Saturday, April 30, 2011
Snappers, Diggers and Wild Dogs
Easter is the time of the Australian Snapper Fishing Championship in Whyalla. Hundreds of fishermen try their luck to bag the elusive big Red Snapper. The competition is based at the marina, and there were rows of empty boat trailers there. As the boats come in, the local pod of dolphins greets each one, and many reward them with a fish or two. Whilst everyone is out fishing, there is not much to do other than watch the birds and any ships in the gulf. Pelicans are always good value. I love watching them as they transform from ungainly to graceful, and back to ungainly as they land again. This is the 12000 Tonne self-unloading barge Barngala, used to transfer iron ore to and from ships that are too large to dock at Whyalla. Gulls also float by, so I quickly snapped this sub-adult Pacific Gull, followed by this silver Gull. As the final weighing time approached, all of the boats converged on the marina causing a bit of a traffic jam!! Monday was ANZAC day, so we went to the parade and service at the war memorial. Soldiers young and old were proudly displaying their medals, and the Australian Army badge of the rising sun. Finally, on Tuesday morning I took a trip out to Whyalla Conservation Park and Wild Dog Hill, looking for Grasswrens. I saw a few, but not close enough to photograph. I did stop for this train taking iron ore from the mine at Iron Knob to the steelworks. At one stop, I was watching an Australian Pipit when I heard a whirl of wings, and a group of about six Mulga Parrots landed on the fence behind me. I managed a shot of a male and female before they moved further along the road. At Wild dog Hill, this male Variegated Fairywren posed for a few shots, and a Southern Slider was hunting ants and spiders in the early morning sun.