31 December 2011

Weekend Flowers: Blackberry

Crispy white petals and a lovely tuft of stamens within, the Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus aggregate) flower is in itself, to my eye, very attractive.  For this reason, it becomes my Weekend Flower contribution. 

In Australia though, it is considered "a weed of national significance" as it has over time, invaded bushland, National Parks, roadside verges and pastures etc. According to this governmental site, the growth then creates increased fire hazards, can restrict access to water and land, and subsequently will decrease property values.

Apart from the above, you have to admire the flower don't you?  What a shame, there is a positive ... and a negative.  What started out as an introduction from Europe to Australia in the mid 1800's as a horticultural plant, was soon recognised to be a serious weed.  More reading if you wish on CSIRO site here

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29 December 2011

Eagle Hunt in Slovakia

Heard about this on the radio this morning; they said see it on Page 27 of today's Daily Telegraph newspaper.  Amazing photograph!  I hoped it might be available online to share with all my bird-watching friends here.

Brief story attached to the photograph; don't miss it! 

Congratulations to photographer Milan Krasula; you're a super-star!

28 December 2011

Wangi Point, Lake Macquarie

Today's little excursion took me to Wangi Point, pronounced Won-gee.

Looking down into the outlet canal, property of Eraring Power Station.  Said to have warm waters and sometimes, weekends,  I've seen keen fishermen lined up around this area.  The concrete pilons I expect are to slow down the water rush.

Next, the other side of the outlet, as it runs out to the lake.  It was over this area I saw many Pipers I think they might've been.  Similar to a seagull but with a longer, fine-pointed beak.  Winging very swiftly overhead; up in the air current and then diving.  I tried to get a snapshot in flight, but no luck.  Each time I'd raise my pocket-camera I'd lose sight of the bird in the viewfinder, somewhat hindered with a combination of sunglasses and glare.  Maybe I'll go back with my 'big-camera' some day with a goal to sit and wait and hope for a better opportunity of nabbing them.

A Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys.  Check out this fact sheet if you wish, and find the MP3 format on the lower right hand side, at Birds in Backyards.  A sweet call has the Willie Wagtail, thanks to Fred Van Gessel.

Couldn't resist a little bit of graphic-magic.This stand of native grasses seemed to be just the setting.

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Pied Oystercatcher

Back again, at Shingle Splitters Point, only ten minutes from home.  Having such tranquil scenery within  a short drive, is something special.

One morning visit last week, filled my quota for this World Bird Wednesday post, with a pair of wader birds first seen resting, out on the narrowing point.

...the Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris.

doesn't look to be any unopened oysters left here

but maybe?  How clever, shucking an oyster with your beak

More reading on the Pied Oystercatcher can be found on this fact-sheet link on Birds in Backyards.

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27 December 2011

Tropical tongue-twisting, teal, turquoise and tangerine, Toucan Tea-light!

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studio waterstone

and also Lisa's chaos for: