Sunday, August 24, 2014

Birding again

I can't believe its been 4 months since my last post.  A combination of ill health, too busy at work and at home, (and the Aussie Rules Football season!) has kept me away from the camera and the binoculars.

I did make a quick trip up to Brookfield Conservation Park the other weekend though. Just inside the gate, and the first bird I see is a stunning male red-capped Robin.  He was very confiding, and was not bothered that I sat only a few metres from his song perch.  Not so confiding were any of the multitude of lustily singing Rufous Songlarks. They wouldn't let me within 20 metres before flying away.


A little further along the track I stopped for an immature Hooded Robin, and what I think is a juvenile Rufous Whistler |(happy to be corrected).


Just as unconfiding was a Pallid Cuckoo, about 50 metres was his limit! (so this is a highly cropped image)

It was to be a very short visit, so I only had time for the Bluebush Track.  As usual there were plenty of White-winged Fairywrens about, and I got close to a small party of females. It wasn't long before the male popped up, but he never gave me a unobstructed shot.


As I was about to leave I noticed this Southern Whiteface popping in and out of a Saltbush with insects in it's beak, a sure sign that spring is on it's way.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter in Whyalla

We spent Easter in Whyalla this year.  Whyalla hosts the Australian Snapper Fishing Competition every Easter.  There were plenty of people fishing.  The trailer park was full to overflowing and boats were in and out of the marina all day.



There were some other "fishers" on the scene as well, but they were after smaller prey.





I managed to get out into the arid land NW of Whyalla, but the birds weren't at all co-operative. I managed shots of Singing Honeyeater and Southern Whiteface, but both are heavily cropped.


At least this Shingleback couldn't fly away when I got my camera out!

Friday, April 25, 2014

ANZAC Day 2014


Today is ANZAC Day, the 99th anniversary of the ANZACs landing at Gallipoli in Turkey early in the First World War. All over Australia and New Zealand, (and indeed all over the world), this day is commemorated with dawn services and parades.

We went to the parade in Adelaide this morning.  The crowd gathered early, eager to pay their respect to soldiers, sailors and airmen young, old, and departed.  Some made signs, others waved flags, but all cheered and clapped.




The parade was led by the Australian Mounted Police, the Colour Party and the army band.




There were some military vehicles throughout the parade, but everyone was really here to thank the veterans.  How proud they were, marching with their comrades, in perfect time with the marching bands.






Bringing up the rear was a contingent of the Australian Army, recently returned from Afghanistan, and a historical depiction of the South Australian Light Horse, a regiment that took part in the landing that fateful day in 1915.


 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





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.