Archive for the 'Botanic Gardens' Category

A visit to the Australian Botanic Gardens Mt Annan

Superb Fairy-wren

Superb Fairy-wren

On our recent trip to visit family in Sydney we were determined to visit the Australian Botanic Gardens Mt Annan at Campbelltown in the south eastern part of greater Sydney. In recent visits to our son it has never worked out to take a day trip to these gardens. In fact, our last – and only visit – was in April 2000. Our memories of that visit were getting very hazy, though I do remember seeing Double-barred finches there – my one and only sighting of this species.

The Australian Botanic Gardens Mt Annan are part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and are run by the same Trust. The gardens are 416 hectares in size and include hills, fern gullies and creeks, and lakes. One section even boasts a decent mountain bike track. About 4000 Australian plants are on display in these gardens. Unfortunately, very few were flowering at the time of our visit. We could only imagine what it would look like in the spring. (Note to self: organise a visit in spring!)

Despite the lack of flowers I was still pleased to record about 40 bird species during our stay. One of them was a shy Superb Fairy-wren shown above. He was skulking around in the undergrowth in the fern gully, just where the light was too poor for photos. His brief appearance in a lighter spot was not quite long enough for a good photo.

Below I’ve shown one of the plants in flower on show during our visit.

I will write more about the birds I saw in coming days.

Kangaroo Paw flowers

Kangaroo Paw flowers


Happy New Year

Male King Parrot Adelaide Zoo

Male King Parrot Adelaide Zoo

Where has the time gone?

I was just getting over Christmas and then WHAM! New Year hits us and now I find that a week – a whole week – of 2014 has gone by without me wishing all my readers a Happy New Year.


Someone please slow down the clock – or add another month or two to the calendar. I need an extra few weeks/months in every year to get done the things I plan to do.

Many years ago I had a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon pinned up near my desk at work. The caption read: “God put me on Earth to achieve a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I am going to¬† live forever.” I feel that way right now – and have frequently felt it over recent years.

So with no further ado, let me wish all of my readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

One of the hindrances to not sharing anything new here recently has been the peaceful passing of my mother-in-law. It has meant a flurry of activity, including a rushed trip home from Sydney where I’d hoped to have been out birding a little more. Mum’s funeral was a celebration of the great things about her – not the hardships and ill health of recent years. It was also a time of gathering together family and friends to remember the good times with much laughter.

What about the birds?

Good question.

I’d better get around to telling you about the birds I’ve seen recently. One species I longed to see in my son’s garden in Artarmon was a King Parrot. Even my 5 year old grandson can identify that one because it is a frequent visitor to the garden. Sadly none made an appearance while I was playing with the children during our three week stay.

King Parrot

On a brighter note I did see about 4 Australian King Parrots during our day-long visit to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens at Campbelltown in the south of great Sydney. The light conditions were poor – very overcast – when I tried to photograph them, and the photo below is the best of a poor lot. At least you can see that it is, indeed, a male King Parrot.

The photo at the top of this page is one of my favourites and was taken in one of the walk-through aviaries at Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia.

King Parrot at Mt Annan Botanic Gardens Sydney

King Parrot at Mt Annan Botanic Gardens Sydney