The Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge from Sue: Black
There is quite a lot of black around here. Let’s sample a few shall we
The Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge from Sue: Black
There is quite a lot of black around here. Let’s sample a few shall we
One day, hearing some calls from birds, the call from a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike was very plaintive and persistent. Wondering what was going on I wandered outside and here is what I found.
“Boy, it’s a relief to get away from the kid”
“Hey Mum, what are you doing?”
“Do we have to sit here long?”
“What are we going to do today?”
“Do you know where Dad went?”
“What’s that flower over there?”
“Did you tell him I was here?”
“Look! What’s that over there?”
“Can you see it?”
“It could be an insect or something to eat.”
“Now’s my chance to get away again”
“Mum, don’t forget me! Where are we going now? Wait up.”
Here we are at what I saw in March. There has been a couple of photo challenges I have done in March so some of those photos aren’t in this lot. It is another big photo post. There are a few photos of snakes, spiders and other insects but try to have a peek through your fingers when they come along. Nature is full of wondrous colours and shapes.
Of course there are flowers and birds plus my March obsession of spiders webs. So I do recommend getting your favourite drink and perhaps a snack as you settle in and have a look at my month of March.
OK, I’ll get the insects out of the way first for all those who have told me of their dislike of bugs. You will be rewarded with seeing some lovely little creatures from my world.
I’ll ease you into the insect section with a lovely Wanderer Butterfly
Remember My Quest to photograph a Blue Triangle Butterfly. Well now it seems they are waiting for me. This Blue Triangle was on the road when we went for a walk.
There were a lot of Easten Common Brown Butterflies around this year.
A long range photo of a lovely bug with orange feelers. Some close ups are coming next.
When you are a small insect you really have to hang on if there is a breeze about.
I look fearsome but I’m not.
A small Fly with red eyes came to sit with us while we had a drink on the deck. Spiders next
Remember the spiders web from my March Squares. Lots of people were glad the spider wasn’t in the web. Well here he is, all 5 or 6mm of him. Better watch out if you are a mossie.
Some spiders hang up side down on their web.
First prize in the messiest web. I love the droplets on the web from the morning mist.
As part of my obsession, I have been playing with my photo editor. Do you like this one?
A bit of respite now. A Lemon Migrant Butterfly on Lantana
While on a day trip, we stopped at an art gallery which wasn’t all that great. Outside life was far more interesting. I found a Praying Mantis eating a Bee in the flower bed.
This poor little bloke couldn’t get his wings folded
Photographing some grass seeds I was photo-bombed by a Dragonfly
I don’t think it was this lovely red Dragonfly. I love the shadow
My favourite Australian Native Bees are the Blue-banded Bees which are in other posts this month. This Australian Native Bee has the best named of all. Let me introduce you to the Teddy Bear Bee. Do you know of a cuter bee name?
When we look out of the kitchen window at my besties place, neatly framed in the arch, waiting for his breakfast too is PJ the horse. He knows where to stand to get attention doesn’t he?
The grass seed photo I talked about earlier.
An Australian Native flower that grows at my place. This one was on the side of the road.
My besties Roses are lovely this year. The camera couldn’t capture the wonderful red colour though
A great year for Bromiliad flowering too.
This plant is called Ink Weed. Apparently you can make ink from the plant. Not sure which part but they did in the early days of the colony.
I have often shown the Blue Ginger flowers up close, sometimes with a Blue-banded Bee in them. This is one patch of them in my besties garden.
I love Cats Whiskers flowers. They are just opening in March.
Aren’t the colours of the garden striking?
Remember the many posts about the Dancing Lady Hibiscus. Here is a shot of the many flowers that came out this year taken from the verandah where we sometimes have breakfast, the most flowers we have ever seen. The Hibiscus bush trails up the Poinciana tree trunks. How many Dancing Ladies can you count?
A tiny Eco-system in a tree trunk on the side of the road.
The fence post was covered on one side with these fungi.
A lone fungus on the side of the hill.
I love this shot from under the Poinciana tree at the small fungi high up.
The Common Garden Skink, I call a Copper Headed Skink, doing its best not to look at the camera before it scurried away.
Apart from flowers, fungi, birds, the Poinciana also has a non-venomous Green Tree Snake who lives in the hollows. These Pythons are harmless
Beautiful little snake. Aren’t the colours and markings lovely?
I wondered why the chook was hesitant about coming out of her yard. When she did she would run across the yard to a sheltered spot. She never came into the front garden. Then I spied why. The Square-tailed Kites have built a nest in a eucalypt in the front yard
The Black Kites are everywhere near the Lismore Waste Center
On a drive to Caniaba, while waiting for some dairy cows to cross the road, I saw two Wedged-tailed Eagles wheeling about high in the sky.
The Little Wattlebird enjoyed singing and searching for food in the Poinciana tree
He saw me with my camera while up side down looking for grubs.
The tiny Buff-rumped Thornbill defied gravity looking for a snack in the Poinciana tree too
A Golden Whistler was in fine voice in the Poinciana tree.
