Thursday, April 17, 2014

AFL - Port Power vs Brisbane Lions

I have been a bit lax with posting to my blog recently.  Hopefully things will improve!!

Last weekend we went to watch my AFL team, Port Power take on Brisbane Lions at the newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval. As most of my followers are not from Australia, I will try and explain some of the intricacies of Australian Rules Football as we go along.

Brisbane Lions won the toss and elected to kick right to left in the first quarter.

To begin the game, the umpire bounces the ball, and two players jump to pass the ball to a team mate. Also, during the game the ball is tossed up to restart play.

Players can pass the ball by a "handball", they can carry the ball up to 15 metres, and they can kick the ball to a team mate.

There are 4 posts at each end of the oval, and you score a goal (worth 6 points) if you kick the ball between the middle posts and a behind (worth 1 point) if it goes between the outer posts

During the fourth quarter, Port passed the hundred point lead to eventually win by 113 points, which really got the crowd going!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A little local birding

For the first timer in a few months, I managed to get out for a few hours birding earlier this week.  I visited the local wetlands to see if I could catch up with some summer visitors.

First stop was Wicker Road at Port Adelaide.  Not many waterbirds, but in the trees along the road were White-plumed Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird and Singing Honeyeater.

Along the road was a Kestrel, and a Black-shouldered Kite.  I managed one shot of the Kite as he flew off, but a few minutes later he returned with some unidentified prey in his talons.

At Greenfields, I noticed this Pelican - I'm not sure that he was going to obey the sign though. Nearby were Royal Spoonbills, Masked Lapwing, White-faced Heron and Australian white Ibis.

I decided to head North towards Port Gawler, and clicked Magpielark and Australian Hobby along the way.  White-headed Stilt and Grey Butcherbird were also seen before I caught up with a small party of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and a single Common Greenshank.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Letter-winged Kites

Last week, some Letter-winged Kites were reported less than an hours drive away on a property near Port Wakefield.  Letter-winged Kites are an irruptive species normally associated with remote outback locations.  They are an Elanus kite, similar to the much commoner Black-shouldered Kite. It wasn't until new year's eve that I had a chance to try for them. The property owners were kind enough to allow birders access to look for the birds. 

When I arrived at the property, a fox crossed in front of me and ran across a paddock, being soundly scolded by a bold little Willie Wagtail.   Willie Wagtail 1 - Fox 0!

On a power pole was a Brown Falcon, and in trees around the homestead were a few Black Kites.

As I followed the instructions through a couple of paddocks, a small kite flew over and hovered in front of me - Black-shouldered.

I scanned the trees again.  Another small kite flew in - Black-shouldered again!  Then a shadow across the ground.  I look up at another Black-shouldered Kite.

By now the raptors are beginning to thermal overhead.  Black Kites, Whistling Kites, and another Black-shouldered.  Then into my view flies a Letter-winged Kite! Unmistakeable!

Over the next couple of hours I saw 6 of these beauties, perched in various trees and also flying.  An amazing birding experience.

Also on the property were a few pairs of Australian Pratincole, another species difficult to tie down, so I had a quick look for them, and found some in a tiny paddock by an old farm building.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Greenfields Wetlands

Just before Christmas, I went to Whites Road to look for a reported Painted Snipe, but the pools were almost dried up, and no sign of the bird.   This Great Egret - in full breeding plumage - was on another pool as was the Black Swan family

I moved on to Greenfields Wetland where the problem was just the opposite - too much water!   Again in full breeding plumage, this Royal Spoonbill spent all its time chasing anything that was white, including ibis' and even stilts!

A couple of waders managed to find shallow water, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a summer visitor from Siberia, and a resident Red-kneed Dotterel.

Black-tailed Nativehen is an irruptive species that follows the water, and there were lots of them running around here.

Further along, another Great Egret, and both small grebes, firstly Australian Little Grebe and then Hoary-headed Grebe.