Guest speaker about Australian birds

White-headed Pigeon

Last week I had the privilege of talking about Australian birds to two community groups here in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

At the first meeting, a church group, I had an audience of eight. Despite the small number, my talk was well received and the photos shown much enjoyed.

On the following morning I spoke to the Mobilong Ladies Probus Club, this time to 108 ladies. Again the talk and photos were well received, and they laughed at my jokes which is a bonus. On the down side, I went a little over time so there was no time for questions.

I have done this presentation to nearly a dozen community groups now so I’m getting a name for myself. I’m prepared to speak to any group about my passionate interest.

I’m even prepared to travel interstate – if a plane ticket is provided! (Hey – no harm in hinting!)

Good birding.

Australian Birdfair, Leeton, NSW

The fifth Australian Birdfair at Leeton, central NSW is on again this year. It will be held on 17th to the 19th September.

Leeton is between Narrandera and Griffith and an easy drive north west of the regional city of Wagga Wagga. It is also an easy day’s drive from both Melbourne and Sydney, a long day’s drive from Adelaide and a very long day’s drive from Brisbane.

But why rush like that? There are hundreds of fine birding spots along the way, so make it a birding holiday.The link below takes you to the web page where you can find out about accommodation, all the events that are planned, tours of the district and who will be putting on exhibits at the fair. There will also be seminars and lectures about birds. Sound good.

Wish I could be there. [sigh]

Further reading:

The Cocoparra National Park is only a short distance from Leeton. These photos will give you a taste of the area:

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

Two milestones for this birding blog

This blog has reached a special milestone.

Last night I approved the 3000th comment from my readers.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of this blog. You have made it what it is – a vibrant community of birders and bird lovers.¬† In the last few months when I have been very busy writing my novel, readers’ questions have appeared here and other readers have jumped in ahead of me and answered the query or question. This interaction between readers makes writing this blog so worthwhile.

Many readers have also said nice – and sometimes flattering¬† – things about the photos and the articles. Thank you all for your generous praise. I’m truly grateful.

I believe that this blog is fulfilling something of a great need in educating people about Australian birds. I’ve lost count of the number of readers who have commented that, in searching for information about Australian birds, this was the only site where they found answers. That pleases the teacher in me – I was a teacher for 35 years before retiring in 2004. I am now a full time writer.

Musk Lorikeet

Musk Lorikeet

Another important milestone

In November this blog also achieved another important milestone. For the first time it exceeded 15,000 different readers for the month. That makes it all worthwhile, and very satisfying that it is reaching such a wide audience.

Thank you to all of my loyal readers and the many people who have contributed comments and asked questions.

Red Browed Finch

Red Browed Finch

Birding can be an arresting hobby

Flowers of Eucalyptus porosa

Flowers of Eucalyptus porosa

I was almost arrested this morning.

Let me explain. We went for our normal early morning walk down the road along one side of our property. Part of this walk takes us past the external fence of the local prison complex. We think nothing of it every morning.

Along this stretch we had excellent views of about five Purple-crowned Lorikeets feeding on the flowers of the local mallee trees known as Eucalyptus porosa It’s a shrubby form of gum tree and quite common in this area. The photo above shows the flowers.

The lorikeets were quite unconcerned with our presence. In fact, I was able to watch one feeding at head height about a metre in front of me. It would have made an excellent photo with the first rays of morning sunlight highlighting the colours.

I was both pleased – and annoyed. No camera! And I do not yet have a photo of this species. Usually they are high up in the foliage feeding – or streaking across the tree tops at speed. Here was the ultimate photo opportunity – and no camera.

Ten minutes later we were home. I grabbed the camera and hopped in the car and drove to the same spot. Of course, Murphy’s Law – they’d flown off. All I managed was several shots of the trees and flowers. Then it all turned pear shape. Remember – this was right next to the boundary fence of the prison.

My actions immediately attracted the attention of the ‘boundary rider’ on his quad bike. Over recent months the prison has had a spate of people on the outside throwing tennis balls filled with drugs over the fence RIGHT WHERE I WAS STANDING! Talk about being a bit stupid. I had some quick explaining to do. He immediately reassured me that I certainly didn’t look like a drug supplier.

Whew! Talk about birding being a dangerous hobby!

Anyway – all’s weel that ends well! Except that I still don’t have a photo of that species!

Maybe next time!

Related articles:

Flowers of a Eucalyptus porosa

Flowers of a Eucalyptus porosa

Birding is a dangerous hobby

I thoroughly enjoy going out birding.

Not only does it get me out looking at all of those wonderful birds we have here in Australia, it also gets me out there in the fresh air and gives me much needed exercise. Generally birding is a relaxing occupation.

Well – at least I thought it was a relaxing, safe and non-contact sport.

Until.

Until I read this newpaper article about a Dutch birder visiting India:

Elephant tramples Dutch Birder: The Telegraph, Kulkata, India.

Birders beware.