A Picnic at Govett’s Leap
After our visit to Katoomba we drove on to the small town of Blackheath. We stopped there at a local bakery to buy something delicious to have for afternoon tea. We then drove a few kilometres to a picnic area and lookout known as Govett’s Leap. The most interesting feature of the lookout is the wispy waterfall shown in the photo above. The scene from the lookout is quite spectacular.
During our picnic I kept a lookout for birds of this area. This was our first visit but our son had been here before. I heard several treecreepers, probably White-throated Treecreepers, calling in the tall forest trees surrounding us. Like most of the treecreepers, I find that they are more often heard than seen.
I saw a beautiful pair of Australian King Parrots flying through the picnic area. Later additions to my bird list for the visit includedÂ several Australian Magpies and Pied Currawongs.
A small family of Australian Ravens decided to try their luck. they came very close to our picnic table looking for some tasty morsel from our afternoon tea. We didn’t oblige. Two of the birds were young ones if their begging calls were anything to go on.
It is a delightful spot and well worth visiting again. Next time I think it would be worth going on one of the walking trails branching out from the picnic grounds. This would give one a better chance of seeing far more birds.
Sydney Fish Markets
During our stay in Sydney over last Christmas and New Year we went on various excursions around the city. Our son and daughter in law suggested that we have lunch at the Sydney Fish Markets. We were willing to see these markets, a place we had not previously visited on trips to Sydney.
After catching the train into the city we caught the tram to the markets. We wandered around the various markets jostling with the many hundreds of other people with the same idea. Sydney between Christmas and New Year can be very busy. We eventually decided on a place to order lunch. The ladies lined up for about an hour to get our lunch while my son and I “hovered” near a table where the people had almost finished eating. The many picnic tables were not coping with the huge crowds of visitors. Eventually our tactic paid off, just minutes before our food was ready.
While we were waiting and during our delicious seafood meal I was on the lookout for any birds. The most obvious were the Silver Gulls keeping an eye on our lunch. Strutting along between the rows of tables were several White Ibises, also on the lookout for a free meal. Several Australian Pelicans waited patiently in the water nearby while Rainbow Lorikeets darted overhead. There were quite a few Common Mynas, Noisy Miners and Rock Doves in the area, and several Pied Cormorants drying their feathers on a boat in the harbour.
A Laughing Kookaburra comes to lunch
Several days after Christmas last year we had a family picnic at Lane Cove National Park. It was a hot and humid day and the bird life was rather quiet. My son often comes here with his camera looking for birds to photograph. I did manage a modest list for the day, but this was not my main objective. I wanted photographs of species I don’t see at home in Murray Bridge.
After a long walk along the river we came back in time for lunch – hot, tired and not a little sweaty. As we were eating this friendly Laughing Kookaburra joined us. He flew on to a branch only five metres from our picnic table, eying off any food he might snatch in a moment of human inattention. Had he succeeded he would have tasted some of our delicious Christmas lunch leftovers.