Once upon a time, yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands stretched from Toowoomba to Victoria (Australia), providing a continuous wildlife corridor 100-150 kilometres in width and 1,500 km in length. Since colonisation, vast swathes of grassy woodland have been cleared for agriculture. Now there may be as little as 1-5 percent remaining. most of which has been modified in some way by grazing. Many birds and animals have become trapped in isolated communities, reducing valuable genetic diversity and leaving them vulnerable to threats of local habitat loss. It is not surprising then, that yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands have been declared a critically endangered ecological community.
In Canberra we are fortunate enough to have a number of these woodlands that provide habitat for a wide variety of birds, plants and animals, including a number of rare and endangered species. My love and I recently took a walk in one of these woodland reserves. The place was teeming with birds. The reserve contains many dead trees and fallen timbers ideal for nesting, plus abundant open grasslands favoured by raptors.
Summer migrants, the dusky woodswallows, were in attendance in quantity. Almost every dead tree had a family on board.
There were also quite a few parrots and thornbills. These darted ahead of us taking cover in the long grass, so no photos. My kestrel and dollar bird photos also left a lot to be desired, so I will leave those for another time. Still, we managed a couple of fairly ordinary photos of the grey fantail. There is such a thing as too much bokeh in my opinion. My camera doesn’t seem to do it well (or maybe it is operator error).
The shot of the day was of a little varied sitella rocking a punk hairstyle. They don’t normally have tufted heads, but they do vary quite a lot, hence the name. I suspect it is a chick. Isn’t it sweet?
Have I told you the story of the Unexploded Ordinance? No? Stay calm. That’s a story for another day. I’ll leave you with one last tree photo to help you relax.
Response to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge — Nature. Thank you, Patti. Click on the link to check out other contributions and to find out how to participate.