Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Birding on the run and why I like blogging

Black Kite. (Not my Photo).

Well, I am away for a few days and having to travel a couple of thousand kms, to stop boredom setting in I have decided to bird on the run. What it means is- I dont stop and if I cannot be sure, I dont list it. This is what I saw as I drove.

Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Austrlian White Ibis, Little Pied Cormorant, Dusky Moorehen, Grey Butcherbird, Red Rumped Parrot, Purple Swamphen, Red Kneed Dotterel, Galah, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Black-shouldered Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Magpie, Australian Magpie ( White backed form), Australian Raven, Little Raven, Magpie Lark, Common Myna, Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Willy Wagtail, Nankeen Kestrel, White-winged Chough, Straw-necked Ibis, Little Egret, Australian Wood Duck, Hardhead, Chestnut Teal, Black kite, Wattlebird, Noisy Miner.

Not a bad list at 120kph. As you can see- they are all big birds. Its too hard ,(and dangerous), to identify little brown flitty things. The ease of the water birds was as a result of the rain and all the dams, lakes and water courses were full, giving me an easy opportunity to see a "sitting duck."

Now here are some of the reasons why I like blogging.

1. Its a diary of sorts. Allowing me to record some of the things I like to do.
2. It keeps me in touch with my friends around the world.
3. It motivates me to take photographs and stuff like that.
4. I enjoy the bloggers that I have never met, yet there is a link with them.

An example of this is- today I stumble on a post where Sylvie Guillem is the title.. I did not search for it but its a "link" to a blog I have never read before.

5. By reading other blogs from around the world I learn things too and I find other bloggers encouraging ( as I hope I am as well)

I guess- at this point it fills the void that I would have filled with my music.

So- to my fellow blogger, Bricolage, here is a "Make My Day" award for your post on Guillem. (you may copy it from the side bar of my blog.. its right at the bottom)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Penrith Lakes

Old farm house now almost surrounded by lakes

With the Mountain bikes in need of a service, we chose to drop them off at the bike shop and head out to the Penrith lakes to do some bird watching.

The Penrith Lake system is a series of man made lakes, that were the centre of rowing for the 2000 Olympics. My memories were of it being a sand quarry and my guess is- it has been developed for flood mitigation and storm water control.

I have seen the development of the lake system and an increase in bird activity, so time to take a look.

Some of the quieter sections of the lakes

Dave and I spotted- Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, White-faced Heron, Masked Lapwing, Tree Sparrow, Indian Miner, Common Starling, Black Swan, Willy Wagtail, Red-rumped Parrot, Welcome Swallow, Tree Martin, Brush Wattle bird, Black faced Cuckoo-shrike, Little Cormorant, Dusky Moorhen, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Darter, Pacific Black Duck, Black-shouldered Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Australian Wood Duck, Australian Hobby, Sacred Kingfisher,Yellow-faced Honey Eater.

Black-shouldered Kite. Photo courtesy of
A reasonable list, and a great way of spending a couple of hours.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


A few months ago I deleted my Facebook account. Last week I deleted my Linkedin account. Why? For those of you who have not used Linkedin- its a "professional" site where you are invited to share what you do, where you work, your resume and contact details with others. The positive side is, it allows you to network your business, and link with colleagues.

However, in recent months I have been receiving bizarre overseas calls from call centres with English accents, Indian accents and Asian accents. All trying to sell me shares and bonds. In the most recent they rang my work number, then when I hung up, rang my mobile with this line " Hi Simon thanks for getting back to us re your purchase of gas and oil shares. I will forward our account details sand you can deposit "x" amount."

This utterly floored me. I explained that I had never contacted anyone either locally or overseas with this sort of enquiry- to which they argued and said " you are Simon ... of...... and work at.... and also ......

I simply hung up.. they then phoned my mobile 3 times, with a further two calls from another centre a few days later.

I can only think they get details from the networking sites and try the "hard sell". So goodbye Linkedin. However if this does not work, I will start to remove other things such as my website, blog, and even change phone numbers.

I would not do this if I felt it was random but its certainly not. 6 calls in 2 days is enough.....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday rides

The XR250 and CRF150F

Whilst I did a 25km mountain bike ride to Wheeny Creek ( where I saw my first Rock Warbler), the boys went for a motor bike ride. David on his new CRF150F, and Davids mate, Logan, on his XR250. Thats Dave with the helmet on. Both bikes are full sized, althought the XR250 is massive, and Logans feet dont touch the ground. He is a very good rider and the boys have their Camel backs, helmets and other saftey equipment.

A much quieter and carbon neutral option....

We chose the CRF150 ahead of other bikes as its a great introduction to the fun aspects of riding as well as being whisper quiet. Whilst that may not appeal to some riders, it appeals to me and I am sure, the neighbours. After a few hours the boys came back with mud from head to toe and huge grins. A top day had by all!