Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rainbows and Dragons

It's been so wet that I wasn't able to do much this weekend. On the way back from Whyalla I saw this beatiful rainbow with the Southern Flinders Ranges as a backdrop Australia is a fantastic country for reptiles, and one of the most common and widespread families is the dragons. Around Adelaide, the Bearded Dragon is very common. As you head north into the more arid lands the Crested Dragon becomes more frequent. My favourite dragon by far is the stunning Thorny Devil. I remember being so elated by my first one that I almost forgot to get my camera out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's raining!!

I'm glad to say it's finally raining in Adelaide. Apart from one day in March this will be the best rain since December 2008. Rainfall for the past 4 months: Actual Average December 2008 40.4mm 28.3mm January 2009 1.2mm 20.6mm February 2009 0.8mm 13.7mm March 2009 20.2mm 25.5mm April 2009(to 22nd) 5.2mm 38.0mm today (to 10pm) 18.4mm They are forecasting rain right through the weekend for a total in Adelaide of over 50mm. Update 19:30 Sunday 26th total rainfall so far this weekend is 49.4mm Below is the rainfall radar picture from Buckland Park Radar approximately 40km North of Adelaide

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Greenfields Wetlands

My local wetlands, Kaurna Wetlands Park, is mostly dry at the moment, so this morning we went to Greenfields Wetlands about 5Km (3 Miles) down the road towards Adelaide.
Both Kaurna and Greenfields are part of a scheme harvesting stormwater for storage and later use, aimed at reducing our use of fresh water, and reducing demand on the dwindling flows down the River Murray.

Greenfields has a network of paths and boardwalks allowing the visitor wide access to the area.

Most of the migratory birds have left South Australia on their way North to breed in the northern hemisphere summer, but in the hour or so we spent there we saw over 20 species. White-faced Heron is the most common heron in this area and true to form was one of the first birds we saw. Great Egret was also here with a couple of the newly split Eastern Little Egret. Waders (Shorebirds) were well represented with good numbers of both White-headed Stilt and Red-kneed Dotterel, and a couple of Black-fronted Plovers.

Other birds seen included Willie Wagtail, Magpielark and a lone Singing Honeyeater.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Whyalla, Eyre Peninsula

I regularly visit Whyalla on the Eyre Peninsula as my fiance (Maryann)lives there. It is approximately 400Km (250 Miles) or 4 hours drive North West of Adelaide.
Whyalla is the third largest city in South Australia and is reliant on its Steelworks for most employment in the area.
Every Easter they hold the Australian Snapper Fishing Competition there. This years winner weighed over 15Kg (34lb). This photo is from last year and shows a Red Snapper of around 10Kg

As each boat comes into the marina, they are escorted by a number of Bottlenose Dolphins. there are up to five dolphins that are regularly in the marina including 2 calves born last year.

There is a lovely viewpoint overlooking the marina and the beach. The beach features a large sandbar at low tide, and the shallows are regularly used by kite boarders.

While we were up there a couple of Australasian Palicans soared around us enjoying the thermals rising from the boat ramp and parking area. I cannot resist taking photos of Pelicans, they are such enigmatic birds.

I particularly like the cloud formations in this shot.

As the night drew in, strolled along the jetty to enjoy the view. (and yes, this is still the sea)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my new blog. I am an amateur natural history photographer now living in Adelaide, South Australia. I am originally from the UK, and have worked all over the world. My favourite countries (apart from Australia of course!) are South Africa and Hungary.
I hope to give you all an interesting visual insight into natural history in South Australia and Australia generally as we face one of the worst droughts in living history.
There are more of my images on my website at http://www.tcphotos.net/
I'll start with a couple of images from a recent trip to the far north of South Australia. Even with flood waters flowing down from Queensland into Lake Eyre, the land is still parched.
This is Dalhousie Homestead in Witjira National Park. It was built on a mound spring and is a small oasis in the middle of the desert.
It is now a ruin, and the mound spring is no longer flowing though there is still enough water in the aquifer to maintain the greenery.
These are the remains of the stockyards.
Finally a Dingo which was seen at Margaret Creek on the Oodnadata Track. There was a little water here, and the Dingo was very interested in the few Pacific Black Ducks there.