Saturday, April 27, 2013

Local Birds

I have done a couple of quick birding walks in the last couple of days.  The first one was to the Greenfields Wetlands.  On the way to the hide there were lots of Welcome Swallows on the fence, and amongst them was this lone Tree Martin.  

There were lots of birds seen from the hide, but they were all too far away to photograph.   Back along Magazine Road, more good birds, but nothing close. Australian Shelducks are regular here, but the Freckled Ducks and Australian Shoveler less so. This photo gives an idea of the distance away. 

Using the car as a hide, a Black Swan came a bit closer.  I saw this Little Pied Cormorant resting in the sun so manoeuvred as close as I dare.  I noticed a movement, and out popped an Australian Reed-warbler.

Checking the pools along the side of the expressway, there were a couple of White-headed Stilts. (I couldn't decide between the two photos, so included them both.) 

More movement in the reeds, this time a Little Grassbird, but much further away, and then this non-breeding plumaged Little Grebe popped up right in front of me.

Yesterday, When I walked Kobe around the wetlands, I saw lots of Purple-crowned Lorikeets, but only had my "point and shoot" with me and they were way out of range. So this morning I was armed with my DSLR and 100-400mm lens.  Guess what....not a Purple-crowned Lorikeet in sight!!  Never mind, there is always tomorrow.

There were plenty more common birds around, and this Red Wattlebird was too intend on calling to worry about me and Kobe, as were this pair of Musk Lorikeets.

Other birds seen on the way round included Crested Pigeon, Magpielark, White-plumed Honeyeater, White Ibis, White-faced Heron and New Holland Honeyeater.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day 2013

With their hair a little whiter, their step not quite so sure
Still they march on proudly as they did the year before.
Theirs were the hands that saved us, their courage showed the way
Their lives they laid down for us, that we may live today.
From Gallipoli's rugged hillsides, to the sands of Alamein
On rolling seas and in the skies, those memories will remain.
Of airmen and the sailors, of Lone Pine and Suvla Bay
The boys of the Dardenelles are remembered on this day.
They fought their way through jungles, their blood soaked desert sands
They still remember comrades who rest in foreign lands.
They remember the siege of old Tobruk, the mud of the Kokoda Trail
Some paying the supreme sacrifice with courage that did not fail.
To the icy land of Korea, the steamy jungles of Vietnam
And the heroic battle of Kapyong and that epic victory at Long Tan.
Fathers, sons and brothers, together they fought and died
That we may live in peace together, while at home their mothers cried.
When that final bugle calls them to cross that great divide
Those comrades will be waiting when they reach the other side.
Ken Bunker

Today is the 98th anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landing at Gallipoli, Turkey.
It is commemorated throughout Australia with dawn services of remembrance, and parades in many towns and cities.
I went to the parade through Adelaide.  It was a very moving experience,  with spectators young and old, applauding veterans of many conflicts, serving officers and men, and next of kin marching through the city.

 The parade was headed by four horses from the SA Mounted Police leading the dignitaries and the main parade.

There were many marching bands mingled in the parade. There were military bands, town bands and society bands, pipe bands and brass bands, and the SA Police band was there in two guises.

Also interspersed amongst the groups of marchers were some military vehicles, which carried some of the less mobile veterans.
Throughout the parade, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia, took the salute from the dais on King William Road.
But, of course, the stars of the parade were the groups of veterans. Some groups had many marchers, some only few, and many had no marchers at all.

Most managed under their own steam, but some needed a little help. 

Others met with mates they may have not seen for many years.  Most were decorated with medals from many campaigns.

Some marched under the banner of their unit, others wore the blue beret of the United Nations, and yet more marched proudly under the sovereign flag of their forefathers.

Bringing up the rear were our serving soldiers, sailors and airmen, and a small group from the Barossa Light Horse Historical Association, depicting soldiers of the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade, that took part in that ill-fated landing at Gallipoli 98 years ago today. 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Justice" in Rundle Mall

Australian Rules Football, AFL or footy is the most popular spectator sport in South Australia, and twice a season the two local teams, Port Power (Hooray!!) and Adelaide Crows (Boooo!!) play in a derby  match called "The Showdown.  This causes much local excitement, and is akin to the big local derbys in the EPL like Manchester United and City, or Liverpool and Everton.

During the season, "The Footy Show" is on TV on a Thursday and the hosts all give their tips for the following weekend's games.  These tips include a "certainty" which, if they tip incorrectly, means they have to pay a "penalty".    Two weeks ago was the first showdown for 2013 and one of the hosts, Gary Lyon, chose Adelaide Crows as his certainty.    Well, I am happy to say that Port Power won handsomely, and the following photos show Gary, paying his penalty.

Firstly, Warren Tredrae, a previous captain of Port Power introduced some of the young Port players to the crowd, followed by John "Sam" Newman another of the shows hosts, and finally Gary Lyon.

Gary was strapped in the wheel, ready for his penalty, until David "Kochie" Koch, the president of the club pointed out that he was still wearing a Port guernsey.

"Off! Off! Off!" shouted the crowd, and off it came!!  Then strapped to the wheel again, round it span, as Port supporters pelted him with another South Australian favourite, Balfours meat pies!! "What goes with pies?" asks "Sam" Newman - "Tomato Sauce of course!!"

Debt paid!!