(and sometimes the beast!)




Another walk around the Noosa Botanic Gardens at Cooroy on Lake MacDonald yielded 2 waterbirds I hadn't seen there before.  These magpie geese were resting up in the favourite resting spot of the regular pelicans and ducks.
The usual suspects sans ducks and 4 guests.
They rest with their eyes open it seems, or perhaps they are just ultra aware of me blundering around in the undergrowth looking for the perfect shot.
Far off on the furthest side of the lake I spotted this bird and when I zoomed in realised I'd not seen one before. Turns out to the a Jabiru or Black-necked Stork.  With no way to get over there I had to be content with this slightly unfocussed shot.  Nevertheless, I was happy.
Strolling around the gardens, I spotted this handsome, orange dragonfly cunningly camouflaged against some rusty looking dying flowers.
This damselfly was much harder to spot and it was even harder to get a decent shot because of his size. Too much 'traffic' in the background to focus properly but, again, happy to see him and his brilliant colours.
Speaking of brilliant colours, the Iris growing near one of the ponds are spectacular at the moment and you can see how blue they look in the close up below. There are clumps of mauve, white and cream coloured ones in other parts of the Gardens.
Also in this floral collection is a white waterlily found amongst all the purple and pink lilies, a pretty pink lily of some sort and flowers of the large Brazilian potato tree
This Australasian Darter or snake bird was sunning itself above the lake and showing his plumage off to advantage.
I just love taking photos of pelicans with their beak buried between their wings as they rest. Again, keeping an eye on me.
There are several examples of grass tree in the Gardens in varying states of growth. On the left with this fairly small tree taken from above, I almost feel as if the photo is in 3D; perhaps I've finally working out the focus? and on the right the flowers of a more mature tree with visitors. None seen that had the thick trunks we are used to seeing in the bush.



I noticed this little sacred kingfisher this morning and he hung around for a while until...
 ...he swooped down and bring up a gecko for his breakfast which took a few gulps to get down.  As far as I can see it's one of the invasive geckos from Asia so in this case he's doing a good job for our native reptiles. 
I took a much clearer snap of a kookaburra (also from the kingfisher family) dining on a gecko the other day. He flew off to eat in private.
Here, a blue-faced honeyeater is about to feed a juicy spider to it's baby, high up in a palm where my camera can't intrude.  Perhaps a drone one day? Probably get eaten by a hawk.
I caught an eastern koel stealing some of my tomatoes. Funny that they're almost the same colour as his eyes...
I can't tell what Mr Crow is eating on the high wire here.  Could be some ghastly toad road kill or similar. I read somewhere that they've worked out how to pick around the poison of the toad. Very clever birds. 
Not sure what this Lewins honeyeater has in his beak but he got it out of the water dish. Hope it was tasty.
I believe this is a grey butcherbird which has just picked up a nice green grasshopper takeaway.
Time for my dinner.



It's a rainy day today and as it was Sunday which is my usual day to take a walk, I was reminded of this fabulous day a few weeks ago when my daughter and I headed out for some exercise. This shot is taken from the start of the the bush track from Sunshine Beach heading north to Alexandria Bay. The blues of the sky and the sea are glorious aren't they?
As we slogged along the coastal track, we stopped for a breather and were rewarded with the sight of some marine cuties.  I took about a hundred shots and have to confess that only about 10 showed the dolphins above the waterline. Nevertheless, I was thrilled with this one which was the best of them.
Once we reached A Bay, we took another breather.  I later heard it is a nude beach and I've since gone through all my photos and there might be one shot of a guy walking along the beach who could have been sans swimmers; but then, he could have been wearing beige shorts! But who cares about that when you can photograph a magnificent osprey??

 Along the way there was lots to focus on (besides my wobbly legs and laboured breathing).
 On our way back to Sunshine Beach, we could hear eagle calls above and I nearly fell over scrabbling for a break in the tree canopy to shoot it.  I believe it's a white bellied sea eagle (aptly named).  The next day we heard that a guy had to be rescued because he fell off the cliff at Sunshine Beach; perhaps he was trying to photograph the same birds...
As well as the white bellied sea eagle, gorgeous Mr Osprey was there... 
  ...and although they didn't exactly fight, I believe harsh words were exchanged as they played chicken before flying off!



I enjoyed another lovely walk through the Noosa Botanic Gardens after work yesterday and was pleased to see a lot more in the way of flowers now that Spring is upon us. My pelican friends were keeping an eye on things too...
This sweetie posed nicely before continuing his ablutions with some other birds sharing the pipe.
Bougainvillea must be about to flower everywhere although I must confess I've not noticed it in such abundance anywhere else recently. The rusty pink of this example was truly beautiful.
I didn't notice until afterwards that there was a little grebe in the foreground of this picture (you have to look hard) of a purple swamphen foraging on the edge of the pool.  Purple waterlilies and the tiny water snowflake lily are showing off.
This gymea lily was only a little over my head thanks to my being on the amphitheatre and it growing up from the bed below so was able to get much closer than one can normally. 
 I heard the eastern whipbird a long time before I saw it of course due to their distinctive call.  This was the best photo I could get in the gloom of evening the previous time I went to the Gardens. They are nervous and flit around quickly so I'm very happy with the snap. I didn't hear any at all yesterday but there were lots of kids running around the spot.
As I walked to the car I passed under a sausage tree and noticed flowers on the ground. Having never seen the flowers before I was thrilled. Most were on the ground with only a few on the tree.  Lots more to come though judging by the number of buds.



 My love affair with bees continues.  No blue and brown banded bees to be seen lately but that's possibly because I pulled out all the comfry so none of those little blue flowers they loved so much.
 The bees have been busy pollinating my Brazilian cherry so am hopeful of lots of fruit soon.
 Found this very colourful guy in the garden the other day. Didn't make a move even though I was close to it with the camera.  I was happy to leave him because he was on a weed.
 Now this guy was at the Ginger Factory in Yandina yesterday.  His body was about 6cm long so imagine how long those front and back legs are.  The small legs at the front are bright red.  Ugh.
 I watched this wasp or hornet busily flying around from an old box to the garden wall and tracked her down inside a pipe building a mud hut.
I haven't been able to identify it either as none of the images on Google for wasp/hornets included this particular shape.  Possibly a potter wasp.