Sunday, February 24, 2013

Belair National Park

On  Saturday I managed a couple of hours birding in Belair National Park.   It was a beautiful late summers morning with clear blue skies and hardly a breeze.  First stop was Playford Lake to check out the ducks.  There are many "mixed-up mallards" here, keen to bully any visitors for bread, but also some of the common local species.

This Hardhead was happy bobbing around, whilst the Pacific Black Duck was having a quick preen.   I love the facial  markings on the female Maned Duck.

There were lots of Dusky Moorhens here too, as well as a single Great Egret slowly wading through the shallows.   Over on the island, an Australian Darter was enjoying the morning sun.

But back to the Pacific Black Ducks.  These two were almost side by side, but the slight difference in angle made a huge difference to the colour of the speculum.

Heading up to Long Gully, some more common birds were out and about, including Crested Pigeon, Australian Magpie, and a pair of Emu's drinking from a puddle by the side of the road before it got too hot.

Long Gully itself is always "chock-a-block" with parrots and Saturday was no exception.  Galah's and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in the trees, Rainbow Lorikeets inspecting tree hollows, and Eastern Rosellas and Red-rumped Parrots feeding on the grass.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Skywatch Friday

"Strawhenge", Barossa Valley, South Australia

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Late summer in the Barossa Valley

I went for a drive around the Barossa Valley this morning.   There were plenty of birds around, but very few came within range of my camera.

This family of Dusky Woodswallows were happy enough to pose in the sun.

The Barossa is characterised by rolling hills, mainly vineyards, but also mixed arable .  Many of the farmers have left a big gum tree here and there which certainly adds some interest to the landscape.  They also have miles and miles of fences to maintain.   Talking of maintenance, the fence pic shows I need to do some maintenance on my camera!! 

Lots of the paddocks have bales in them, round ones, oblong ones, some left where they fall, and others neatly arranged.

It looks like the vineyards have had a pretty good year with the vines all heavy with fruit for this years vintage.