Doves

The letter D. Four letter word. Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Best stick to one word Dove ‘cos I love photographing birds.

A Bar-shouldered Dove in the afternoon sun170914_letter d_bar shouldered dove

The Common Bronzewing Dove talking a stroll down my road.
170914_letter d_common bronze wing dove

A Peaceful Dove having a nap
170914_letter d_peaceful dove

A brightly coloured Emerald Dove hanging around at the bird bath.
170914_letter d_emerald dove

CFFC

Black and White Sunday: Structure

This photo challenge from Lost in Translation, Structure, has made me think of the structures that I like to discover and photograph. Of course I don’t mean man made structures but the wonderful structures in nature.

Look how the Spangled Drongo has attached the nest to the trees branches in a very loose looking structure.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_drongo nest1

It is just right for the Spangled Drongo to sit among the eucalypt leaves.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_drongo nest

The Noisy Friarbirds nest is a jumble of strips of Stringybark trees woven into a basket like structure with a side opening
170816_bandw challenge_structure_friarbird nest

The most basic of nests has to be the Tawny Frogmouth. The nests structure is a pile of sticks in the fork of the tree. Shhh, don’t disturb the nocturnal Frogmouth.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_frogmouth nest

Another jumble of sticks makes the structure of the Square-tailed Kites nest. There is a pile of sticks under the nest which didn’t sit properly and fell to the ground.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_kite nest

The Ospreys huge nest on an open branch where they can see all around. The nests structure of sticks, moss and a huge amount of Grandfathers Beard.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_osprey nest

What nest wouldn’t be a nest without some babies!!! The cup like structure of the Grey Fantails nest is built onto the branch using spiders web to help make it stick.
170816_bandw challenge_structure_fantail nest

A Photo a Week Challenge: Birds

There isn’t many challenges that have the topic Birds. I couldn’t resist but who can stop at one or two especially when it is my favourite Australian bird the Eastern Yellow Robin. I did limit myself but they are so cute I just had to share a few photos.

I love how they just fly and land sideways on trees
170719_blog challenge_birds_eastern yellow robin1

and look around the corner to see if I am still there
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Even fluffed up in the bird bath they still look captivating
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The subtly of their yellow feathers shows through in the bird bath
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Just a lovely little bird
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This is one of his favourite resting spots
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Hope you love the Eastern Yellow Robin as much as I do. See other peoples photos of birds in the Photo a Day Challenge: Birds

One Word Photo Challenge: Heron

I was amazed that I only have a few Heron photos among my thousands of bird photos. The One Word Photo Challenge: Heron did set me a challenge. Luckily I found some White-faced Heron photos.

One afternoon I came home to find a White-faced Heron sitting in a tree in my garden.
170712_blog challenge_heron_white faced heron_face

At Shaws Bay while we were having a swim, a White-faced Heron was looking for snacks in the sand at low tide.
170712_blog challenge_heron_white faced heron_shaws bay

Untitled design

The birds of June

It may be Winter, but here, it is the time when birds drop in on their way north to build their strength for the next part of their journey, or stay for the winter in the warm days on the North Coast. The nights can get cold but the days are usually in the low 20’s C with the warmth of sunshine and the number of plants that flower in late Autumn and Winter makes it a good place to stop off. This is not a complete record of birds as there have been birds who I haven’t managed to get in my lens plus there has been some who have just been to fast for me to photograph. Yes I have quite a number of photos of empty branches!!!

This first gallery of photos are the birds from my place.

The White-throated Honeyeaters arrive in the morning and in the afternoon with their chirp chirp chirp as they set about diving into the birdbath or pool to have their bath.
white throated honeyeater_named_home_june 2017

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters arrive from down south, some stay while others in the flock fly further north.
yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_june 2017

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters come and go all year depending on what food is available. The Honey Gem Grevillea has finally started to flower after a long dry hot Summer. Look at the pollen dust on his head.
blue faced honeyeater_named_home_june 2017

The little Eastern Spinebills are here with the distinctive clicking of their wings as they zip around the garden and their calls echoing in the gullies.
eastern spinebill_named_home_june 2017

