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Showing posts from July, 2018

A triple header

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I have had the cold from Hell so have not been very active for the past few days and thus not much to report.  It is getting a bit better - in time for the drive home - and we did get to see a few flowers today.  Here is some stuff from the last three days.

This photo really belongs to the previous post, but I hadn't got it off my phone then.  The phone was attached to my telescope, hoping to catch a view of a whale offshore.  Sort of where the x is.
 I saw a lot of splashes such as might be made by tail slapping, one glimpse of a dorsal fin and the dorsum to which it was attached, and about three spouts.  So there were unphotographed whales out there!

We next went to check out the heath under the powerlines, expecting there to be at least a good crop of Epacris impressa there. 
Oops.  At least they have done it before things flower and particularly before the sun orchids come up.

Frances found a few flowers of which this Correa reflexa was the most photogenic.
 The moon was also …

Another day at Mallacoota

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The cold which I mentioned in yesterday's post has not yet gone away.  It can do so just as soon as it feels like it. 

The morning sky was very pleasant!

 The morning walk from the fishing jetty into town was very pleasant and scored 30 species of birds, without anything exciting. 

After breakfast and a rest we went to Bastion Point.  Dino had come down with us and with Frances' assistance posed looking out to sea.
 I had stayed in the car, with a view to demolishing an excellent pepper pie and decided to scan the ocean to see what was there.  I decided that a line of largish white birds on the water were resting gannets.  I then noticed some interesting breakers out beyond them, where there is no reef.  This caused cetacean thoughts to arise, confirmed almost immediately as a spout of water vapour shot up.

The mammal didn't oblige again so Frances went to the rocks to see what she could find there while stayed in the car.  After ingesting about 3 times my daily calorie re…

Definitely the same bird!

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I seem to have brought a cold down to Mallacoota with me, but hopefully it will soon waft off to count the Gannets out to sea!  The sunrise was pretty good.

 While looking at the sunrise a noise drew my attention to the lawn.  Its always good to see a Lyrebird (unless they are scratching out your shrubs).  Shortly after I took this a second bird appeared and they ran up the drive.
 Our dog walk was as always very pleasant, but I can't recall any excitements.  Due to my cold we did one of our shorter walks along Quarry Beach.  The tide was very low so we were able to get to a small cove a little further North than we often do.
 A lot of seaweed was also visible on the rocks, suggesting that not only was it  low tide, but a Spring tide (coinciding with a full moon as should be the case).
 The traditional group of Australian Pied Oystercatchers were on the beach, but only 10 of them this time rather than 30 as last visit.
 For reasons best known to them most of them were standing on …

Bombala emulates Darlington Point

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About the only similarity I had previously noticed between Bombala and Darlington Point in the past was that they both had a River.  The one through Darlington Point is the Murrumbidgee while Bombala has the platypus-ridden Bombala River.  However today we found another similarity: droving cattle along the road.
The image shows one of the big differences between the two towns. The slope in this 200m of road is about the same as the cumulative difference between Darlington Point and Goolwa (700km in a straight line, which the River definitely doesn't follow).  The dryness of the two areas is currently similar.

The cuteness factor was definitely raised by a few very young calves being present.
The drive was basically a drive.  Frances nailed the temperature for Nimmitabel predicting - as we left Queanbeyan in our dust - 12oC.  I had elected for 10oC.  Snow was still visible on the Main Range as we turned off for Bombala (another difference to Darlington Point).

Interesting bird sigh…

A visit to the National Insect Collection CSIRO

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The organiser of the Plant Science Group within the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Garden (Anne Campbell)arranged for the Group to visit the National Insect Collection maintained by CSIRO at their Black Mountain facility.  We were to be shown around by Ted Edwards and Marianne Horak, both of whom are retired lepidopterists at the Collection.  (They have retired from the payroll at CSIRO, not from study of moths!)

I'll start with a huge thank-you to all three of them for an extraordinarily interesting visit.  I hope I can remember enough of what we were told and shown to make sense in what follows!

We began with some big and pretty insects,  The blue ones and the green ones are the same species (with the females a brown colour).  This fits their lifestyles with the males living above the rainforest canopy and the females lurking below.If I have it correctly these are coloured by pigmentation.  The third case has moths with orange colours: this is due to the arrangement …