Tuesday, 29 March 2016

More on Monday

More than what I hear you ask?  A very good question, to which possible answers include:

  1. More than on Sunday; or
  2. More than there was before I started writing this;
  3. Additional birds added to the trip list.
Let me not be prescriptive but you choose.

One thing there was more of was cloud.  No sunrise was visible, and it was pretty gloomy all day.

As usual we started with a walk with the small dog.  We headed in to town and got a good collection of birds.  Frances scored Bird of the Day (although I did also see one) with Azure Kingfisher: I'd had a few dodgy sightings of a small bird travelling under vegetation at Warp factor 7, but this was a counter.  

Once into town a few denizens of the caravan park seemed to be packing up. Perhaps as a result there had been less folk around on the path.

Back at the house we met the painter who had dropped in to make arrangements for him re-starting work on Tuesday.  With that sorted I went for a prowl up the street to photograph plants in people's gardens.  The first few are various cultivated Grevilleas.

 This is a Eucalypt possibly a Yate.
 As I got back to the house I could hear the calls of a Grey Goshawk.  I got some very good looks at it but every  time I could see it clearly it moved on.  This was only photograph I got: please imagine the bill etc!
 Much the same applies to a male Eastern Whipbird.  At least this photo shows the bird a bit better than yesterday.
 Our first after-breakfast expedition was to Pebbly Beach.  Driving there we crossed with many trekkers walking along the road.  At the parking lot a large group of them appeared: I have no idea why they have traffic cones on their heads
 A picturesque bunch of winkles.  They obviously have a good strategy for surviving out of the water.
 We took a loop back through the bush, getting good looks at a Rufous Fantail and various other bush birds.  The walk seemed a lot longer than I had expected but went in the right direction.  Getting back to the road we encountered this scene of destruction.
 Presumably the airport - just beyond the felled timber - considers trees a hazard to safety (or more likely their bottom line).  A Council and an airport is a pretty deadly combination for social cooperation.

After lunch I took Frances for a visit to the water treatment ponds so that she could see the waterfowl.  They were in lower numbers than on Saturday, but still OK.  A treat was a couple of Wedge-tailed Eagles and a young White-bellied Sea-eagle.  These were attracting attention from small birds, and at one point a Magpie-lark landed on the back of a perched Wedgie, pecking at its neck!

Here are two of the ponds.
 This is the biggest - perhaps 100m wide and 400m long.
 It isn't necessary to have a "Do not swim" sign.  The colour of the liquid - I hesitate to call it water - does that.
After the poo pits we went to the end of the road looking for Beautiful Firetails.  None were there, but among other interesting birds Frances got a good view of a male Rose Robin.  So Bird of the Day from Friday has now been seen as well as heard.

On Friday we found what I thought to be kelp fruit.  It was getting very smelly so we wondered if it was animal not vegetable.  Looking closely it seems to emanate from some sponges (1) and have feathery structures, rather like gills (2).  Suggestions welcome!

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