You can judge their size by comparing with the Blue-faced Honeyeater and Grevillea flower above. They really stretch to reach the blossoms at times.
eastern spinebill_named_home_june 2017 (2)

Their plumage is quite pretty don’t you think?
eastern spinebill_honey gem_named_home_june 2017

I don’t include many photos of the female Golden Whistler but this one is so cute. They are around the place all year round with their repetitive call which can sound like a squeaky wheel, at times up to twenty single notes.
eastern yellow robin_named_home_june2017
They also like to land on the side of trees and have a look around.eastern yellow robin_named_home_june 2017

As do the White-throated Treecreepers who just hop up and down the trees looking for insects under the bark. They have a similar call to the Yellow Robins but not as persistent.
white throated treecreeper_named_home_june 2017

They also like to defy gravity as the give the trees a very thorough checking over.
white treecreeper_hanging_named_home_june 2017
The tiny Red-backed Fairy Wrens like to explore the lower parts of the forest eating grass seeds and insects foraging among the grass stalks. The Jenny Wren has good camouflage.  wren_named_home_june 2017

The Silvereyes are migrants who stop for a few weeks to gather their strength for their next leg of their journey north.
silvereye01_named_home_june 2017

They are another of the tiny birds around here.
silvereye02_pink bloodwood nuts_named_home_june 2017

The Red-browed Firetails are another constant visitor to the bush as they move about in small flocks looking for grass seeds. This is a young one as the red brow isn’t as prominent as the adults.
red browed finch01_named_home_june 2017

The tiny Striated Thornbills are always around the garden and in the gullies around the house.
striated thornbill01_named_home 2017

They love the birdbath.
striated thornbill02_named_home_june 2017

Someone who I haven’t seen for quite a while has turned up this month and has been around the garden early in the morning and in the gullies during the day. The Spotted Pardalote digs a tunnel in the side of the gully to make it’s nest. They are so pretty aren’t they?
spotted pardelote02_named_home_june 2017

I think this one saw me as I snuck along the verandah for a better photo.
spotted pardelote01_named_home_june 2017

They can be quite vocal too.
spotted pardalote_named_home_june 2017

The sounds of Kookaburras signal the start and end of every day. There are about three families that live in the bush around the house and sometimes the cacophony of up to five or six Kookaburras can be quite deafening.
kookaburras02_named_home_june 2017

After I took this photo I noticed that there was another two sitting nearby in separate trees. All of a sudden they all flew off into the forest disappearing among the trees.
kookaburras01_named_home_june 2017

This next gallery are from my besties place.

The Lewins Honeyeater is the boss of my besties garden. They swoop on most other birds that dares to come into the garden. The Lewins at my place aren’t as bossy.
lewins honeyeater_named_binna burra_june 2017

Can you spot the Varied Triller?
varied triller_named_binna burra_june 2017

The Grey Fantails are always doing their acrobatic flying around the place catching insects on the wing. A very serious looking bird.
grey fantail_named_binna burra_june 2017

The Golden Whistler is always around the garden and nearby rainforest singing its lovely song.
golden whistler_named_binna burra_june 2017

My besties place is surrounded by rainforest so she has more doves and pigeons than I do at my place. The White-headed Pigeon has a deep sounding whoomp whoomp call. They also fly about in large flocks.
white headed pigeon_named_binna burra_june 2017

The Brown Pigeon didn’t want its photo taken.
brown pigeon_named_binna burra_june 2017

There is always up to ten bar-shouldered Doves foraging on the ground in the garden looking for pecans that have fallen from the tree.
bar shouldered dove_named_binna burra_june 2017

The Whipbirds also enjoy foraging among the leaves for pecans.
whipbird_pecan_named_binna burra_june 2017

While high in the trees the Figbirds look for seeds as well as pecans. This female Figbird found the seeds of an Umbrella Tree.
fig bird_female_named_binna burra_june 2017

The male Figbird was more interested in pecans.
figbird_male_named_home_june 2017

The Green Catbird is also interested in pecans. Not long after this photo was taken, so was the pecan.
catbird_pecan_named_binna burra_june 2017

Another recipient of the fallen pecans is the large Brush Turkey. His strong beak breaks open the pecans and often leaves small pieces behind for the other birds to eat. This one we call Brendan who has taken over the garden and has a mound nest almost one meter tall in the front garden. One day I’ll try to get a photo of Brendan and his mound.
brush turkey_named_binna burra_june 2017

The most exciting discovery was finding a Regent Bowerbird just on the edge of the garden late one afternoon. I only managed to get a couple of bad photos but had to share in my excitement.
regent bowerbird_named_binna burra_june 2017

We went to Byron Bay one day to shop as we haven’t been for ages and Winter is a good time as the number of tourists is halved at least. The Golden Pendas are in flower and the Rainbow Lorikeets were having a great time screeching at each other.
rainbow lorikeet_named_home_june 2017

And of course there are always chooks foraging around both our gardens.
chook_named_home_june 2017

That is a snapshot of some of the birds around here in June. My June photo round-up probably won’t have any birds this year. Hopefully I’ll get to that by next week.

 

Silhouettes

A few years ago I looked at some of my photos and thought they would be good as silhouettes. I remade some of the best ones that I thought would be good to frame and sell at hand-made markets or other markets that abound here on the north coast of NSW. I only managed to get a stall at a couple of markets, no where near as many as I would have liked to attend, over the past year or two.

There has been some good sales and some where not one photo sold. Perhaps this year I may get to more markets as a stallholder and see if anyone enjoys my photos.

I don’t just convert from colour to black and white, in some cases I have taken the photo in monochrome, I actually trace around the photo to get a bit of a better definition. This takes time and sometimes I think I have spent more time than necessary but I enjoy doing the work.

This first silhouette is the photo that I took that started the process. I came home late in the afternoon and as I drove down the driveway, I disturbed the White-faced Heron on the dam who flew onto a branch near the house. I was just getting excited in capturing birds with my new digital camera, this was an ideal opportunity. The original photo late in the afternoon was almost in black and white with the sky blue and the Heron without any detail, just a dark image. The bark of the Yellow Stringybark was a challenge!!!

silhouette_blog_white-faced-heron

I have always like to outline of birds against the sky. An Osprey wheeling above the water looking for a fish provided a nice silhouette.

silhouette_blog_osprey

The Cormorant sitting on a branch on the edge of the dam also looking for a fish or yabbie obliged by sitting still for quite some time.

silhouette-blog_cormorant

The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos with their almost slow-motion flying as they flew overhead to their roost for the night were a delight to watch and photograph. The wing tips were hard to get right.

silhouette-blog_yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo

The New Holland Honeyeater sitting atop of a Banksia isn’t really a silhouette but the conversion into black and white was so striking that I decided to leave it as a monochrome. I included this one in my silhouette series as it is a popular photo at the markets.

silhouette-blog_wattlebird

Some birds are so distinctive in their shape, they are just right for silhouettes. Even a brightly coloured Rainbow Bee Eater is recognisable in black and white.

silhouette_blog_rainbow-bee-eater

As is a Spangled Drongo.

silhouette_blog_spangled-drongo

The Golden Whistler photo has taken me the most time to convert into a silhouette. I didn’t realise that when there are branches in the background that they are ever so slightly out of focus and need a lot of attention. I even left a small patch of the bright yellow colour on the neck as neither black or white to add a bit of definition of this wonderful small bird.

silhouette_blog_whistler

I have posted lots of brightly coloured birds on my blogs over the years. I hope you have enjoyed something different.

Birds and Flowers

I have not kept up to date with my blog. It is already half way through September and the start of Spring has gone. I too so many photos in August that I have to have a second go at putting my photos and things into writing.

Lately I have been walking along my road and as usual, my camera has been to hand. Some of the photos have been from around the neighbourhood whilst other photos have been at home. This first lot are typical of the bush in and around my place. The Fringe Wattles looked lovely this year and the spur my house is on is surrounded by the yellow of the wattles.

The small puffs of yellow encompass the whole wattle tree.

fringe-wattle_named_home_aug-2016

The Native Sarsparilla also bloom at this time of year.

wisteria-native_named_home_aug-2016

They both look lovely as the Sarsparilla entwines around the Fringe Wattle

wisteria-native_wattle_named_home_aug-2016

The Paperbarks certainly flowered well this season. The air was full of the scent from the flowers which attracted all sorts of insects. How many can you see?

paperbark-flower01_named_home_aug-2016

Here are more insects in the flowers of the Paperbark. Mostly the insects get right down into the flower stem so only their bums are visible.

paperbark-flower02_named_home_aug-2016

The Coastal Rosemary flowers are quite pretty don’t you think?

coastal-rosemary_named_home_aug-2016

I am not sure what this little hairy leafed bush is. I called it Egg and Bacon plant but I am not sure. Can anyone help out with what this flower is please?

egg-and-bacon-plant_named_home_aug-2016

I love the colours of Spring. Even the leaves can have such great shades of colour. Plus there is a bonus insect!!!

new-leaf_named_home_aug-2016

The Double-barred Finches have been feasting on the grass seed. This one looks particularly portly at it sat high on the powerline.

double-barred-finch_named_home_aug-2016

They have lovely markings. I like their blue beak.

double-barred-finch_named_home_aug-2016-2

The Red-browed Finches were having fabulous snacks in the tall native grasses along the side of the road.

red-browed-firetail-finch_named_home_aug-2016

A late comer to the last of the Bottlebrush flowers, (see the previous blog), was the Brown Honeyeater.

brown-honeyeater_named_home_aug-2016

The Friarbirds loved having a bath in the neighbours dam. They were diving in from a great height.

blue-faced-honeyeater_bath_named_home_aug-2016

Away in the distance I could hear the “chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peter-peter” call of a Jacky Winter. Perched high on the dead tree, it was quite happy wagging its tail back and forth chittering away.

jacky-winter_named_home_aug-2016

Further down the road, a Little Friarbird was enjoying the last rays of the day.

little-friarbird_named_home_aug-2016

Often when I am sitting in my study, I have eyes that peer in through the door or window. This day the Female Satin Bowerbird was looking in.

satin-bowerbird_female_named_home_aug-2016

Quite often White-throated Treecreepers are spotted jumping up the trunks of trees. This is the first time I have been able to get a photo of one who took its time on its hunt for food.

white-throated-tree-creeper_named_home_aug-2016

On the walk up the road I was very excited to see a couple of Grey-headed Babblers forage for insects among the dead wood and leaf litter on the property next door. I have seen them in the forest on my place but I was lucky enough to see them in the cleared land next door. I love their fluffy pants.

grey-crowned-babbler_named_home_aug-2016

The Rainbow Bee Eaters were having a splendid time zooming about the cleared paddock up the road. The many dead trees offered a great vantage point to watch for unsuspecting insects flying about.

rainbow-bee-eater_fluffed_named_home_aug-2016

Every now and then, a group would gather to tell about the day and to keep a look out for flying insects. Their heads were always swivelling about as they say and chatted in the trees.

rainbow-bee-eaters01_named_home_aug-2016

So that’s the end of my start to Spring. I hope you have enjoyed my walk up the road.

This is my August

August. The final days of winter and the early spring flowers begin to emerge. The weather has been so nice, typical north coast days of mid twenties with cool nights. The nights are cool at my place especially as the cold breezes blow down the Gibraltar Ranges bringing quite chilly evenings and mornings. Didn’t get below zero degrees at the house this winter but there were frosts in the lower part of my property.

As usual, we have been driving around just checking out our world, discovering new things and rediscovering stuff. On one such drive-about, we came across some little Brown Quails warming in the afternoon sun by the side of a back road near Billen Cliffs

brown quail group_named_larnook_aug 2016

Quail are such funny looking birds but have a certain amount of cuteness that makes you smile when you find them bustling about.

brown quail01_named_larnook_aug 2016

The sun was almost set when a cacophony started heading toward us as we stopped at my besties house. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos had come from the pine forest and up to the gums around the house to roost for the night. There were around twenty to thirty birds squawking in the trees. It was getting dark and I was surprised that I managed to get a photo.

