31 March 2013

Tranquil Scenery

through the windscreen, crossing a ford; one of many spilling water that we drove over the three days.  The group travelled next, on to a private property..
with a glimpse through the shrubbery in one of the gardens, a bower ...

It was interesting to learn from this site, belonging to N.S.W. Environment and Heritage, that "a bower is not a nest. It is instead, an attractive 'avenue', used by male bowerbirds to entice a female."

Dissapointed I wasn't able to pick up a bower-bird photograph to accompany but you can see and hear one on this Birds in Backyards Satin Bowerbird fact sheet

the Gloucester River boundary

... a story-book setting from Gloucester

29 March 2013


Flowering in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney., 28.03.2013
Sharing with Floral Friday Fotos

Seen in Sydney Harbour yesterday

Location: Circular Quay.  Don't be mistaken, I wasn't sailing .... just taking photos.

315 metres (1,0333 ft) of Celebrity Solstice was getting ready to leave Sydney later in the afternoon, for 11 nights, destination top end of Queensland. 

Weighs in at 122,000 tonne according to Celebrity Cruises website
Accomodates 2,850 people

or if you had to be home before dark, try this one for a quick skip around the harbour

... or the Rivercat; the view's just as good

27 March 2013

when the birds are laying low ...

there's still such beautiful scenery to soak up, on the mid-north coast, following the Gloucester River.

During this three days 'camp' the temps hovered up to 33.3 deg. celcius (that's nudging 92 degrees fahrenheit).  Mother Nature is fickle; it is our Autumn for heavens sake.

All the 'warm-layers' I'd packed in anticipation of the 'it can get cold up there' warnings, came back home, unused.  Thinking like a boy-scout (of which I've never been), "being prepared" proved to be a total waste of time ... and energy.  Just ask friends who'd helped me with my luggage; no, better not! 

How do you ever get your head around the fear of being caught out in the cold without that wonderfully cosy fleece jacket, the padded sleeveless jacket, several long-sleeved t's and umpteen merino singlets, for just in case? 

Had the camp been in the U.K. I'd have been close to being adequately catered for.  Will my friends ever forgive me for over-thinking the packing bit?

Keen birders stepped out at this destination around 9.30 a.m.  All listened with intent for what was (hopefully) out there 'mongst the trees.

   Crystal clear water tinkled its way over worn river stones, offering tranquil background 'music'.
...a parting shot as we moved on; the perfect bonsai.  I'd love to see this again, in a few years time. 

Olive-backed Oriole and Grey Fantail

7.30 a.m. and the sun welcomes a new day in Gloucester on the mid-north coast, N.S.W.  Just the spot for an Olive-backed Oriole.
Wondering what it sounds like?  Look to recording on right-hand side of this Birds in Backyards fact sheet.

Just a half hour earlier.  Attempts for early-bird photos failed due to the long exposures.  Lights in the background belong to local swimming pool.
much further along, a delightful Grey Fantail
flitted back and forth from the shrubbery, across the river, picking up insects on the fly
and back again
Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

26 March 2013


Gloucester, N.S.W., yesterday at 7.17 a.m. with touch of  jet-stream overhead

16 March 2013

on a sunny Saturday ...

Along the foreshore of Wangi-Wangi (pron. wan-jee) today. I'd really hoped I may have found certain water-birds, Crake or Rail; I'd been told have been around recently.  Neither have I ever seen before, so it would've been a real buzz if I had. 

It probably wasn't the best time of day, being early afternoon.   Still I enjoyed the walk, and change of scenery, and took a few pics to share with you; more views of Lake Macquarie.

In the shade of the Casuarinas (She-Oaks)

Maned (Wood) Ducks sound much like a cat meowing
 Female Maned (Wood) Duck, swims alongside a boat

Much further along, and the boys were out in force; racing their sail-boats

while others took to the air
or hot-footed it over the water
fun days

15 March 2013

The Marina's in town

An Italian built medium-size cruise ship, just two years old

All 66,084 tonnes has been nudged gently alongside the International Passenger Terminus.  Waiting to sail next, to Melbourne/Victoria, Hobart/Tasmania,  various ports in New Zealand,  Nuku' alofa (Tonga), Raratonga (Cook Island), and partying in French Polynesia.

239 metres (785 feet), accommodates 15 decks, 1,250 guests and 800 staff, according to Oceania Cruises site here.

Later addition:  Since some have asked in comments if I was going on a cruise.  Not for me - like Phil said, too many people, not enough birds

13 March 2013

it had me guessing ...

Late Addition: I.D. has been given, thanks to Pete Shanley, Pete's Flap blog.
Have been poking around my archives and came up with these that I'm sure I've not shared before.  It's going to send me into my bird book to find out what it is because I certainly haven't seen them anywhere else.  Photos had been taken at a wildlife refuge in Victoria.

long and lean
 with cheeky patches

and a brilliant red stripe.
It is: ???  Unfortunately was unable to locate in my birding reference.  Your help needed. 
It is, a brolga! 

Little Pied Cormorant

Location: Bonnells Bay, Lake Macquarie, N.S.W.
 near that first white post, there's a Little Pied Cormorant
cropped, you can see better where it is
zoomed right in now, and cropped some

and again
Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday


12 March 2013

Australian Magpie-Lark + Masked Lapwing (Plover)

Later Addition after comments noted:  it can be confusing, this is not the familiar Magpie, but an Australian Magpie-Lark, more commonly known as the Pee-Wee

 Magpie, a larger bird with sturdy beak
later addition: THIS one is the Masked Lapwing (Plover)  My apology, I forgot to tag it.

Location: The Entrance, N.S.W.