Friday, July 29, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Sunrise over Gawler, South Australia

Sunday, July 24, 2011

South Australia's Riverland

This weekend I had a chance to get out for a whole day, so I decided to head east, to the Riverland, and visit a couple of parks I had not been to before. First stop was Moorook Game Reserve, part of the River Murray flood plain. Almost immediately I spotted some Tree Martins, very busy around some holes in a dead gum tree branch. They kept nervously looking up, and above was a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike. There was not much else going on, so I continued on to Murray River National Park. Many of the tracks in the park were closed due to flood damage, but on one I heard lots of birds calling, so I went to investigate. I found a group of about twelve Brown Treecreepers. After waiting a while they came closer allowing some good shots. There were lots of parrots in the park, Yellow Rosellas were everywhere. There were also Red-rumped Parrots, and closely related, Mulga Parrots. The immature/female types can be difficult to tell, but I'm pretty sure the 2nd pic is a Red-rumped due to the white undertail coverts. On the way back, I spotted a Pacific Heron, but it flew before I could get too close, so I only managed to grab a shaky flight shot. Much more helpful was this Hobby, perched on a power line.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Dead gum tree, Kaurna Wetlands Park, Adelaide, South Australia.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kaurna Park in winter

Last Saturday was one of those perfect winter days. Chilly, but clear blue skies and little wind. I took a slow stroll around the park, and these are some of the photos. I live right on the southern edge of the park, and usually walk around the park in an anti-clockwise direction. The park is part of the storm water reclaiming process so water levels vary greatly from full to overflowing (as they are now) to completely dry (as they had been for the past two years) The Pacific Black Duck is probably the most common duck. It is closely related to the Mallard, and is very susceptible to interbreeding with feral ducks. There was family of Australian Little Grebes which came close. Then took turns to dive for food, leaving one then none! As I walked back down the western edge I heard the unmistakable call of Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike. The grassy bank was a blaze of yellow - Soursob - an invasive weed in the garden. All over the park you could hear the wonderful, evocative carolling of the Australian Magpie.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Going, Going, Gone!!

Harris Scarfe's flagship Adelaide store in Rundle Mall is having a major makeover, So major that it is being demolished, and will be replaced by an ultra modern shopping centre and office complex. We have a birds-eye view from our lunchroom at work. First photos show how it used to look, followed by a sequence taken over the cast couple of months. 19th April 6th May 23rd May 30th May - Much of the demolition was done at night to minimise disruption to the CBD. 10th June 15th June 16th June 24th June 29th June 1st July 4th July I'll post on the costruction of the new centre as it starts.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Local Birdwatching

This morning I took a short drive around the local wetlands. There is so much standing water around that the birds are spread far and wide. This Little Pied Cormorant was happy to pose, whilst the Pacific Black Duck was making sure it's feathers were in top condition. This male Maned Duck was keeping company with the Pacific Blacks.
Everywhere was bright with the gaudy yellow of Soursob, and a variety of Eucalypts were in blossom.
Walking around "my" wetlands at Kaurna Park I heard the double tone of a Spotted Pardalote. My imitation paid dividends, and soon two were hopping around the tree in front of me. By far the most common bird on the walk was Red Wattlebird, with good numbers of adults (with wattles) and juveniles (without) present.
I was almost home before I spotted Crested Pigeon, and finally one of the many feral European Rabbits that reside in the park.