Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Weekend away

It's not often that we manage to get away for a long weekend. Last weekend we went to Port Victoria on the Yorke Peninsula.  With a population around 350, Port Victoria boasts a hotel, a general store and a kiosk/post office. In it's heyday, it was a thriving port for the bagged cereal trade, where bags of wheat and barley were manually loaded onto small boats at the jetty, before being transferred to ships anchored offshore. Being on the west coast of the peninsula it also has some beautiful sunsets.

I didn't have far to go to see some birds, with a pair of inquisitive Singing Honeyeaters coming close, closer, and sometimes too close.

There was also a regular Nankeen Kestrel hunting between us and the beach

On the boat ramp there were the usual pelicans and Silver Gulls, and on the local beach, Pacific Gulls and a single Hooded Plover.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Outer Harbour - Black-faced Cormorant colony

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to join a boat trip out to the Black-faced Cormorant colony on the Outer Harbour breakwater.

As we made our way to the boat, there was a lovely Rufous Night-heron, who was quite happy to pose for us.

As we rounded the breakwater, we saw  a few Cormorants on the water, and one flew in nicely to land in our wake.

There were quite a few cormorants still at the colony, some were tolerant of the Silver Gulls, others less so.

The chicks were  all very well grown, and some looked bigger then the parents!

There was always a procession of birds flying around the boat, including Black-faced and Pied Cormorants, Silver Gulls, Crested Terns and Australian Pelicans.

As usual, the Caspian Terns were lazing on the sand bar in the middle of the river!, but this time we could get a little closer.

On the Port River, we saw HMAS Hobart, the first of the new Air Warfare Destroyers, which is nearing completion.

On the way back, we stopped at the end of the breakwater, where the usual Sort-nosed Fur Seal (formerly New Zealand Fur Seal) was lounging.

We finished as we started, with the Rufous Night-heron still happy to pose for portraits.

Thanks to Skipper Tom, and fellow birders Alan, John and Leoni for a very convivial trip!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

ANZAC Day 2015

One hundred years ago today, the allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsular in Turkey.  In the battle that ensued, over 57,000 allied troops died, including almost 9,000 Australian and almost 3,000 New Zealand troops known collectively as the ANZACS.

Across Australia and New Zealand, this is commemorated with Dawn Services held in every city, town village.  We attended our local service at Salisbury, and a few photographs are included below. 

ANZAC Day is a time to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, and I dedicate this post to the members of my family that served in World War 1, never to return to their loved ones:

George Frederick Holbrook, Died 12 Aug 1915, age 23, at Gallipoli, Rifleman in the Hampshire Regiment.

Eric Raymond Holbrook, Died 12 Aug 1915, age 18, at Gallipoli, Lance Corporal in the Hampshire Regiment.

George and Eric were Uncle and Nephew.

Henry George Funnell, Died 28 Oct 1915, age 20, aboard HMS Hythe, off Gallipoli, Turkey , Sapper in the Royal Engineers

Alfred Victor Funnell(1), Died 28 Oct 1915, age 18, aboard HMS Hythe, off Gallipoli, Turkey , Driver in the Royal Engineers

Henry and Alfred were brothers.

William Albert Funnell, Died 28 Oct 1915, age 20, aboard HMS Hythe, off Gallipoli, Turkey , Sapper in the Royal Engineers

Frank Funnell, Died 28 Oct 1915, age 22, aboard HMS Hythe, off Gallipoli, Turkey , Sapper in the Royal Engineers

Henry, Alfred, William and Frank were all cousins.

Frank Crittenden, Died 28 Oct 1915, age 21, aboard HMS Hythe, off Gallipoli, Turkey , Sapper in the Royal Engineers

HMS Hythe was accidentally rammed and sunk off the Galipolli coast by HMS Sarnia with the loss of 155 lives including 5 of my relatives

Alfred Victor Funnell(2), Died 9 Oct 1916, age 18, Somme, Picardy, France, Private in the Queens Own Royal Kent Regiment

Alfred was also a cousin of Henry, Alfred, William and Frank.

Albert Edward Holbrook, Died 19 Apr 1917, age 23, Palestine, Rifleman in the Hampshire Regiment

Alexander Male, Died 1 Dec 1917, age 33, at Cambrai, Pas de Calais, Private in the Royal Tank Corps.

Harry Philip Holbrook, Died 12 Aug 1918, age 31, Borre, Pas de Calais, France, Sergeant in the Hampshire Regiment

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Barossa Airshow 2015

This is by far the longest gap I've had between posts. Due to an eye problem, I have not been using my camera, or going birding since last October.

This weekend was the Barossa Airshow, and I decided it was time to give my camera a workout.  Getting a sharp focus was definitely an issue, as was trying to use the viewfinder with my left eye, but all things considered I am reasonably happy with the results. 

The show opened with the Adelaide Skydivers.

Followed closely by the crowd favourites, the RAAF Roulettes in their Pilatus PC-9s. They start off with all 6 aircraft in formation

before two PC-9s split from the main formation and do some mirror formations and fast head on passes.

Next, one of the CFS Airtractors gave a display dropping water on a small fire

Next up, some warbirds, a replica Nieuport, the CAC Boomerang and a Nangchang from Adelaide Warbirds.

Jesse Jury (Yellow) and Chris Sperou (Red) raced against each other in their Pitts, performing a number of aerobatic  manoeuvres in the first race of its kind in Australia.

 The pace was slowed down when the beautifully restored Stinson Reliant gave its display,  before finishing with a bang when the SIAI Marchetti S211 jet trainer arrived.

A great day out!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spring birding

I managed to find a couple of hours for a quick trip out today.  I birded between St Kilda and Port Gawler, just to the north of Adelaide.

It was very quiet to start with, but I did happen on this little story...... Once upon a time there were three White-winged Fairy-wrens, Daddy, Mummy and little baby.......

At Port Gawler things got better as there were a few waders about.  Resident Red-kneed Dotterels and a few migrant Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.

There was also a very confiding Red-necked Avocet which allowed me to get my best photos of this species yet.

As usual, the Pied Butcherbird was trying his luck along the edge of the samphire and there were plenty of Singing Honeyeaters doing what they do best.....singing!