(and sometimes the beast!)

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23.8.19

MEET COOCHIEMUDLO ISLAND...

 A friend lives in Redland Bay and suggested a trip over to Coochiemudlo Island by ferry when I stayed overnight with her recently.  I'm always up for a visit to a new place (also one I don't think I'd heard of before), especially when the weather is perfect, so off we went, catching an early morning ferry over at the grand price of $5.00 return each (pensioner discount applied).  
Above, it's low tide as we walked towards the ferry with Coochiemudlo bathed in sunlight.
The channel markers are popular perches for the many and varied water birds in the Bay. On this one, pied cormorants...
We turned right off the ferry, deciding to walk at least part of the Coochie Track, before breakfast at the local café. It is an easily negotiable track but after a while we went onto the beach. We could see some mud flats at the end of the island with a flock of black cormorants and some pelicans flying around. 
There were lots of birds in the bush as well but very hard to get clear shots of them. This is one of the many noisy friar birds we saw.
 "Coochie" itself was a first for me and so was this sweet little bird, a striated (or maybe a spotted) pardalote, apparently intent on making its nest in a dead tree on the beach. 
It wasn't too worried about us.
Not many people around at that time of day, approx. 8.30am, and we found a seat on the northern end to watch the world, and the birds, go by.  
 Another 'first' was this bush stone-curlew which was foraging for crabs along the shore where we were sitting. There was another nearby but it was too shy to come out from under a tree.
 Such a funny bird, pulling funny faces as it strutted along...
Plovers (or masked lapwings) were everywhere as well.
 I hadn't noticed the fish breakfast before putting the photo of this magnificent bird up on the computer. Brahminy kites have featured here before of course as they are one of my favourites birds of prey.
This was a second kite which eventually landed in an adjacent tree. We left before seeing what, if anything, would happen. 
On our way back to the café for breakfast we saw a few more birds including this little white breasted wood swallow, also building a nest somewhere...
 Very noisy sulphur crested cockatoo followed us back... "Hey you, I want a cracker!"
Someone with a sense of humour started a thong tree apparently.
Waiting on our breakkie spotted a blue-faced honeyeater in a nearby tree.
Reasonably priced, delicious breakfast, with a view of the Bay, at the Curlew Café.
Waiting on the ferry home I finally managed a shot of a butterfly. We'd seen a few on the walk but couldn't manage a photo. 
Main Beach, if we'd turned left off the ferry.

I'd love to go back and do the rest of the walk we didn't do and if you ever get the chance, take a ferry to Coochie.  Highly recommended and if you want a quiet holiday spot there are places to rent.

30.7.19

THROUGH THE WINDOW...

An advantage to having clean windows is some of the great things you see. Sometimes I get a better shot because of the vantage spot or because I know the critter I'm spying on can't see me so doesn't take off the minute I bring out my "shotgun". 
The little brown honeyeater above is a great example. It would have taken off in a shot  had I been outside. It was raining anyway so I wouldn't have been able to use my camera unless I was also juggling an umbrella!
The male satin bowerbirds I've seen in the jacaranda have been very skittish so I usually snap them through the window.
This is Brucey who will usually turn his head before I can snap him. Don't think he could see me properly here; was probably trying to work out what I was doing.
Green catbirds hop around in the jacaranda too and are also very skittish; because of their colour are often hard to spot. Besides their famous "catcall" they often utter a high pitched "twit" first, which is usually alerts me to their presence so I can try to find them.
 I may have posted this guy before, small green banded blue butterfly. I've seen dragonflies as well on the other side of the glass.
 I'd be ecstatic to see this bird return. It's a grey goshawk and was on the other side of the tree then my battery died before I could get outside to try for a better snap and it was gone when I got back.  Gotta be happy with this though. 
 Not sure if this is the same kookaburra in both snaps but they were taken on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I could have gone outside I think though, because the kookaburras (along with magpies, currawongs and crows) are more used to human interaction.
These guys, brown thornbills, give me endless entertainment. I could watch them all day as they flit around, splash in the bird bath and admire themselves in the metal struts.
I've had a few tree snakes around and been outside to photograph them but this one (and another posted a while ago) I only took through the window. It was trying to get up into the ceiling via the deck but because I'd blocked it off, it couldn't get up and at one stage went "splat!" on the deck. This was taken shortly afterwards and it looked annoyed, or so I thought at the time. I've since had part of the deck glassed in so, hopefully, that will dissuade them from coming in, unless I leave the windows open of course. 
And lastly, a female cicada bird which I couldn't have seen (or snapped) except from inside the house. Love seeing the birds in the trees outside. Currently up to 43 different species in the trees and shrubs around the house. The latest was a male golden whistler but unfortunately he was too quick for me and I didn't get a snap of him. I'll keep watching (and window washing) though.

