It is hot.
The last week here in South Australia has seen us enduring some really torrid heat. Most days have been over the 40C mark with yesterday the temperature reaching 44C (that’s 111.2F) under the shade of our front veranda. It certainly doesn’t encourage one to go out birding in that kind of heat. Possibly the best spot in the house is near the air conditioner watching the endless parade of birds coming to our bird baths in the garden. On days like this they really appreciate the ready supply of water. It’s a lazy way of birding, but forgive me. It’s the best I can do at present. I don’t feel like going out birding anyway because I have a heavy head cold at present. Colds are bad enough in winter, but in summer they are doubly uncomfortable because you cannot curl up in bed and wrap yourself up in all your miseries.
Just to keep all my readers happy, here are some articles from my archives about birds, heat, water and bird baths:
I thought I would look back on some of the posts on this blog written during 2007 and pick out a few highlights. New readers to this blog may then get a feel for the types of articles I have written. Of course, you can always go to the archives section on the side-bar and choose for yourself.
Best posts of 2007 in no particular order. Click on the title to read the article.
- Cats and Blackbirds
- Some unusual visitors to our bird bath
- Birding Bloopers #18
- Close views of Musk Lorikeets
- Great birding moments #29 -Crested Pigeon
- A splendid result – Splendid Wren
- Birding Bloopers #21
- A King amongst Parrots
- Great Birding Moments # 31 – Glossy Ibis at last
- Close encounters of the bird kind – Red Wattlebird
- Pesky plovers – dealing with swooping birds.
- The problem with Common Blackbirds – this article caused many comments from readers.
Last night I went for a walk in the cool of the evening. It was just on dark when I arrived home. I didn’t go with the intention of doing any birding; it was just a much needed walk to deal with the indulgence of the season. (Actually, I was rather good and didn’t over-indulge over Christmas.)
At one point in the gathering gloom I saw what looked like a Galah. Not your usual pose mind you. This poor Galah was obviously dead and was hanging from a thin dead branch near the top of the tree. There was not enough light to be absolutely certain, but it looked as though this unfortunate bird had accidentally caught its leg in the sharp V-shape junction of two twigs and couldn’t escape. Poor thing.
On reflection, I seem to have some memory of having seen this sort of incident before but I can’t recall the details.
The photo below shows some Galahs in our garden.
I and the Bird is coming to this blog.
Regular readers of my blog about birds will be familiar with the carnival I and the Bird. I am a regular contributor to this compilation of birding blog articles from around the world. I usually alert my readers to the latest edition.
Late in January 2008 I will be the host of I and the Bird #67. (Gasps of wonderment from the masses – followed by the sound of cheering from the crowds.) So sharpen up those pencils… er… fire up those computers, get those cameras clicking and write some fabulous, inspiring, beautiful and brilliant articles on your blog ready to submit to me for inclusion.
For more details about how to take part, go to the I and the Bird home page here. This page includes links to all past and present carnivals, frequently asked questions and how to submit.
In my travels around Australia I often visit Information Centres. I usually look for pamphlets and maps about the local area, concentrating on places like national parks and reserves. We try to visit some of the places during our visit, especially those that promise good birding and an interesting array of native plants to keep my wife happy.
On our many trips around the different states I particularly look for birding guides. We have come across a few, but these are not at all common. In South Australia I know of only two and both of those were published only this year. Now a third one is gracing the shelves of tourist information centres, one that I am the proud author of and which was launched in Mannum last week.
Earlier in the year I was approached by the Friends of Mannum Walking Trails to write and produce such a brochure. I readily agreed, not realising how much work was involved. Still, I am very pleased with the result and received many positive comments by the speakers at the launch and by people afterwards when we enjoyed morning tea.
The launch was reasonably informal, and was held on the banks of the River Murray at Mannum. All present were welcomed by representatives of the local Indigenous community, the Mayor and several other speakers. I was given an opportunity to also say a few words.
At the same time another brochure was launched. The second pamphlet is a guide to the walking trails around the town of Mannum. It highlights the cultural and historical heritage of the area with a particular focus on the rich paddle steamer history of the town.
I took all the photos featured in the birding brochure and many of them have appeared on this blog over the last two years.
Click on the photos to enlarge the image.