Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Kite on a wire

After three days of wild weather which had torrential rain and gale force winds, today saw an easing and we were able to get outside, as did the wildlife that had been sheltering where ever possible. Although still a bit overcast and blustery all were making the best of the change. In the front paddock a Black Shouldered Kite found perching on the power line was a good alternative to hovering in the wind.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

After Lewin

After seeing a wonderful exhibition of the works of J W Lewin in the National Library and then reading a book on his fascinating life, I was struck by how lucky we are to have had his works to give an insight into the nature of the early years in the colony of New South Wales.
Emigrating from London arriving in Sydney in 1800 he was the first professional naturalist, collector and artist  in the 12 year old colony.
He painted flora, insects, shells, birds, animals, aboriginals and landscapes of Sydney and the countryside visited with explorers.
He was the first print maker with commissions from many wealthy patrons in Sydney and back in England, where the fascinating nature of the colony was much in demand.
In 1813 he became the first person to print an illustrated book in Australia and that book " Birds of New South Wales" - if you have a copy will bring in the vicinity of $500,000. 
Unfortunately he became seriously ill and died at the age of 49 after only 19 years in Australia.

 I thought I should again feature one of the two Australian birds that are named in his honour.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Outside looking in.

A very hot and humid night just the weather for lots of bugs to be attracted by the lights from inside and this makes for perfect hunting conditions for tree frogs.
This Peron's Tree Frog Litoria peronii came splat on the window and was then content to survey the scene for any potential dinner.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rail way

Our road frontage is the area where this rail has its way, as the habitat is what it favours, water, water plants and long grass into which it can quickly disappear.

The Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis is a medium sized rail around 12" and is the only species of rail that I have seen on our property. I often see them by the roadside but they are quick to run into the grass (I haven't seen one fly) and today I was lucky to catch sight of this one from my car and have the camera handy to get a couple of photos. Not restricted to Australia they are found in NZ and other Pacific and Indian ocean Islands.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Feeling the heat

The hottest day so far this summer, 39c at 10am and it was not just me that was feeling a tad too warm. I was doing a bit of light work in the pool garden when a shadow passed over me and materialised into a small bird or prey which landed in a tree not too far away.
grabbed the camera and set off to see if it was still in the same location.
After a bit of scouting around I found it as it moved from one tree to another and then happily perched in the shade out of the day's heat.
A bit of quiet walking brought me within photo range and time for a few shots. Light not great and distance a bit far but didn't want to spook it.

 I could see that it was either a Collared Sparrow Hawk or Brown Goshawk but it was only after I looked at the photo on the PC that the identification was Brown Goshawk Accipiter (Leucospiza) fasciatus. Both birds are very similar in appearance but the rounded tail as opposed to square says goshawk. Both birds are also widely distributed throughout Australia.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Graphic Flutterer

Late afternoon with the setting sun shining through the trees, just the right setting for a group of dragonflies to flutter back and forth over the grass. Finding a suitable stem they would alight for a short while, then dance off with their transparent wings displaying jewel like red splashes.

A bit of investigation identified them as Graphic (or banded) Flutterers Rhyothemis graphiptera
and the name seems very appropriate as they were superbly demonstrating with this afternoon's display.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Wren & flamingo

To get the blog off to a start on a very hot and humid first day of  the New Year took a late afternoon photo of a female wren, (fairly sure it is a Superb Blue Wren as the male was nearby, although not in a photographic mood). She was busy looking for insects on a flower spike of our Grevillea "Flamingo" and paused just long enough for the shot.