Showing posts from January, 2017

It's hard to get good Kingfisher

A friend reported that she had seen two Azure Kingfishers on the Queanbeyan Escarpment on 29 January.  On being (politely) questioned she was certain that is what she had seen and noted the site wasn't too far from Wanna Wanna Creek.  I commented that this was quite extraordinary as the birds are rated as rare in the ACT, usually only being reported from Jerrabomberra Wetlands and the Molonglo.  They are also reported from other rivers in the hinterland however, as shown in this map from the COG Bird Info facility.
The approximate location of this sighting is given by the green dot.  As shown on this topographic map, by the red box,was on the right track  it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  My first thought was get in from a nearby road near point a (but just North of the boundary of this map).
Unfortunately I couldn't get on to the recommended landholders.  So plan B was implemented as I had a memory of accessing the area through the tracks at point b.  That went dow…

Glads 1 Carnies 0

For the benefit of young persons (and others not familiar with the early works of Dame Edna Everage) the shows by his alter ego, Bazza Humphries used to feature a lot of floral art, mainly around Gladioli and Carnations.  As I have commented elsewhere, in Strine those big words get shortened to 'glads' and 'carnies'.

A little more Ocker nostalgia before we get to the meat of the post.  Gladys Moncrieff was a rather famous Australian singer inn the mid 20th Century.  She was known as "Our Glad" and since she shuffled off the ultimate stage in 1976 this title is now available for use by Gladys Berejiklian, the current Premier of NSW.  (At least one commentator has described being appointed to this position as " being handed the poisoned chalice".)

Anyway she has decided to hose out the scuppers of her Cabinet and replace some of the denizens with others.  It being NSW Parliament this probably just means "same-same but different". However the…

Barrer Hill

There was recently some debate on the COG Chatline about the appearance of a number of odd structures in part of the Green Hills pine plantation.  It turns out they are part of a PhD research project by a student from the Fenner School at ANU.  The particular aspect going on here is to contrast the reaction of wildlife to nest boxes stuck on (what appear to be) trees and structures more like power poles.

Here is one of the trees:
 The 'tree'is not a former tree that has just died, but one that has been mounted on a concrete base!
Possibly birds will get the hint that all is not natural because they expect to find a few leaves on a tree?  Whatever - if the research gives some evidence that having dead trees around that would be good evidence with which to beat anal-retentive lawyers and engineers over the head.

There is a very well marked walking trail.
I suspect the ACT Government is looking for a sign-making led economic recovery in the Territory Budget.  They always seem to …

Fireworks etc

We were invited into Canberra to watch the fireworks on Australia Day.  We got in before the show started so looked at the view first.
 As the evening deepened Parliament House looked very good.
This was about as good as the sunset got: I had expected it to be spectacular but somehow the setting sun didn't really fire up the clouds.
Once the fireworks started they were very good.  I had to remind myself to look at them and not just take photos.  So a lot of what I took were hopeless as I wasn't really looking at the camera.  These are pretty attractive.

Once they finished we bolted for home.  We had a very easy drive home but got a text at 10:15 saying people were still stuck in jams back in the City.

Filling in more time

This week seems to be rather busy with off-block things to do , which involve periods of inactivity that need to be filled in.

On 24 January the gap appeared due to needing to get a couple of new tyres on the Jetta.  The old ones had done 60,000kms so not too bad.  I decided to walk from the tyre supplier (Goodyear on Yass Rd Queanbeyan) to a couple of dams just across the ACT border.  This went past a sacred site: Yass Rd Takeaway - purveyors of the best hamburgers in Australia.
I then left NSW by going under the railway and crossed the Molonglo, feeling the bridge bounce as trucks passed over.  Here is the view upstream  - the crossing used to be the main road!
 And this is downstream, heading for the junction with the Mighty Queanbeyan River.
 A few birds then began to appear: Eastern Rosella ...
 .. Noisy Miner (living up to its name); and ...
 .. Galah.
 This dam was a target as it sometimes has some interesting birds but today had only a few very common ducks.  The ring of dry …