Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sturt's Desert Pea

Things have been very quiet here, so I have nothing current to post so I thought I'd show you one of our gardening exploits. Over the summer, we tried to grow some Sturt's Desert Peas. The state flower of South Australia, this stunning flower grows in the desert, but only if conditions are right. It is very short lived, and grows, flowers, goes to seed and then dies in just a few days, with the seeds then staying dormant until the right conditions happen again. this may be a month later, a year later or in extreme times maybe a decade later! Ours flowered over a weekend, and not expecting things to happen quite so quickly, I missed the buds only photo!! On the Sunday morning, the first red started showing. By Sunday evening the flowers were opening And on Monday morning the flowers were fully open

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kaurna Wetlands Park

This morning Maryann and I took our regular walk around "our" wetlands. It has been drying out quickly, but a few heavy showers yesterday have really filled it up again. Passing one partly hidden pool, we spotted some Australian White Ibis and Royal Spoonbills. These are the first Spoonbills I have seen here this summer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Skywatch Friday

I have flown a lot, but have never seen a raindow from above, until we were enroute from Sydney to Hobart.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tasmania part 5

First port of call in Hobart was Mount Wellington. At 1280m (4200 ft) it was only 10C (50F) on the summit. The view over Hobart is second to none! There are some interesting sculptures at the dock including these penguins, but I think this sign was aimed at some other boids!! The brig Lady Nelson is based in Hobart, and is another sail training ship. We rested under these lovely old oak trees in Salamanca Place, before passing the main Post Office on our way back to the hotel. Final birding was a walk around the Domain and the Botanical Gardens, where I saw the local race of Noisy Miner, and also some very tame Eastern Rosellas (that I have chased time and time again in Adelaide but to no avail!! Then it was off to the airport to board some different birds altogether for the trip home. Thanks for enjoying our holiday with us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tasmania part 4 and Skywatch Friday

Whilst in Hobart, we spotted the Adelaide based sail training ship the One and All berthed perfectly in front of a rainbow

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tasmania part 3

We started the day at Strahan, on the west coast. It was a bit showery, but we decided to risk the walk to Hogarth Falls. The falls were lovely, and the rocks near them were covered in tiny soft ferns. Of course, we did get caught in a shower, and by the time we got back to the car we looked like a pair of drowned rats!!
Tasmania has twelve species of birds that are endemic, and on my first trip in 2003/4 I saw eleven of them, and heard the twelfth. The one I missed seeing was Scrubtit. I had been tipped off (by my guide from 2003/4, Tonia Cochran at Inala) that Nelson Falls in Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park was a good spot to look for them this time. Well, the falls were spectacular, AND I saw Scrubtit. Thank you Tonia!
On the way north, we had noticed this hydro-electric power station on the River Nive, but it was too late to photograph it. So we stopped on the return journey. After dinner, I wandered around the village, but the only thing of interest was this old Massey Ferguson Tractor left in the middle of a field.
Next morning we headed to Hobart via Mount field National Park. On the way we passed by the delightfully named Meadowbank Lake. Once in the park, it was off to another waterfall, Russell Falls, before heading up to Lake Dobson. At an altitude of over 1000m ( 3250 ft) it was very chilly! On the way back down, I stopped for this Black Currawong, who was happy to pose for me on a fallen tree.
More from Tasmania to follow.......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tasmania part 2

After breakfast, we headed down to the Tasman Peninsular with its spectacular coastal scenery. First stop was the Tasman Arch. As we pulled up in the car park, Maryann spotted a male Flame Robin. We walked around from the Arch to the viewpoint with its stunning views of the rugged scenery. Back at the car park, there were Fairy Martins everywhere. This one kept picking up this dry eucalyptus leaf and then dropping it. From the Tasman Peninsular, we headed inland to Richmond, one of the oldest settlements in Tasmania. Richmond is the home of the oldest bridge and the oldest Catholic Church in Australia. By the bridge there was a small group of Tasmanian Native Hens squabbling noisily. Finally it was time to head north-west towards the mountains and lakes, and as we pulled off the main road for a break, we spotted this Echidna, with a burr stuck to it. More from the north-west to follow.......