31 December 2013

Myuna Bay - Part Two

After crossing over the little bridge, (which I forgot to take a photo of because I was thinking, and looking for birds), the cicadas here were full-on loud. 
Glimpses of something shining - cicadas, were everywhere. 
Crested Tern
 Would've liked to have gotten a photo of them in flight over the channel, but they're so swift, and hard to pick up in the viewfinder; I tried.
Pelican - don't you sometimes wonder quite what they're thinking with these passing glances?
Casuarina seeds pods, and as they mature those little pineapple-like bumps will open up to expel a seed
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding on a Banksia cone.  Similarly, there will be seeds inside of these. 
Silver Gull.  Took these shots while having the cuppa break, and time slipped by very quickly.

...it's short - just to give you a feel for the sounds by the water; I hadn't really done the video with any intent to put it here, but I will.  You will hear the cicadas loud and clear, especially as I stopped on that track a little further along from here.
Sharing with Nature Notes and also, Wild Bird Wednesday

Myuna Bay, N.S.W., part one

Hazy skies and temperature in the low 30 deg. celcius range yesterday, it became a 'must get out somewhere and take some snaps afternoon'.  With essentials .. thermos, mug, and tea-bag, folding stool and camera, I was right to go.
a pair of Masked Lapwing Plovers didn't miss me coming, but I was sure to give them a wide berth.  Since they have quite a unique method of defence with sharp spurs at the base of their wings.  You can see these spurs clearly in a previous blog post in a differing location, earlier this year.

 a little further along; I'm heading down towards that little bridge.  There was a lovely cooling breeze.

Silver Gull - I watched a pair of them while having my cuppa close to the shoreline after having done a good walk, and some new photos to share up my sleeve.  Sat under the shade of the casuarinas, it was a good place to be.

29 December 2013

Central Coast Wetlands - part three

a little summer cruising along Pioneer Creek
Pacific Black Ducks
 Sacred Kingfisher - way up high
Couldn't pick up the wonderful colours as seen in this post from Bingara, in November, 2013.


Welcome Swallow - don't know how they held on in the winds up there on the power lines, they were getting quite a buffeting, as I was too, trying to hold the camera steady at them.

 leaning into the wind helps
Australian Magpie-Lark
Turpentine tree, grows in both N.S.W. and Qld, up to 45-55m (150 - 180 ft) high
Now I'm thinking about a childhood book, Enid Blyton's, Magic Faraway Tree. 

Pectoral Sandpiper

wondering what the little ones are in front of the Pelicans?

 Black-winged Stilt

Leaving Central Coast Wetlands

28 December 2013

Central Coast Wetlands - part two

One of the original cottages from the Pioneer Dairy days of yesteryear.  So nicely renovated too, by the volunteering teams.

On World Wetlands Day, in February,  a 'Breakfast with the Birds' is held here.  After a little birding, visitors take their folding chairs and gather with breakfast around the side verandah, and lawns alongside, followed by some more wetlands birding.  February can be one of our hottest months and those verandahs can offer a welcome respite from the elements.

Originally an un-named drainage line, in 2008, the Trust applied for the name change, to Pioneer Creek.  Signage indicates that the vegetation here is classified as Estuarine Swamp Oak Forest.

uh-oh, just be 'mindful' - we better not keep looking UP for birds, all the time

It reads: Red-bellied Black Snake (native to eastern Australia).  Though its venom is capable of causing significant morbidity, a bite from it is not generally fatal and less venemous than other deadly Australian snakes.  It is common in woodlands, forests and swamplands of eastern Australia.

It is a relatively large species of snake reaching an average total length of 1.5 to 2 metres, although an average sized specimen would be closer to 1.4m.  Like all Elapid snakes it is front fanged.  When threatened it flattens its neck to appear more frightening. (I'm thinking that's a fair warning....)

 Wading through the creek, Purple Swamp Hen (do they know about the snakes?)

Cumbungi country!  Not a problem here according to the sign; "Crakes and Buff-banded Rails feed amongst the stalks when the water recedes.  The seeds of the Cumbungi are an important food source for Black Ducks and Grey Teal.  The corms of the roots are eaten by Dusky Moorhens, Swamphens and Brolgas.  Threatened Species like Australasian and Australian Little Bitterns live in the Cumbungi reed beds where they feed on frogs and fish, while small insectivorous birds like Reed Warblers and Little Grassbirds feed and breed among leaves.

Dusky Moorhen

 various nesting boxes can be seen

 Bunya Pines

 wonder who started this?

Chestnut Teal 

27 December 2013

A new blog header...and Central Coast Wetlands - part one

...thinking that I'll make changes every now and then to my blog-header.  The chosen bird will have been photographed at, or near, the accompanying location image. 

Mostly they will have been taken fairly near to home, but some times, the locations will often be hours away, and inland, from where I live, on the east coast, Australia. 

What was once the site for Pioneer Dairy from the 1800's, is now gazetted as Crown Land for environmental protection and public restoration, according to Wyong Shire Council.   Now administered by a Community Trust (since 2002), under the Crowns Land Act.

Black Swans, Pelicans and White Egrets were sighted in the distance.

Dedicated teams of volunteers have worked well to help create this.  Large picnic shelters, walking pathways and more.  I'll show you around; we may not see many birds at this moment; it's pretty hot out there, and steamy!

A lot of vegetation over this water-course; I'm sure it wasn't this thick last time I was here. 

a pair of Pacific Black Ducks kept their distance

 still want to keep walking?

embedded in kikuyu grass and filled with recent rains; not sure it's going anywhere

 I heard a noise overhead .... a light plane

 Skydive Australia in action!  Taken from their site, "once on-board, the plane climbs to around 14,000 feet.  The first part of the jump is around 40 seconds of free falling and then another five or so minutes under the canopy of the parachute floating above the coastline."  Are you up for it I'm wondering?? 

 the sign said 'Strangling Fig'

it reads: Strangler figs are tropical, vine-like trees that start as tiny seeds that have fallen on the branches or roots of an existing tree of another species.  The seeds begin to grow, and the young trees encase the host in a tangle of roots and trunks, ultimately strangling it to death.  All that's left is the thriving fig. 

This part I found interesting, "like all other figs, strangler figs rely on a tiny wasp to survive.  Worldwide, scientists have described more than 600 different kinds of fig wasps.  Usually, each is linked to a specific species of fig, although some figs appear to have more than one pollinating wasp.

These tiny insects pollinate figs by crawling into a tiny hole in the base of a special flower, which ultimately becomes a round or oblong fruit.  Female wasps often lay eggs inside the fruit, and the young fight their way out after hatching.  They then fly off to find other flowering fig.  Timing is everything, since the wasps don't live long and the trees often flower unpredictably throughout the year."