Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Some blogger friends are posting about photo shop and I was thinking about some of the shots I like and how, what, where I took them.

This shot is one I really like. I took this at dawn, whilst sleeping in my swag, on a beach at Green Cape. Green Cape is a national park and is way down the South Coast of NSW. I must have looked like I was something that had been washed up!

It was raining yet I was pretty toasty inside the swag. The camera? An old Nokia phone. The photo reminds me of the smell of the sea, the calm water of the bay, the contrast with the boom of the waves breaking on the rocks on the horizon where the sun meets the ocean.

Like the previous post sometimes the worst camera can take an interesting shot.

It was all gone within a few minutes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pelagic trip

Wollongong Harbour at about 6am. No, I am not using a blue filter!

With the weather forecast being "light occasional showers, south south easterly moderate winds and a one metre swell. Maximum temp 19, I thought it would be a near perfect day to go out and watch the scientists from SOSSA do their research.

The ocean a few minutes later.

I left home e at 4am for the 2 hour drive to Wollongong. As I approached the coast the weather set in and the rain and wind became heavier and stronger.
As dawn approached, the ocean, clouds, rain and land took on an eerie blue colour.

The calm shelter of the harbour.

Still undaunted I unloaded my kit and got into wet weather gear. Slowly others arrived and before too long we were aboard. Then the weather went "pear shaped."
As we sat idling the motors aboard the "Sandra K" The palms along the walkways began to blow sideways, the weather map beside the captains chair was show dreadful weather patterns.

Crested Tern

Still undaunted I stood on the deck as my boots filled with water, my pockets in my water proof filled with water and the rain began to run down the back of my neck, shoulders and into the back of my trousers.

The Sandra K. Sitting quietly

All whilst still in the shelter of harbour! 3o minutes later another trawler pulled in and our expedition leader and captain of the Sandra K decided discretion was the better part of valor, and we pulled the pin.

Sadly no Albatross this time, but I will say I got to talk to some of the SOSSA members, and a hot coffee and crumpet back at Lindsay's place was most welcome!

Crumpet and honey ( not my picture)

I was not disappointed with the weather. It brings its own type of beauty and reminded me so much of Shetland where it can be sunny one minute and a gale the next

Campbells Albatross. April 2011 trip

I am looking forward to the next trip on the 25th October. That afternoon with a hot shower and two jumpers and a roast, I thawed out!.

If you want to view some stunning photos of Pelagic trips and the beauty of the sea birds visit Well worth a look.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mountain Bikes

There is nothing better than a mountain bike, and there is nothing better than a wheelie! (Dave is a lunatic! and the camera chord is annoying!!))

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Birding and a good laugh!

Lewins Honey Eater.(not my photo)

Sunday I did my usual 2-3 hour walk over the same ground I have for the past three weeks. I am surveying the area over the 4 weeks prior to the burn off.

Eastern Whipbird.(not my photo)

The day was warm, dry and a very warm westerly was blowing. I noted the ground has dried out substantially since last week and most of the regulars were in the canopy, or on the ground.

White-browed Scrub Wren.(not my photo)

I was delighted to spot the Eastern Whipbird, on previous occasions I have listed it by its call. Also spotted was the tiny White-browed Scrubwren. This tiny little bird forages in the ground litter, is quite plain, and only centimetres long.

Crimson Rosellas (click on photo and zoom in)

I returned home to find the Crimson Rosellas eating the flowers from my weeping cherry tree. I thought the contrast in colours was great.

Anyhow, I finished the walk and stumbled on this editorial in the Weekend Australian.. Sadly,(even though I am a few months off 50), it made me laugh a great deal!! (bird list is at the bottom), read on:-

YOU know you've turned 50 when: that person in the hat cannot possibly be a pilot.

Your voice starts to have a tone, perhaps only slight, but there none the less, of pompous authority.

Restaurants are suddenly very noisy.

You assess a good night's sleep according to how many times you got up.

You lust after the cars/guitars/clothes of your youth.

Today's sporting stars seem to lack the elan, the bravado, the derring-do of those of your day.

You start to say "in my day" - without any deprecating old man impression.

You remember school/university/first jobs with deep affection - no matter how much you hated it at the time.

You fall asleep during movies.

You start thinking of getting a home on one level.

When discussing politics you say things such as "the best lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity".

You find yourself telling a story you know you've told before, but you don't know if it was to these people. You continue. They let you.

Something you always hated starts to seem OK. Gardening. Musical theatre. Port. British detective dramas made by BBC Manchester.

Comfort over fashion. Every time.

You raise your optimum weight by 5kg.

You fall asleep reading the paper.

You feel unreasonably proud of being across a new technology: "There's this great app on the iPad!"

The city at night seems threatening. Footpads and ruffians lurk at every corner.

This seems like an excellent topic.

The first time you hear about a new recreational drug is on the ABC news.

You can't pronounce the name of the biggest pop star in the world.

Pop music seems vapid. Pornographic. Angry. Violent.

When you get out of bed, everything hurts.

You have a health issue that remains undiagnosed, chronic, and every few months you resolve to do something about it.

There are periods of your life you no longer remember.

You can't remember anyone's name any more.

