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?
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.
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.
When we go to Sydney to visit family, we stay with our son and his family in Artarmon, several train station stops north of the Harbour Bridge. This area has many trees lining the streets, many more in gardens and there are several parks in the vicinity. While the birding is not great in terms of numbers of species, the bird life is still quite interesting.
The common species include: Noisy Miners, Australian Magpies, Australian Ravens, Common Mynas, Rainbow Lorikeets, Rock Doves, Laughing Kookaburras, Grey Butcherbirds and Pied Currawongs. From time to time I see Welcome Swallows, Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. On one visit we even had a Boobook Owl in a tree in the garden.
More recently, my son – who has just a little more than a passing interest in birds – reported seeing a small group of 4 or 5 King Parrots frequenting his garden, or the street trees nearby. He hasn’t had a chance to get a photo yet, and I didn’t either on our recent visit last month. I did get several good views of them flying around nearby, but no clear views within camera range. Instead, I’ve included today a few photos of this species seen elsewhere.