Last week we had a short picnic at the Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington East about a half hour drive south of our home here in Murray Bridge, South Australia.
It was a sunny winter’s day and the birds were very active, especially the honeyeaters. I didn’t get much of a chance to take photos of birds because none would sit and pose for me -except for one very cooperative New Holland Honeyeater.
So instead of getting upset with the uncooperative birds, I spent most of my time taking photos of the many plants in flower.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
I’d just driven out of the driveway this morning on the way to Adelaide when four parrots flew across the road in front of the car. I immediately noticed that they were Adelaide Rosellas, a species not all that common around our house and garden. In fact, they are only occasional visitors here in Murray Bridge.
Adelaide Rosellas, a sub-species of the common Crimson Rosella, are found throughout the Mt Lofty Ranges near Adelaide, as well as in the lower north of South Australia. There are considerable colour variations in different parts of their range, from bright orange through to a washed out orange. The Crimson Rosella (shown below) is much brighter, being quite a deep crimson.
I didn’t have time to stop to take a photo; I was on my way to Adelaide to attend a lecture. And I didn’t have my camera with me anyway. Maybe some other time they will pose for me when I have the camera within easy reach – or even in my hand.
On the last day of our holidays in January we travelled from Gisborne just north of Melbourne to home in Murray Bridge. It was a long day of driving and I had few opportunities for birding along the way. we left our friends’ place a little later than I had hoped so we didn’t stop for morning tea. We pushed through to Ararat for lunch.
In Ararat we found a reasonable spot in the Alexandra Gardens. Here I was able to do a few minutes of birding during and after our picnic lunch. On the lake were the usual types of birds one expects in lakes in parks and gardens: Eurasian Coots, Dusky Moorhens, Pacific Black Ducks and Silver Gulls.
While we were eating a flock of about 40 Long-billed Corellas came noisily wheeling overhead and settled in the tree above us. In the distance I saw a smaller flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos winging their way slowly across town. A Laughing Kookaburra called somewhere near and Masked Lapwings could be heard calling on the adjacent sports grounds.
In the shrubbery near us several Common Blackbirds gave their warning call as I came down the path, New Holland Honeyeaters were busy feeding in the well maintained Australian native plant section of the gardens and several Striated Pardalotes called from the canopy of the trees overhead.
During our visit to the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra in January I was keen to get some photos of the local birds as well as add to my collection of flower and plant photos.
On my last visit some fifteen months previously I had seen and photographed a male Gang-gang Cockatoo. This is one delightful species that I’ve only seen on a handful of occasions previously. On this new visit I was on the lookout for them. I had heard several calling as I left the car park.
I was wandering through the northern part of the gardens looking out for birds and flowers to photograph. I was suddenly aware of a carpet of Acacia seed pods and leaves on the path at my feet. Looking up, I saw a female Gang-gang Cockatoo busily eating seeds no more than two metres above my head. She wouldn’t move in order to pose for me in the open; she must have been hungry.
Further reading: Gang-gang Cockatoo
Any visitor to the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra should aware of the many Superb Fairy-wrens present in the gardens. They seem to be everywhere.
But just because they are everywhere does not necessarily mean that they are easy to photograph! The male in the photo above gave a few minutes of excitement but wouldn’t sit still long enough and in sunlight to get a good shot of him. Never mind. I managed a better shot later in the week (I’ll post that in a few days time.)
Superb Fairy-wrens are one of our most spectacularly beautiful birds. They also happen to be one of our most recognisable species too, as they seem to love gathering where people get together – in parks, zoos, gardens, picnic areas and so on. And they have become relatively tame in many places, affording the keen photographer many opportunities for that great shot.
It’s just that this little fellow decided to tease me. Oh well – there’s always next time.