July — Winter. Fade to red.
I am the first to admit that July almost always represents the winter of my soul (not discontent; that would be going too far). At this time of year my mind tends to dwell on the negative and by some unconscious impulse, I dress in mourning. This year my existential July crisis has been exacerbated by some serious hypoglycemia incidents that I have suffered, leaving me wondering each night whether this will be the time I don’t wake up in the morning. So I often don’t go to bed. That’s tiring and ineffective. My little dog also requires a full-time carer. (That’s another story. Also tiring).
You know that feeling when you are so tired that you think it wouldn’t be so bad if you died but, at the same time, you want to cling on to dear life because your family, friends and animals need you? It is a conundrum. (My apologies, ladies and gentlemen, this is turning out rather more solemn than I expected. Also, Martha Kennedy has written a blog like this recently. Bear with me.) By some other unconscious impulse, I seek sanctuary outdoors. Made glorious by the sun and wind. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist). What did I learn? Read more
There are around 120 species of crow-like birds in the family Corvidae. In Australia, there are five species, including the Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides). I just love to observe these beautiful and intelligent birds. Read more
Day 12 — Share Your Music: 30 Days, 30 Songs.
The first CD I ever got was a Bob Marley CD. My mother gave it to me. At first I was rather ungrateful because, you know, it wasn’t disco. However, it wasn’t too long before that CD became my absolute favourite, and it hasn’t been displaced in my affections. One of my favourite songs on the CD is Three Little Birds.
For at least 20 years now, I’ve owned a few canaries. The most I’ve owned at any one time is five. You can read how I got into canaries here. We are now down to two canaries, and our oldest, Harry, who is now 12, has been struggling over the last month. I’m not complaining. He has been an absolute joy. I would often sing to him — “it’s Harry I’m planning to marry.”
Here’s to Harry. When he sings all my troubles depart.
Sarah at Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here. It’s a good one. It is not too late to join in the challenge. Casual players welcome.
Today I have some clandestine photos to share with you, dear Readers. Provided on a need-to-know basis. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The subjects are well camouflaged.
I recently went on a short walk with my son for the purpose of some online activity. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of a bird of prey. “What was that?” I exclaimed. “Oh yeah,” my son said, “two sparrow-hawks nest in those pine trees over there.” To say I was indignant, Ladies and Gentlemen, was a total understatement. I demanded to know why this information had been withheld from me. Was the information top-secret, only to be disclosed to those who ‘need-to-know’? Well, no. He just forgot. Can you really believe that? Read more
Today I had the pleasure of reading about the African Swamphen on the De Wets Wild blog. If you haven’t checked out the De Wets Wild blog, you really should. Dries and his family travel to the many wilderness areas of South Africa to bring us beautiful photos of the flora and fauna of each place they visit. Anyway, the African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis) is a sub-species of the Purple Swamphen. The Purple Swamphen has a wide distribution across the globe, including Australia.
At Dries’ request, I’m posting a few photos I took recently of the Purple Swamphens in my area. Read more
There is one thing certain about Australasian Grebes and that is they are very shy. Come within 100 metres of them and they quickly dive below the surface of the water or they paddle away at a great pace leaving you in their wake. Many a time on our holiday, we saw them in the distance and that is where they stayed, so no photographs (not good ones anyway). It turns out that finding and getting close to these tiny waterbirds is a job for a professional. Read more
This is my last holiday bird diary post. For this reason, I am going to indulge in a few scenery photos as well. This post features some common waterbirds and parrots. The beauty of the setting makes the birds appear very glamorous, like models on a photo shoot. Read more
To celebrate completing my tax return, I thought I would do another bird post. This post will feature the non-water birds around Yallakool BP Dam and Lake Boondooma (Queensland, Australia). Read more
A couple of hundred clicks north of Sydney, the Myall Lakes National Park in New South Wales (Australia) is one of the best habitats around for birds. It is a real bird oasis. The Myall Lakes is one of the state’s largest coastal lake systems. As we were just passing through and were time constrained, we only skimmed its outskirts. We stayed at the lovely, quiet fishing village of Hawks Nest. Usually, I have to work hard for my bird photos but the birds were lining up for their photos to be taken. Here are a few that we took one morning (click on images to enlarge). Read more
My mother, J, lives on a wonderful property in the Gladstone area (Queensland, Australia). J and B run a few cows and agist some horses. The property is not a bird sanctuary as such, but as the property has a permanent source of water (a very large dam that hasn’t dried up in all the time they’ve lived there), it attracts a wide array of birds. During my recent visit, I tried to snap as many birds as possible. Read more