Archive for December, 2011

A short visit to the Laratinga Wetlands

Laratinga Wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

A few months ago we travelled to Mt Barker for a special birthday celebration. My son and daughter in law had flown over from Sydney so that we could all celebrate my grandson’s third birthday. As we don’t get to spend much time with our precious little man, it was a very special time. We had the party at his other grandparents’ home in Mt Barker. After the party we all felt the need for a walk, so we drove the short distance to the Laratinga Wetlands on the eastern edge of town.

These wetlands were established in 1999 by the local council to deal with the town’s waste water and sewage. Accompanied by an extensive tree planting programme, the wetlands have become very attractive to birds – and birders. Extensive walking/cycling paths around the perimeters of the ponds allow easy access to great views of the ponds and the birdlife present. It is fast becoming one of my favourite birding destinations; it’s proximity to my home just 30 minutes away is an added bonus.

Eurasian Coot, Laratinga Wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

Eurasian Coot, Laratinga Wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

Hoary Headed Grebe, Laratinga Wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

Common Bronzewing Pigeon

Common Bronzewing Pigeon near Murray Bridge

Bronzewing pigeons are flighty birds. As such they are easily disturbed and fly away rapidly at any human interference. I was therefore rather surprised to find that this bird stayed on the stones on the roadside long enough for several quick photos. The one above is the best of them.

This photo was taken about 20km SW of Murray Bridge on a Sunday drive out bush a few weeks ago.

Christmas Greetings

Eucalyptus flower

Christmas greetings to all of my readers.

I hope you have a wonderful time gathering to celebrate with family and friends.

I’m having a very different Christmas this year – but you’ll have to wait until next year to hear all about it.

Keep safe – and happy birding.

Red Capped Robin

Eastern Rosella in our garden

King Parrot

Cape Barren Geese

Cape Barren Geese near Murray Bridge

Earlier this year we went for a drive to Wellington on the River Murray. This small town is about a half hour drive from our home. After visiting the Pangarinda Arboretum we drove to Monarto Conservation Park. On the way I stopped to take a few photos of the local population of Cape Barren Geese near the shores of Lake Alexandrina. The geese feed on the pastures of local dairies in the area.

Cape Barren Geese near Murray Bridge

Portrait of a Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia

Earlier this year we visited the Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington here in South Australia. While photographing the many wildflowers on show I took this portrait of a Willie Wagtail.

The arboretum is about a half hour drive from home and just over a hour’s drive from Adelaide. From a small hill in the reserve one can get a good view of the River Murray a few hundred metres to the west. The arboretum is a collection of hundreds of Australian native plants. I really enjoy visiting this reserve as there is always a good range of wildflowers to photograph. I’ve included several below. This arboretum has been established and is maintained by an enthusiastic group of local plant lovers. It is always open to the public and entry is free.

TheĀ  birding in this native plant garden can be variable. Sometimes the place is full of a wide variety of birds; at other times I struggle to get more than 20 species on my list. It depends very largely on what is flowering although some species are resident breeding birds, like some of the honeyeaters.

Wildflowers, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia

Wildflowers, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia