Saturday, December 11, 2010
This weekend we are in Whyalla for a combined family birthday and early Christmas celebration. On the way, I spotted this lovely clump of Scotch Thistles. they can grow to head height, and these were about 1.3m (4ft) tall. The thistle heads are a little bigger than a tennis ball. This morning, I went for a short walk at the whyalla Wetlands. This is a relatively new, man-made lake with a few small islands. In the 15 minutes I was here I saw around a dozen species including cormorants, gulls, and some waders (shorebirds). I surprised this White-headed Stilt, which flew around calling before settling on the opposite bank. This pretty flower was on a shrub near the car park. The flower looks similar to bottlebrush (calistemon), but the leaves are very different. Just as I was about to leave, a few ducks arrived. The duck on the left is an eclipse or immature male Chestnut Teal, and the other looks like a Grey Teal, but could be a pale female chestnut. Final stop was the beach and marina, looking for more waders and dolphins. No waders, but a couple of dolphins were close in at the marina. As I got back to my step-daughters house, there was a commotion in a tree as a small flock of Galahs arrived.