Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 278 - Royal Spoonbill

This weeks WBW is brought to you by one of the better beaks - or maybe bills - in the world of birds.  The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) is generally spotless white, sports a 20cm long spatulate (spoon-shaped!) bill, and in breeding plumage also has a few patches of colour.  All in all its an impressive bird.

The breeding plumage a buff 'wash' on the breast - although this bird seems to have more than I would call a wash - long plumes off the back of the head and yellow patches of skin over the eyes and a pink patch in the middle of the forehead.  As far as I am aware, the male and females both have this set of colours.

This bird was loafing around in some shallow water near a boat ramp, which is not where I normally expect to see them.  My experience of these birds is that they are rather more shy than that.  As you may anticipate, I did not complain about its cooperativeness!








To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Out and About

A number of people seem to assume that I spend my life jetting all over the globe - and only rarely call Australia home!  Well, thats not really the case!  The truth is, that when I am overseas I take huge numbers of pictures - and when I'm at home, I'm (far too) often at work.

So, in an attempt to redress the balance and provide some Australia content, here are some picture from a recent trip down to Apollo Bay - which is a costal town in Victoria.   The beach scenes are from Apollo Bay, and the forests are from a grove of Californian Redwoods, which were planted near a settlement called (rather confusingly under the circumstances) Beech Forest!








As you can see, this was a trip of beaches and forests and sunshine and showers.

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Through a Swiss Window

Jungfraujoch is a saddle - an area of lower ground - between some pretty impressive mountains in Switzerland.  It sits about about 3460 m above sea level.  Luckily you can get there by train!

About a forty minute walk from the train station is a mountain hut, that is used by climbers as a base.  It has a cafe where I drank some of the best hot chocolate and cold water I have ever had!

These are some things I saw from the windows in the hut.




You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 277 - Little Pied Cormorant

The Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is Australia's smallest cormorant.  It's found over much of the country - with the (unsurprising) exception of the western desert areas.

This bird was sitting on a rock in the small harbour at Queenscliff in Victoria.  This bird is in the classic 'wing-drying' pose.  In this case the bird probably is drying its wings, which is not always the case for birds in this pose!  In some birds - such as Anhingas - the position may be more to do with temperature regulation than just feather drying.

This bird was a little more cooperative than normal for cormorants, and it stayed on its rock for a while as I photographed it.  Eventually it was spooked off by the arrival of some ducks - which just goes to show I am less intimidating than a duck!










To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.