Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brookfield Conservation Park

Today I took a trip into the riverland to Brookfield Conservation Park. I wanted to see what difference the good winter had made to the park. The park is just beginning to dry out, but many of the bushes are still green. Most of the wild flowers are over. For most of the time I was there it was drizzling, which makes the photographs very washed out. One of the first birds I saw was Red-capped Robin. I couldn't decide which of these photos I like best, so here they both are. Whilst looking for the robin, I spotted this White-winged Chough nest. It is about 30 cm (1 foot) across. In the same area were hundreds of these small brown grasshoppers. A little further along was a busy little group of Inland Thornbills gleaning insects from the bushes. These bushes had small (2cm/1 inch) tubular flowers on them. When I got back to the car, I noticed this fly on the bonnet (hood). On the way back to Adelaide, I followed the River Murray southwards and called in at a small Wetland just outside Murray Bridge. I was hoping to see Latham's Snipe here, but despite conditions and habitat looking perfect, I couldn't find any. There were lots of Purple Swamphens, White-faced Herons and this very noisy and protective White-headed Stilt.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Storm front over Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kangaroo Island

This week I was working on Kangaroo Island for two days. I had a little spare time in the evening, and also an hour at Seal Bay before leaving for the airport. The hotel I stayed at had a small courtyard, with a resident kangaroo and wallaby. After dinner I went to Remarkable Rocks. The next morning was drizzly, but I still went out, and almost ran over this couple in the middle of the road. I also found a few interesting flowers, the first two, as yet unidentified, and the third is a bottle brush. I managed a couple of shots of birds, Crescent honeyeaters and White-eyes were common around the hotel, and this Raven was sunning itself at Seal Bay. At the Australian Sealion colony there were plenty of sealions on the beach.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Red Banks Conservation Park, South Australia

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Burra and Red Banks

This weekend Maryann and I took a couple of drives out. The first was to the Barossa Wine Region where we dropped in to the Wolf Blass visitor centre. Wolf Blass' logo is the Wedge-tailed Eagle, and there is a lovely sculpture of one at the centre. Today's trip was to Burra, around 170 Km (100 miles) north east of Adelaide. Burra was one of the first copper mines in south Australia and many tin miners from Cornwall in England migrated here in the late 19th century. We spotted a cute family of Little Grebes in the town lake, also some young Coots It was a lovely spring day, and we saw lizards for the first time this season. First an Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard, and then a Bearded Dragon. This dragon had a green colour to it, rather than the normal red/brown, a testament to the greenness of the land as they can vary their skin colour for camouflage. We went to Red Banks Conservation Park for lunch. This park contains open Mallee, and has a seasonal river running through it that has eroded some magnificent red cliffs. The recent rains meant the the river had flowed for the first time in a number of years. All that was left of the river was a few muddy pools, and some drying mud. some deep and some shallow. This plant also caught my eye, The only plant growing on what was the river bed. Of course, I was also on the look out for birds. the first we saw was a couple of Variegated Fairywrens. The female was quite happy to come closer, but the brightly coloured male led me on a merry dance from bush to bush. I finally got this shot, but it is heavily cropped. Overhead, a pair of Striated Pardalotes were prospecting nest holes. I hope they found their "des res". They seemed happy with this one!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday

More like sky high watching.....