(and sometimes the beast!)

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17.5.20

BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS...

Just a few of the birds that have caught my attention during my exercise walks of late...
 The spectacular azure kingfisher is one of my favourite birds.
The colour of the plumage hasn't been altered. Quite a thrill to see a flash of purple as it flies into view.
 I finally got a good shot of the eastern whipbird. I tell people it taunts me as I walk around, calling out "Ha ha, you can't see me".
 It's quite a common bird around these parts. The two part call with first the "ewwwww-whip!" and then "chew chew!" is in fact the male calling and then being answered by the female. Now that I have a good shot I'm not so bothered by the taunting...
 A black shouldered kite, looking for breakfast. They're often on this pole and sometimes it's their meal table.
The chestnut breasted mannikin is a pretty little finch.
And this finch is the red-browed finch or firetail finch, very common it seems. 
 It's a bit like I'm Pavlov's dog when it comes to the green cat bird. Aside from the caterwaul from which they get their name, they also use a high pitched 'peep' and when I hear it I'm out the door with my camera. They're hard to see in the green foliage and the 'peep' is a bit of a heads up that they are around.
 Some people confuse the female satin bower birds with green cat birds; both a greenish colour but look at the difference in the eyes.
Another favourite is the willy wagtail, happy little birds that will pose nicely and aren't scared off easily.
This is the grey fantail, very similar although smaller and that's probably why some think they are baby willy wagtail.



29.4.20

IT IS MY NATURE...

Got to love the unexpected on a walk...

Not sure who got the biggest shock... I was watching for this platypus along the creek bank where I'd already snapped it, when it popped up right under me. Didn't quite get the whole bill in frame but gee whizz happy with what I got.
It had been peeking out from the creek side undergrowth...
This photo made me think of the fable about the scorpion getting carried across the river by a frog.  Just some pond weed though...
"It is my nature."

27.4.20

APPROVED EXERCISE BRINGS RESULTS...

 Because our activities are being curtailed due to Covid-19 I'm grateful we are able to exercise, which for me means long walks around town, camera at the ready. Although I must say it's like Pitt Street out there sometimes with so many people exercising. I just wish the ones with unleashed dogs would stay at home. Too many people think the rules don't apply to them.
My first azure kingfisher for the year. I disturbed it unfortunately so it flew off after I got this shot while moving in for a better snap. They are beautiful birds but always look a bit lopsided to me with that very short tail and very long beak.
Another blue tiger butterfly settled in front of me so, of course, I had to take its photograph. It looked more black and white in the sun. 
 I see a lot of brown thornbills in my backyard but took this because, to be honest, I didn't know what it was when I snapped it but love the shot. Peek-a-boo!
These two red-backed fairy wrens (female above, male below) where taking food back to a nest I suspect, as they disappeared into long grass with their catches. 
 "Look what I caught!" The willy wagtail's catch was almost as big as it is. 
 Not the best shot of a male golden whistler but the best I could get because he flitted around quickly hiding behind foliage. 
 Again, not my best shot of a platypus because he's swimming away but I hadn't seen one for a few weeks so was pleased to get this.
This colourful little bird is a striated pardalote.
 They are nesting in burrows in a nearby bank (another reason I don't like unleashed dogs on the trail) and will fly down to check on everything. 
My first Yellow Admiral butterfly!
What it looks like with wings open.


13.4.20

BUGS ABOUND...

I've recently started taking even more photos of bugs, butterflies, moths, spider and anything else that catches my eye, especially around the house, trying to stave off boredom. Some are pretty skittish and butterflies in particular will flit away at the slightest movement which is a shame if they are a butterfly (like a blue tiger) that I don't often see.
This blue tiger may have been exhausted because it didn't move when I (and others) walked under it. I seem to be on their flightpath at home because they fly over in droves. So I must not have the right plants around for them.
This one was a fair distance away across a creek but as it was opening its wings was an opportunity to see how blue it was.
I was very excited to see a different visitor to the garden the other. It's a Coffeebean Hawkmoth (perhaps it mistook my gardenia for a coffee bush). I'd heard of Hummingbird moths and Bee hawkmoths.
At the end of the video you can see it's laid an egg which I'm told will take 2-3 weeks to hatch so I'll be watching that leaf like a ... hawk!
This robber fly was just minding its own business when I saw it. I thought it was a March fly which I avoid because I don't like the pain when they sting. Apparently, robber flies can bite but don't, usually. Interesting design on its jacket.
I was practising macro shots when I saw this guy/gal. After I saw the snap on the big screen I realised there was something else in the frame. Is that a spider teddy, a baby or smaller prey? 
This pretty caterpillar turns into a wanderer (@ monarch) butterfly 
This is a comparison between a newly minted wanderer and another which has had a longer/harder life.

I don't know which moth this tussock moth caterpillar will turn into but they're usually quite fluffy looking, some more colourful than others.

21.3.20

WALKING WITH NATURE BANISHES THOUGHTS OF COVID19...

 This magnificent bird is a grey goshawk white morph. It's the only white bird of prey apparently. 
Looks like a bit of a face off between these 2 blue dragonflies.
 Red dragonflies are a favourite though...
 Cheeky galah was on its own, unusual.
Leaden flycatcher gave me the eye, maybe he thought I was a fly...
A male red-backed fairy wren enjoying the morning sun...
 
The female red-backed fairy wren surveying her territory...
A pair of red-backed fairy wrens canoodling in the trees... 
Lesser wanderer butterflies, inside so different from outside...
My first striated pardalote in this area.



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