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!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Laratinga Wetlands

Today we had a quick walk around Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

All the usual suspects were there. Most logs had ducks on them. This one had Maned Duck, Shoveler and Chestnut Teal on it.

The Pacific Black Ducks are not shy, and came too close at times!

The coots were all busy feeding, and there were lots of pairs of Shoveler here.

We had fun tracking down the Rosellas, but never quite got close enough for a good pic.  This one was almost straight into the sun, and so the colours are a bit odd.

There were also plenty of Turtles lounging in the sun, and, of course, The Australian Ibis' waiting to "mug" the picnickers!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Garden Visitors

We had a couple of welcome visitors to our garden recently.

First was an Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard in the back yard.

Then a Tawny Dragon in the front yard

Friday, October 10, 2014

Skywatch Friday - Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse over Adelaide, South Australia

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Innes National Park

At the end of last week, I went to Innes National Park as the South-western tip of the Yorke Peninsula. I drove the eastern then southern coastal roads, birding as I went.

First stop was Clinton Conservation Park. There were 9 Caspian Terns here, along with a lone Crested Tern, some Little Black Cormorants and about 150 Red-necked Avocets on the pool. A great start!

As I headed further south, a lone Little Egret was feeding close to a bridge and Welcome Swallows were busy collecting mud for their nests.

In Edithburgh, there were some Galahs feeding amongst bright yellow flowers, and nearby some Silver Gulls doing the same. (Or is this a new species - Yellow-breasted Gull???) 

The southern coast is very rugged and ideal for wind farms as it faces the prevailing wind.

As it warmed up lots of Shingleback Lizards started moving, and the Kestrels were about, alternating between soaring and perching.

Innes is stunning at the moment - full of amazing red Cockies Tongue (Templetonia retusa ), Emu's with stripey chicks, and Kangaroos. This Western Grey Kangaroo had this season's joey in the pouch, and last season's still tagging along behind.

One interesting spot is Ethel Beach near Cape Spencer where the wreck of the iron barque Ethel can still be seen on the beach. It ran aground in 1904.

The birdwatching is great here, with a good population of Malleefowl and the easternmost population of Western Whipbird (unfortunately I saw neither of these on this trip).  I found this pair of Sooty Oystercatcher with a nest at Cable Bay.  The park is overrun with Silvereyes at the moment, as well as White-browed Scrubwrens.

One bird I haven't seen in ages is Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, and a pair were very happy to pose for a few photos, as was this inquisitive Striated Pardalote.

On the way back, another stop at Clinton produced first one, then eventually 9 Great Egrets roosting in a small mangrove tree.

The last couple of pics were from a visit to Murray Mouth yesterday.  Pied Oystercatcher and Red-capped Plover - tagged on here as there is not enough for a post in its own right.