|Note the purplish 'beard' standing out from the breast.|
I've been a Canberran since moving here from Adelaide on the first day of 1980. I now live in suburban Duffy with my partner Louise Maher, ABC 666 radio and on-line journalist. Among my early memories is following Sleepy Lizards (Shinglebacks) around the paddocks north of Adelaide, guarded by the faithful bull terrier. I have always been passionate about the natural world, trying to understand how it works, how the nature of Australia came to be, and sharing those understandings. My especial passions are birds, orchids and mammals. For much of my life I have been a full-time naturalist, running bush tours, writing books etc, doing consultancies, presenting a regular radio slot on local ABC, chairing a government environment advisory committee and running adult education classes. Recently I have eased back somewhat, but am still writing, teaching, doing some radio work and running overseas tours - as part of my fascination with our Gondwanan origins I've been running tours to South America for the past decade. I was awarded the Australian Plants Society Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to education and conservation.
Thursday, 27 September 2012
|Thyme Spurge, Phyllanthus hirtellus, above and below.|
|Small Poranthera, Poranthera microphylla.|
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
I have read elsewhere however that some Pacific islanders have traditionally used tame frigatebirds to carry messages between islands (though having reported that, I'm not too sure about the status of written languages in pre-European Polynesia). Even without such drastic measures as those advocated by Mr Gioura, frigatebirds have become accustomed to humans and their scraps around ports.
|male Magnificent Frigatebird perched on the fish market roof, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos|
|Magnificent Frigatebird silhouette, Galapagos.|
The long forked tail and the very long slender wings are the keys to its aerial virtuosity.
Some places in tropical and near-tropical Australia are particularly good places to enjoy them (if you're not a tern). One is Lady Elliott Island, north-east of Fraser Island, where they roost in trees around the shore near the sole resort.
|Greater Frigatebirds (male above, female below), Lady Elliott Island.|
|Frigatebirds, both Greater and Lesser, drinking at evening, Weipa.|
|male Magnificent Frigatebird, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos.|
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
|Mulga plains from Emmet Pocket Lookout, Idalia NP.|
|Mulga, Idalia NP.|
|Euro (Macropus robustus). This is a large, rugged, shaggy kangaroo of the rocky ranges, found over much of Australia.|
|Young Euro, Idalia. The shaggy fur and big ears are obvious.|
|Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby, Idalia NP.|
|Hall's Babblers, Idalia camp ground.|
|Moon over the Coolabahs; I didn't want to end on even a slightly negative note!|
Monday, 24 September 2012
|Waxlip Orchid, Glossodia major. A handsome fairly large orchid,|
widespread in south-eastern Australia. I'm always delighted by the first one of the year!
|Dillwynia retorta, one of the parrot-peas, so named for no evident reason.|
|Finally, another firm favourite of mine, the beautiful Twining Fringe-Lily,|
Thysanotus patersonii. Just love those fringed petals!
Sunday, 23 September 2012
|Emu eggs, south-west Queensland.|
(For some reason all these pictures are old, scanned from slides -
my apologies and I must make an effort to take some nice digital egg pics!)
|Southern Angle-headed Dragon (Hypsilurus spinipes) laying eggs,|
Lamington National Park.
|White-naped Honeyeater nest and eggs, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.|
|Rufous Songlark nest and eggs on the ground, Goulburn River National Park.|
|Red-capped Plover egg and 'nest', Comerong Island.|
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Friday, 21 September 2012
|St Andrew's Cross Spider in web, Nowra.|
Some on-line sources report that this species occurs over much of Australia, but I trust the
Atlas of Living Australia which says that it is restricted to the east coast.
|A closely related and similar Argiope species from Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory.|
Note the characteristic posture, with the legs held in four pairs.
Thursday, 20 September 2012
|Kelly's Swamp, the focal point of Jerrabomberra Wetlands for birders, in evening light.|
|Royal Spoonbill in breeding plumage.|
|Glossy Ibis; one of many species not normally seen in our part of the world,|
but which turn up at Jerrabomberra during drought times.
|Brush-tailed Possum and joey.|
|Little Eagle at the sewage ponds just across the road;|
these are ecologically an integral part of the wetland system.