(and sometimes the beast!)

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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.

10.3.19

WALKING WITH WET FEET STILL SATISFYING...

 This pretty dove was one of six brown cuckoo-doves feeding on shrubs near the platypus viewing platform on my walk this morning.
 And I wasn't disappointed by the platypus with one coming along just before I left. Only showed itself for a moment before disappearing under shrubs that line the creek. This area was where I saw one thrashing around in the reeds for some time with a waterhen pecking at it which worried me enough to call Wilvos. It had gone before they arrived though. They'd been called out previously about one with what looks like it's caught up in a hairband or similar. Attempts to find and treat that one have so far been unsuccessful.
Galahs are so cheeky. This one saw me taking photos and almost seemed to demand being captured for posterity.
Cattle egrets galore at the Maleny Precinct because of the cattle around, orange breeding plumage has faded. These three look like the Larry, Curly & Mo of their world...
By this time my shoes were sodden with the dew. "Oh, yes, Madam... these very expensive Adidas joggers are virtually waterproof but we'll hit them with some Scotchguard as well."  Grrrrr.  Two outings in them with heavy dew and both times might as well have been just wearing socks. 
Looking a bit tattered but I was quite taken with this mushie, gives it a lacey look.
 Spotted what I think is either a Wallum sedgefrog or dwarf green tree frog in the Wetlands. Jolly difficult to get this  because the frog and the reeds are so small, without wading into the water. "Why not if your feet are already wet?" I hear you ask... Well, I know red bellied black snakes like the wetlands too and last time I photographed frogs up in Cooroy (here), I barely missed standing on one of said snakes. Ugh. I'm content with this not-too-bad shot.
Thought this large web was pretty in the morning sun but didn't notice till I got the photo up on the computer that it's not round! Wonder why the owner didn't continue weaving up top? I can see it in the middle. Resting???
 This was a kind of accidental shot if I'm honest. Towards the end of the walk I was hot and steamy and my glasses fogged up. I couldn't see properly in the viewfinder, just my face reflected which got me even grumpier. Then the camera refused to cooperate by zooming in as it should. Anyway, I'd spotted a black shouldered kite in a particular tree and I was quite a distance from it so when I saw this in the viewfinder I took it although I knew it wouldn't be clear enough.  I could see it was feeding on something but was sad to see it was probably one of the little waterhen chicks I've been photographing of late. Then when the camera finally decided to play the game I couldn't find it again. Ah well. Mother Nature knows best. I've certainly seen way more waterhens than kites around the place.
Hope you enjoyed your walk as much as I did mine, despite the wet feet and frustration...

28.2.19

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT....

Hahaha, not really... more birds, more walking!
This magnificent creature is a black shouldered kite and I took its photo in the Maleny Community Precinct walk a few weeks ago. The half dead tree in which it's posing is also a popular roosting spot for a lot of other birds. This morning, at different times on the walk, I spotted the kites, 
a couple of pied butcher birds (reckon this one was waiting for the kites to leave) and 
six galahs using the tree. I have been trying to walk in the area at least 4 times a week, weather permitting, although this morning it was overcast and I did get rained on. Despite that, it was still a wonderfully fulfilling walk because of the birds.
This cow with her familiar (cattle egret) was very interested in my activities.
I was standing on the platypus viewing platform (no platypus today) when this sweetie flew in and perched on the railing beside me. The absolute highlight of my walk. Once it had moved into the trees I was able to get a snap. It's a restless flycatcher and, who knows, maybe it's one of the fledglings in the nest I posted about here a while back.
 I'd heard about male cicadabirds and seen other people's photos of them from the area but this was a first for me.
The female was close by and I must say she's quite beautiful with her distinctive plumage...
 ....unlike the female red-backed fairy wrens which are very dull compared to the males.
I was surprised to learn recently that the males' stunning plumage is shown only during breeding season.  What the????
 I'm told that this photo is a male without his plumage (the beak is darker).  Amazing.
This little cutie is a shining bronze cuckoo... doesn't show here but the wings are an irridescent green in the right light.



20.1.19

ANOTHER SUNDAY WALK...

I'm continuing my Sunday walks for the paper in an effort to keep fit for an upcoming trip to Borneo and am extending the route as well.  Always lots to see, not that I'm always successful in capturing everything I see, but was very happy with this shot of a silvereye enjoying callistemon (@ bottle brush) for breakfast. 
This brown honeyeater was also having a "brush" for breakkie...
These  spangled drongos seemed to be in the middle of a singing contest...
Just recently I seem to be constantly walking into spider webs so couldn't believe I didn't stumble into this one, phew! Looks like the owner wasn't in residence at the time though.
The weir is usually alive with all sorts of critters but this morning, to my eyes and ears, it was deserted...  Across the road, the amazing nest tree from last post, was also deserted. Not one of the nests I documented was occupied. 
I wandered further into town and was treated to sighting of juvenile platypuses. I wouldn't know the difference but met up with a friend who is a bit of an expert on them and if he says it's a juvenile, I believe him. In fact, we saw 3 different ones in the creek below the infamous Woolworths store
 This turtle was also hanging around in the same area.  I've not spotted them there before...
These long walks in summer really are draining so I was happy to finally get the paper and start the climb up the hill home. This crested pigeon cheered me on...
 I'm surprised my heavy breathing and gasping didn't scare off the bees fighting over the magnolia at the gate but they allowed me to take a snap..