A few weeks ago went had a family get together. Our son and family were over here for our grandson’s 3rd birthday, and my wife’s sister and niece and her family came down from the mid north of the state. we had a barbecue lunch at home and in the afternoon we went to Sturt Reserve so the children could play on the excellent playground there.
This reserve is popular with locals and visitors. It has plenty of lawn areas for picnics along the banks of the Murray River. After the children had played for a while we all went for a short stroll along the river bank. I had my camera ready – but more for people shots. I wasn’t really taking all that much notice of the birds. I still managed a few good shots as shown here. The Whiskered Terns (see photo below) was a challenged as they constantly flew over the water. I must practise more at photographing birds in flight.
Yesterday I wrote about a family of Australian Magpies that joined us for afternoon tea in a roadside rest area south east of Mildura. Today I include several more photos taken at that time.
You can buy a photo of a magpie on a coffee mug – click here.
Sydney Trip June 2011
Over recent days I’ve been writing about the birds seen on the return trip from a holiday with family in Sydney. Today I want to show a series of photos taken at the Malleefowl Rest Area south east of Mildura. we had stopped for an afternoon cuppa and a light snack of biscuits. we had just sat down at the picnic table and we were immediately accosted by a family of Australian Magpies (ssp black backed), including several juveniles from last season’s breeding.
The whole family gathered on and around the table waiting for handouts of whatever food we had in our picnic basket. I guess they are used to being fed generously by any humans who happen to drop in to their domain. If we hadn’t been smart about covering the biscuit tin they would have helped themselves.
I took the opportunity to get some very close up photos of the magpies as they sat nearby or on the table less than a metre from me. Some – like the one above – are decidedly nasty looking.
Tomorrow I’ll show several more photos.
You can buy one of my photos of a magpie on a coffee mug – click here.
Sydney Trip Report June 2011
The first day of our trip home was freezing cold. We had altered our route home to avoid the snow closed roads around Bathurst and followed the same route home we’d used on our way over. The sky gradually changed from bright sunshine in Sydney heavy cloud by lunch time. We had a picnic lunch with us and pulled into the Thomas Derrick VC Rest Area, hoping to get a few minutes of sunshine while sitting at one of the picnic tables there. We ended up eating lunch in the car because the wind was still freezing, and it was threatening to rain at any moment.
This rest area, like others in the region, commemorates the brave deeds of some of our soldiers. The “VC” after his name indicates that he was awarded Australia’s highest order for bravery in battle, a Victoria Cross. He was decorated because of his actions against the Japanese in New Guinea and you can read more about his interesting life here.
While eating lunch I was able to list a few birds out and about, an once I’d finished I braved the very cold conditions to get a few photos. The most interesting species present was a flock of about 20 Crimson Rosellas. I tried to photograph a family of White-winged Choughs, but they flew off before I could close enough. There were also many Noisy Miners in the picnic ground, but seeing I have plenty of photos of them I didn’t bother chasing them up. Truth be known, it was too cold to spend too much time out of the warmth of the car!
Earlier this year we paid a quick visit to Burra Gorge in the mid north of South Australia. We were on our way to visit family in Peterborough and Clare. This gorge has a pleasant camping area and an ephemeral creek flowing through. This creek drains some of the ranges to the west.
I’ve only been to this spot a handful of times and can’t really say what birds could be possible. I would anticipate quite a long list as this gorge is in the zone between the wetter areas to the west – places like the Clare Valley – and the salt-bush plains to the east with a very low rainfall.
While we had lunch in the picnic area I managed several photos of this pair of Galahs. The many hollows in the trees in the gorge probably meant they regularly nest in this area.
The gorge is a popular picnic and camping area but the only facilities are several public toilets. Food, fuel and other supplies can be obtained from Burra about 30km to the north west.