Archive for the 'General' Category

Steam trains and lack of birds

Steam train, Central Station, Sydney

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

On the first weekend of our recent holiday in Sydney, we went as a family for a 75 minute trip on the steam train shown above. It was an excellent treat and my 2.5 year old grandson (who loves trains) thought it was excellent but did admit afterwards, “I liked it but I was a little bit nervous.” (Bless him.)

I didn’t see any birds of note on the train trip but then I wasn’t really focussed on that. Back in Central Station waiting for the train to depart again on its next journey, I did manage this poor photo of a Common Myna (see below). Nothing exciting about that, but it was one of the few birds I saw all day.

Sorry – I forgot about the many Rock Doves actually inside the station building. They are so common in places like that one forgets to take note of them.

Common Myna, Central Railway Station, Sydney


Reflections on the Barossa Reservoir, South Australia

While doing a spot of birding at the Barossa Reservoir last week I captured this rather interesting reflection of a tree. While there are no birds evident in the photo there were many all around, including Welcome Swallows swooping over the water, a large number of Eurasian Coot just to the left of the tree and a range of honeyeaters and other bush birds in the trees and surrounding scrubland. A Grey Fantail was heard nearby as well as Little Ravens calling in the distance.

4000 comments and counting

King Parrot

A major milestone occurred on this site yesterday: The 4000th comment appeared.

I had been anticipating it for several days but missed it when I had a day sleeping off the medication for a massive allergic reaction, but that’s another story. (I’m better today. Thanks for asking.)

Thanks to everyone who has made this site so successful over the last five and a bit years, especially those who are my regular readers and those who take the time to stop a while and comment, or ask a question. Some of you are great at helping each other with your birding questions; your suggestions are most welcome and appreciated.

The last five years have seen just the beginning of this site. Stay tuned for more photos, more interesting facts about birds, more of my adventures while out birding and some new developments later in the year. Stay tuned folks – and thank you.

By the way – why not leave a comment on this post – just up there – to the right of the title of this post. Click on that and leave a comment.

Good birding.

Further reading:

Red-collared Lorikeet, Adelaide Zoo

Call for ban on duck shooting

I try not to be too controversial or political on this site. My main purpose in writing this blog is to showcase the beauty and wonder of Australian birds, often through my photographs. This site is also filling an educational role in helping people to understand more about this country’s avifauna.

On special occasions I do make some controversial statements, like when I speak out about the damage domestic cats do to the Australian wildlife, including birds, mammals and reptiles.

Duck shooting

Another topic that can get me annoyed and angry is the matter of duck shooting. Here in Australia each state has its own regulations and laws concerning recreational shooting. I believe it is much tighter here than in other countries, including the United States where many of my readers reside. Shooters are far more actively into lobbying for their “rights” in other countries, but it concerns me that strong lobby groups are gaining momentum here in Australia. And they seem to have a growing political clout with the decision makers.

Conservation and birding groups have been trying to get recreational shooting – especially duck shooting – banned for some years. A newly elected government in the state of Victoria has been pressured into extending the hunting season, and increased the number of ducks that can be shot. I find it abhorrent that people take pleasure in killing wildlife in the name of “sport” or “fun”. We have severe penalties for harming almost all of our native species of birds and animals; why should ducks be any different?

You can read a passionate and informed article on the Birds Australia website here. It includes the email address of the premier of Victoria if you wish to complain.

Further reading:

Pacific Black Duck, Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Christmas Greetings

Male Flame Robin, Mt. Macedon, Victoria

Christmas Greetings to all of my wonderful readers.

I really appreciate the many hundreds of readers who access this site on a daily basis. I also appreciate the many people who take the time and make an effort to leave comments and questions.

I also appreciate the many readers who help each other out by answering their birding questions. I’ve had a very busy year finishing my Masters degree, so my time has been severely limited. Everyone’s help has been wonderful in keeping me sane. Now that I’ve finished my degree I can devote more time to this site once again. 2011 and beyond will be better than ever.

I trust that you all have a great celebration over Christmas. Today I will just show a few of my favourite photos.

Australian Pelicans, Mallacoota, Victoria

Eastern Rosella in our garden

Blue-faced Honeyeater