An assortment of things I found around here

This is a quick look at some things I have discovered in January. I have a lot of photos from last weekend but I haven’t had time to sort through them yet, so the final “Things of January” will have to wait for a while. It is amazing what you can find when you stop on the way home, mainly to check out the clouds and mist that was hovering over the Ranges after the storms. I have seen these flowers growing on the side of the road and in the bush around home but have never looked at them closely as they were just purple flowers on a long stalk that seemed to grow everywhere.
February 2017 – New information came in that the flower is a Veined Verbena from South America. Someone doing a search found my blog and the purple flower and let me know what it is, thanks Chris.

This is what the flower, Veined Verbena, by the side of the road looks like close up.

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At the back door an industrious wasp set about building a mud tube. I waited for a couple of hours but it never came back to finish the construction.

mud tube_named_home_jan 2015

I am always looking for interesting shapes and patterns in nature. This moth is rather incredible even though it is a bit damaged.

moth_named_home_jan 2015

On a drive down to the Clarence River, I came across this Bearded Dragon hanging onto the fence post. I am sure it wanted to run off but sat very still while I took some photos. The left hand side back leg was just hanging free. When I got back into the car, I looked around and he was gone lol.

bearded dragon_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

The Fig Birds have been hanging around for longer than they have in past years. The fig tree in the garden had lots of figs this year but they had already gone when I took this photo. The Euodia hadn’t flowered yet let alone have berries.

fig bird_named_home_jan 2015

This year the Little Friarbirds have been around when the bigger Friarbirds have not been in the garden as often.

little friarbird_named_home_jan 2015

While doing a bit of bush regeneration at my besties place we came upon a bush under a large pine tree after we cleared away an abundance of Lantana. Thanks to Dr Dave Watson (@DOCTOR_Dave) who let me know it is a Caper Berry flower. The seed was probably dropped by a bird as there aren’t any other large or flowering bushes nearby. There are some surrounding properties that have planted rainforest plants as well as the thousands planted on my besties property.  Beautiful flower isn’t it?

caper berry flower_named_binna burra_jan 2015

When I went down to feed the chooks, I came across this Cicada emerging from its shell. They are rather prehistoric looking aren’t they?

cicada_named_home_jan 2015

That’s all for this blog of January’s “item of interest”. Stand by or actually have a seat until the next blog of January’s photos and stuff.

A day at the beach

When the day looks like being a bit warm….ok bloody hot at home, it’s great to head to the coast and enjoy the coolness of the ocean. There is an opportunity to wander around the rocky headlands, peering into tidal pools and generally seeing who is also hanging at the beach. This day was spent at Brooms Head. A quiet coastal town usually but over the Summer holidays, the caravan park is packed to capacity, swelling Brooms Head to almost double it’s population.

This day bought about some lucky encounters as we waded through the tidal pool. The bird life was quite varied and we had the opportunity to see some birds we had not seen before as well as the usual large groups of gulls squawking about nothing in particular.

The Sooty Oystercatchers scurried among the rocks.

sooty oystercatcher_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Some of the Terns were having a bad hair day.

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But their landing skills were quite good.

tern_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Can you pick the odd one out?

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Easy wasn’t it! The Sea Eagle was scouting along where the waves were breaking but still the birds on the rocks kept an eye out just in case.

sea eagle01_named_brooms head_jan 2015

It did make the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers nervous and every now and then the small group took to the skies.

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When they were foraging among the rocks, they were hard to see.

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Occasionally another shore bird appeared. The Grey-tailed Tattler seemed to be playing chasings with the Sandpiper.

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But the Pelican kept an eye on what was going on in and around the rocks at Brooms Head.

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I love being at the beach, don’t you?

January….some excitement so far…

Yes. There has been some excitement around my place so far this month. Just sitting on the verandah having a cuppa one morning, the usual bird song od Spangled Drongos, Friarbirds, Fig Birds, Kookaburras and Ravens, just to name a few, changed. There were a few small birds whizzing around the bush near the house as well as a couple of birds who were a bit bigger. But more of the birds later.

