Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More images from Cloud Farm

These images were taken two weeks ago - initially in the late afternoon, and then the following morning.

Sunset on mackerel clouds, 
over the local Gum trees.
View looking west over the Studio.

Pink washed clouds
with studio in foreground

Studio with clouds showing colour

Cloud Farm Studio
By raising the ISO settings in the camera,
I washed out the sky colour,
but shows detail of the building.

Next morning, looking south-east from the house
along the Knights Hill escarpment

a zoomed view of the same escarpment points
- the ridges leading off from Knights Hill.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Orchid - Calanthe australasica

I have written before about this Christmas Orchid.
It is not quite a "local", but it is growing on the South Coast of NSW, around Ulladulla. But its name and flower-timing makes it totally appropriate for my posting at Christmas.

Last week, on the way back to Robertson from Merimbula, I stopped off at a particular locality, beside the Princes Highway, where the Christmas Orchid is known to be found.
Two minutes checking, and these images were in my Camera.

Flower head of Christmas Orchid
The flower of Calanthe australasica

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merimbula Weekend with people of "the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness"

I spend last Thursday, Friday and Saturday (13, 14, 15 December) with the organisers of the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness.

I refrained from taking photos of the gathering, because I was a guest, not a local. But we went on an outing to Mogareeka and these are some of the birds we saw.

I felt sorry for this Great Cormorant which
obviously has been snagged with fishing line
and some Sea Weed dragging behind it.
Not only does it interfere with its flying,
but it will also drag when the  Cormorant is diving to catch fish.

Fairy Tern are distinguishable in breeding plumage by their entirely yellow beaks (Higgins & Davies 1996) and the black patch at the eye which does not extend to a point at the bill (Cox & Close 1977). For more information please visit this site>

This is a Fairy Tern (a rare breeder in NSW).
Note the chick hiding under the driftwood at left.
White patch in front of eyes, bill yellow.
(no black tip to bill when breeding)
(click on image to see detail)
For good information on the Little Tern recovery plan please visit this link:
The endangered Little Tern in breeding plumage.
Note the black line in front of eyes, going to the base of beak,
and black tip of the bill (click on image to see detail)

I love this image.
With the prospect of wash-outs of nests on the recent King Tides
the local team of human volunteers built sand-bag "castles"
and lifted the eggs and surrounding shells, etc
onto these raised nests.
The birds have taken to these "castles" very successfully, as you can see,
This Little Tern is being very watchful.
It is looking out for marauding Gulls and Ravens.

This "runner" (recently hatched Tern chick) is running for its life.
It had been grabbed by the wing by one Silver Gull,
Then suddenly four Gulls were having a go at it.
Human intervention chased the Gulls away, and the "runner"
was scampering back to the main colony.
An adult Tern came to sit beside it shortly after I took this "action shot".
Hopefully it has learn its lesson.

A Little Tern flying in with a fish for its partner.
They are such elegant fliers.

PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THIS PETITION; it aims to reaffirm, maintain and where possible enhance support for the Shorebird Recovery Program and the legal, scientific and policy framework that underpins it.


White-throated Needletails used be called Spine-tailed Swifts.
They are some of the fastest fliers known.
See this link for more images:
Talking about elegant fliers
Compare the wing shape of this White-throated Needletail
and the Little Tern.
If anything, the Tern's wing shape is even more tapered
than that of the Needletail.
Sorry about the poor quality of both images
but its the best I can do with a hand-held "Still" camera.
Apologies to my regular readers for my unscheduled absence from Blogging.
Hopefully I will be able to continue with regular blogging again.

I am house-sitting for some friends at present, and I am "learning" to use an Apple Lap-top, with limited USB ports. At present I am restricted to up-loading images from home and then blogging from the alternative address.
Dapto, Edie and Possum are all well.