yellow tailed black cockatoos_named_binna burra_aug 2016

At my place, there has been activity among the trees as some of the eucalypts, Tallowwoods and Bloodwoods, are flowering. Most of the birds are here nearly all year round. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters can be heard chip chip chipping away during the day.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_aug 2016

It seems like I have a photo of an Eastern Yellow Robin in most of my blogs but they are such a lovely little bird. This time here is a rear view for a change.

eastern yellow robin_named_binna burra_aug 2016

The Grey Fantails are so busy swooping around the garden.

grey fantail_named_binna bura_aug 2016

I was sitting in the study when a bird flew up and down the verandah. It didn’t sit still for very long (I have another entrant in “this is where the bird was a second ago” photos). The Spotted Pardalote sat still long enough for a photo through the glass door.

spotted pardalote_named_home_aug 2016

The King Parrots always drop by and have a look through the door to see what I am doing!!!

king parrot_named_home_aug 2018

My besties bird bath has been the source of so many bird photos. The little Striated Thornbill looks like it saw me as it landed on the bird bath.

striated thornbill_named_binna burra_aug 2016

One drive took us to Ballina where a late lunch of fish and chips by the estuary near where we have a swim in summer. The tide was out and there were a number of waders way out sifting the sand for their lunch. This Masked Lapwing patrolled the area of sand in front of us, wandering up and down. It was funny to see it on the sand and not walking around the grass in the park.

masked lapwing_named_ballina_aug 2016

The White-faced Heron was always finding something to eat as it wandered with purpose on the sands.

white faced heron_named_ballina_aug 2016

In a nearby tree, a Little Cormorant gave me a suspicious look, but still sat looking over the estuary.

little pied cormorant_named_ballina_aug 2016

The butterflies are just starting to be a regular sight in the garden. Don’t you think that the Orange Streaked Ringlet looks rather angry? I liked the colours as it sat on one of the garden ornaments.

orange streaked ringlet_named_binna burra_aug 2016

One morning the sun filtered through the trees and highlighted some spider webs in the garden. I just had to stop washing up and grab my camera.

spider web01_named_aug 2016

I don’t normally have such luck with spider web photos but these two really made my day.

spider web02_named_aug 2016

One afternoon driving home along the Gwydir Highway, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye as I went over the Tindal Bridge. I was sure it was Wedged-tailed Eagles but they were sitting on the ground not far from the edge of the road. See my last blog on the Wedged-tailed Eagles if you haven’t already seen it. When they took to the sky it was a magnificent sight.

wedged tailed eagle_named_ramornie_aug 2016

At my place, the Red-necked Wallabies are always hanging around. This morning, the young Joey was being brave, until they sensed I was watching from the kitchen window. Some days they Joeys have a great time hopping about. A while ago this Joey was having a great time.

red necked wallaby and joey01_named_home_aug 2016

“Is he still there Mum?”

red necked wallaby_joey04_named_home_aug 2016

“Oh dear. I better hide so he won’t see me!”

red necked wallaby and joey02_named_home_aug 2016

The Joey finally decided to sit in the warming morning sun to contemplate the day ahead.

red necked wallaby_joey03_named_home_aug 2016

The Bottlebrush had so many flowers this year, it was a magnet for the birds. The Friarbirds had taken over the garden and spent a lot of time chasing the other birds from the Grevilleas and this Bottlebrush. The bees in the Bottlebrush made the garden buzz

bee_bottlebrush_named_home_aug 2016

Guess who came in for a snack?

rainbow lorikeet03_named_home_aug 2016

The Rainbow Lorikeets certainly add a splash of colour to the garden.

rainbow lorikeet01_named_home_aug 2016

The Friarbirds look so prehistoric don’t they?

noisy friarbird_named_home_aug 2016

The little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were also chased about by the Friarbirds.

yellow faced honeyeater_bottlebrush_named_home_aug 2016

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters didn’t care either way when the Friarbirds carried on. At the Honey Gem Grevillea, their don’t care attitude was evident in The Battle for the Grevillea

blue faced honeyeater_named_home_aug 2016

Well the sun is going down……….

sunset_named_binna burra_aug 2016

…….and the Moon is on the rise. Thanks for reading

moon_named_home_aug 2016