11.4.19

A CHANGE FROM BIRDS...

I'm dog sitting this cutie for a few weeks so we were doing lots of walking and managed some nice bird shots whilst doing that.  Darcy has been photographed and mentioned before on my Travelling Sisterhood blog here. I get to say, "my boyfriend, Darcy."  He's pretty well behaved and quite handsome. I'm also updating his blog "Tales of a Travelling Terrier".
 He's helped me in the garden...
We've been to the beach...
Seen all sorts of wildlife...  (birds, wot birds??) 
Although he looks like he is going after the waterdragon, he had zero interest in it... 
I had to photoshop him onto the platypus pic...
Sometimes it's been very trying for him.  He doesn't like thunder storms so was allowed up onto the bed where he shivered and shook until it was over, poor boy. 
He and the cat rarely see eye to eye... 
Only here it's eye to bum!
I had to start wearing a boot on my left leg for a tear in a small foot muscle that hasn't responded to strapping and shock wave treatment, so long walks are out but we'll still go places and on short walks. 
He went to ceramics with me yesterday where he charmed the ladies and managed to score a few titbits under the table.  I'm sure he'll be fine and quite worn out by the time his parents come back to pick him up. Only two weeks to go but who's counting?

18.3.19

MONDAY SOMETIMES BEATS SUNDAY....

Funny what a difference a day makes... comparing yesterday's walk and today's. Weather was the same, threat of rain but didn't rain. Different route though. Today, I chose the Wetlands and actually put plastic bags over my joggers to cut down on soggy socks (refer to my last post if you don't understand that comment. It turned out to be quite a colourful walk. Firstly, I was thrilled to finally see (and snap) a rainbow bee eater, having been told how beautiful they are by a friend.  That was the highlight of the walk, just standing there watching it fly around, yellow wings catching the morning light. Magic. I've now learned even more about them, like they nest underground!
This little cutie was the highlight of yesterday's walk, a male golden whistler, colourful enough to make this post.
No doubt I can thank the watery sunlight for the stunning colours in this guy's feathers. A sacred kingfisher perched up high waiting for his breakfast.
This black-faced cuckoo shrike wasn't waiting around and I'm told that the caterpillar he's snatched would have turned into a Swallowtail butterfly.  Sigh.
I thought this photo showed where the shining bronze cuckoo got its name... although this one looks quite coppery as well.
The purple swamphens graze in the paddocks around the wetlands. They are quite skittish too. You'd swear I was using a shotgun, not a camera. I was taken with how prehistoric looking it appears in this photo.
Lots of these little birds around this morning, tawny grassbirds (I think).
It seems every second small bird I spot these days is one of these little silvereyes. But that's fine, may there be many more...
At first I thought I had some obscure bird in the viewfinder.. but realised pretty soon it's a male red-backed fairy wren which is losing it's breeding plumage. But I love it as much as the black and red.
And here is a female, much duller poor thing, but so sweet... he will look like this soon but with a black beak I've read.
Not all birds on this walk... spotted this green dragon fly which stayed still long enough to take a snap.
I was quite taken with this web. I thought spiders were perfectionists. I saw this a few days ago and now it has even less web detail above the centre.  Wonder if its learned that it keeps losing the top of the web so has adjusted?
Lots of wanderer butterflies around the area but haven't spotted any of the distinctive caterpillars yet.  All in all, a most enjoyable and interesting walk.