:

Alarmbird, Breakfastbird, Bushman's Clock, Settler's Clock, Shepherd's Clock, Giant Brown Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, Laughing Kingfisher, Jack, Jackass, Jacko, Jacky, John, Kooka, Laughing Jack and possibly most remarkably Woop Woop Pigeon.  

I have to say that the last one is a bit of a mystery to me, given I have never heard one go Woop and it does not look like a Pigeon.  But who am I to argue.

This bird (or these birds) came to visit us most morning when we were in the Grampians - although it was at a more civilised hour than their "clock" names would suggest!

At 450mm long they are one of the world's largest kingfishers, and no matter how many times I see them I always like them.  Their visits to the rails on the deck of our Grampians accommodation was a bit of a highlight.








300 weeks ago, on the 17th July 2012, I started hosting Wild Bird Wednesday (after 86 weeks of World Bird Wednesday, by Dave at Pine River Review) - and here I am, in 2018, still hosting!  I'm reasonably proud of the fact that I have not missed a single week of Wild Bird Wednesday in 300 weeks!

We dont get as many people linking up as we once had - so feel free to share, remind and generally suggest that people get involved.

All feedback welcome on this anniversary!

As ever, to link to WBW just click on the blue button below!  SM