The flowers in the garden have had a bit of a lift with some rain at the start of the month. Prior to that I was feeling like the bad parent, having not much water in the dam to do a full garden watering, so I was having to select which plants I think could survive the dry a bit better than others. My best bird attractor, the Honey Gem Grevillea, hasn’t the flowers it normally has but still has bought a few birds in to the garden.

Other plants have stepped up and have made sure the butterflies have somewhere to visit. The Speckled Line-blue enjoyed a rest on the Hibiscus

butterfly_crop_named_home_jan 2015

While the Lemon Migrant seemed to prefer the red flowers

lemon migrant_named_home_jan 2015

The Cassia has been quite spectacular this year with its drooping bunches of flowers seemingly cascading from the branches attracting bees. The buzzing of the bees made it sound like the Cassia was covered with bees but there was only a handful of big fat bees.

bee native_crop_named_home_jan 2015

In the bush and around the garden, a little native plant has appeared. I have seen a few before but the dry then the rain seemed to make them grow in many spots in the garden as well as in the bush. The little yellow flower is about 5 to 8mms.

yellow native flower_named_home_jan 2015

The Duranta has bunches of flowers which are followed by small orange berries. The variegated leaves are a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. Some small birds like to drink from the small purple flowers as well.

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The Mistletoe Bird was hopping around the Duranta looking for bits of nesting materials as well as examining the flowers.

mistletoe bird_female_named_home_jan 2015

When it got a bit too hot, we went down to the river for a soak. On the way back home we came across a Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike peeking out from behind a Bottlebrush

black-faced cuckoo shrike_named_crop_eatonsville_jan 2014

On the road a group of birds scattered as the car approached. The group of Rainbow Bee-eaters flew about the trees, occasionally resting long enough to get a few quick photos in the fading light.

rainbow bee eater02_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

You can see why the are Rainbow Bee-eaters!

rainbow bee eater01_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

Meanwhile, back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater was hanging on as best she could to get a snack.

scarlett honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have been here for a while now since I first saw one a couple of years ago. I love their yellow faces.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Restless Flycatchers also have made a home here in Summer. They were one of the first birds that came here when I first started to live in the bush.

satin flycatcher_named_crop_home_jan 2015

The Rufous Whistler is singing in the bush, but on this day also dropped in to the garden for a visit.

rufous whistler01_young_named_home_jan 2015

OK. Remember at the start I said I had some exciting things happening. One of the new birds I have seen this year has been the Fuscous Honeyeater. I always get excited when a new bird appears. Of course the found the Honey Gem.

fuscous honeyeater01_named_home_jan 2015

The Brown Honeyeater discovered another Grevillea in another part of the garden. This is also a favourite of the Scarlet Honeyeaters as the bigger birds don’t drop in for some nectar here very often. This is the first time the Brown Honeyeater has been seen at my place as well.

fuscous honeyeater_crop_named_home_jan 2015

Well I have to fly…

fuscous honeyeater02_named_crop_home_jan 2015

….but not before the most exciting news of all. One quite rare visitor to my place has been a Regent Honeyeater. When something like this happens a lot of people like to know so it is always good to let the folk at Birdlife Aust know when you come across something special.

regent honeyeater03_named_crop_home_jan 2015

Many thanks to Twitter mates @DOCTOR_Dave and @caroproberts for their help in identifying the birds and butterflies I had trouble identifying as well as everyone else who also helped.

I hope I get some more new birds at my place in 2015 to add to the 88 I have already discovered.

See ya

Fireworks on New Year 2014

I have never taken photos of fireworks before. This year we were at my good mates place in Grafton and when we heard the first boom of the fireworks, we raced upstairs to the deck to get a good view we hoped. It didn’t disappoint. The first few photos weren’t as good as I hoped but I hopefully did get a bit better.

Here are Grafton’s New Year fireworks starting with the early efforts….

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They seemed so far away at times

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The timing was getting a bit better

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We thought that this photo looked like a dragon

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Perhaps a tree?

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This one seemed rather “spidery” to me

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I loved the blue trails

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Some of the explosions were intense

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Getting right inside the fireworks explosion

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The green and gold….very Aussie

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And then there was a close up

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I’ll guess I’ll have to wait until next year to get some more photos, unless I am around some other firework event.