You have no new friends.

You really must sort out the photos/clean the garage/turn that kid's bedroom into a study

Why not go on a cruise?

You can't believe you once smoked.

You try to tell young people things. No really, I know you won't listen, but if I knew this then, I think by 60 you stop that.

You've been to a 60th.

I presented these ideas on my radio show and, it being talk radio, a medium favoured by the mature, many shared accurate insights. You know you've turned 50 when:

The sharp and pungent music of your youth is now broadcast easy listening style in your supermarket - Ross.

You're drawn to golf courses - Nathalie.

You look in the mirror and see your mother - Virginia.

Quite interested in conversations about knee and hip replacements - Murray.

Waking up to Macca is a highlight of the weekend - Mark.

Before accepting an invitation to go out, you check the TV guide - Annette.

You look at your twin sister and think, God she's looking old - Amanda.

At school reunions you confuse teachers and students - Maurice.

Your back goes out more often than you do - Geoff.

Young men in shops start calling you "sir" instead of "mate".

In the shower you only wash down to your knees - Wal.

When the hairdresser inquires "Eyebrows, sir?"

Wombatisation - Ella.

When a man has to choose over or under, as in belt and navel - Gary.

When people stop telling you you're a hypochondriac - Peter.

You find yourself teaching previous students' offspring - Sally.

The only thing you put up your nose is Vicks inhaler - Mick.

You think Nirvana is new music - Carole.

Getting in or out of a chair requires vocalisation - Rob.

You feel you have wisdom that others need to hear - Kath.

When the young fellow at a drive-in bottle shop offers to carry your purchases to the car - Malcolm.

The twinkle in your eye is only the sun on your bifocals - Kamal.

You'd swap your broad mind for a narrow waist - Warwick.

If you are a woman you turn invisible - Mercedes.

You start to shout at the radio - Sue.

Everyone starts talking about their dogs - Del.

I'm not even sure politics would count. The now Prime Minister (as at the moment of writing, possibly at the time you're reading) is 50 on September 29.

And that's me. As if you hadn't figured that out.

Birds seen:- Red Wattlebird, Striated Thornbill, Grey fantail, Yellow Robin, Red-browed Finch, Eastern Spinebill, Golden Whistler, Lewins Honeyeater, Common Bronzewing, White Browed Scrub Wren.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday morning

Egg and bacon flowers

With the morning cold and crisp I thought it was a good time to go for a walk and explore more of the range in the national park. There was a blustery south westerly blowing which made the tree canopy dance around like the ocean, so I was not too confident of seeing many birds. When the canopy moves rapidly in the gusts the birds are much harder to spot.

However I did see our regulars and a new on for spring -a white cheeked honey eater. Again, another lovely bird which is quite curious.

White-cheeked Honeyeater. (Photo courtesy of Bird Forum)

The egg and bacon flowers were out in full bloom, and the air was filled with the sounds of Golden whistlers, Eastern Whipbird, and Grey Fantails.
After walking for 2 hours I startled a swamp wallaby which was asleep under a tree, or should I say it startled me.

Stinky swamp wallaby

Overall a nice way to spend a few hours before returning home. The fire brigade may burn off the area this week. I will be curious to see what effect this will have on nesting birds.

Birds seen:- Red Wattlebird, Golden Whistler, Yellow Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow faced Honeyeater, Grey fantail, Eastern Whipbird,Common Bronzewing, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairywren, White cheeked Honeyeater.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Southern Ridge

Dave pausing to listen to the sounds of the bush and a Golden Whistler.

On fathers day David and I got up early and chose to walk the fire trail which runs south from the house to the Grose River. Its about 7km. You can listen to a Golden Whistler by following this link and scroll down to the MP3

One of the fresh fire breaks put in place by the fire brigade

The day was warm at 20c, bright, light breeze, and plenty of trails to follow as the local fire brigade gets ready for a burn off. The morning was full of bird call, and brown flitty things making themselves busy amongst the growth. It was not too long before we were enjoying the sounds of whip birds in the valleys and golden whistlers enjoying the upper canopy.

Yellow Robin (click on picture and zoom in....)

The fire brigade will be burning off this week and I am curious to see the impact of this on the bird life as the birds are effectively in nest building and territorial establishment. I fear that this will have a negative impact if the fire reaches the canopy.

One of the many interesting trees.

One of the frustrating things however is the number of bottles we found. Clearly someone has driven the trails, and had quite a number of drinks. None of that concerns me but to simply throw the bottles into the bush is irresponsible. Bottles can start bush fires. Its that simple. Dave and I picked up all we could find and carried them out.

The superb view at the end of the trail. Looking west into the Grose River Gorge.

Oh- I want to apologise for the photos- I use an Olympus U770SW. Its one of those small waterproof/shock proof thingies and is basically lousy.
Birds seen:-

Golden Whistler, Eastern Spinebill, Red-browed Finch, Striated Thornbill, Yellow Rumped thornbill, Grey Fantail, Rufus Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, White throated tree creeper, Laughing Kookuburra, Crimson Rosella, Whipbird, Lyrebird, Common Bronzwing, Rainbow Lorekeet, King Parrot, Superb Fairywren