Another singer in the garden is the Varied Triller
A flock of Silvereyes called in to have a feed
A Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike strained to see if it was food or just the wind blowing leaves about
On a recent walk, I spied a young Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike harassing its parent for food
“Where is everyone?” the Pied Cormorant seemed to say as it looked around before diving for fish once more in the Brunswick River.
Meanwhile on the beach at Brunswick Heads, a Welcome Swallow found a convenient stick to perch
Remember the Bromiliad Flower? The Lewins Honeyeater has been sticking his head into the flower to get a snack. The flower also rewarded him but giving him a pollen crown.
I love Wonga Pigeons. This pair were sitting in the garden preening and looking about.
The Grey Fantail looked like he was walking on stilts.
A great moment in March was seeing the Green Catbird feeding her young. Seconds later another young one came along which disturbed the scene and soon all three had flown off.
I can’t do a post with birds and not included Bobbin, the cute resident Northern Yellow Robin. I recently discovered that I have been calling the Yellow Robins around here and at my besties, Eastern Yellow Robins. There are two distinct races of Yellow Robins. So from now on Bobbin and his friends are Northern Yellow Robins.
Thanks for getting this far. I even made a second coffee to keep me going to the end.
The afternoon colour and trees looked so lovely
The Full Moon earlier in March looked great with the clouds drifting by.
I like to put the captions before the photo. What do you do? Do you prefer the captions before or after a photo? Let me know what you think?
Did you have a favourite photo from March?
November saw a number of birds who came within my camera view. Many are regular visitors.
One “visitor” is my chook. This photo is through the door from my office. She likes to come looking for me and knocks on the door if I don’t pay her any attention.
Another visitor is a King Parrot. When I am outside, he comes and sits nearby whistling to get my attention and to see if I may have some spare seeds.
I did a blog about Kurrie the Pied Currawong earlier in November. Here he is with his fluffy feathers
And calling to the parent for some food
Lewins Honeyeaters are the boss of my besties garden. They love the Blue Salvia flowers
When I was walking around Grafton, I spied a Forest Kingfisher. Soon his mate joined him. It’s amazing the variety birds that are in town.
We wondered why the birds are skittish in my besties garden every now and then. I spied a Black-shouldered Kite on the other side of the valley.
With an abundance of Paperbark flowers, the Little Friarbird has a great selection to chose from.
A Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike was looking for a snack I think.
A Tawny Frogmouth was resting from its nocturnal hunting.
The Red-browed Firetail was wondering
1. If the water was too deep
2. If the water was too cold
3. If there were too many leaves in the bird bath
The Figbird kept a wary eye on my stalking through the garden.
The Eastern Yellow Robin after his bath. Bird baths are a great source for bird photos.
A seasonal visitor is the Leaden Flycatcher. The little bird hangs about for a week or so, chirping away and enjoying the garden
I do seem to have a lot of favourite photos from August. I have done quite a hard cull. I hope you are able to get through all of this blog. It was a busier than usual month. The rain hasn’t come and the place is dry now. It is a pity the dam I use for around the garden leaked as it was full in Autumn and that would normally have seen me through Winter until the Spring storms arrive. Being so dry the number of birds are reduced but I have maintained the water points around the garden for the birds and animals. I almost feel like a bad parent, selecting the plants to water and hoping the others will hang in there until I start the pump and give the garden a good soaking.
Enough of the sob story and let’s get started with the things I found in August.
I just love the colour of this leaf.
Late one afternoon while I was searching for a new log to cut firewood, I went down to the water hole. This water hole has never dried even in some of the severe droughts in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Camera settings 1/320 F6.5 ISO 800
Driving about the property, mainly gathering firewood and pulling lantana out, I often come across a family of White-winged Choughs as they patrol the bush, walking about looking under leaves and bark for insects. It was good to see that this family group has grown from five to seven.
The wily Currawong was sitting in the Bottlebrush waiting for an unsuspecting small Honeyeater to drop in for a meal.
At the small paddock dam, in reality a wetland now, the Peaceful Dove was walking down the slope heading for a drink.
In one of the water points I have placed a stick so if a bird falls into the old drum, they have something to grab onto and get out. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters like sitting on the stick after having a drink or plopping in the water for a bath.
The main sounds that were echoing through the bush in August were the calls of the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. They loved feasting on the Bottlebrushes.
The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike was surveying the scene at Modenville.
One morning the Bowerbird was eating the grass for breakfast. It had quite a number of beak-fulls before it flew off.
The Bowerbird looked stunning in the afternoon light.
I love having King Parrots around. Their whistle resounds through the bush.
A Restless Flycatcher dropped in for an afternoon.
The Superb Fairy Wrens were bustling about the garden at Modenville hardly sitting long enough for a photo.
The little Variegated Fairy Wren was very busy with his flock of females as they explored the garden at Binna Burra.
I wondered what had happened to my beautiful blooms on my Cyclamen and then I saw the culprit. It is almost like the caterpillar has a straw in its mouth.
I found this tiny “house” that an insect has constructed on the bark of a block of firewood I had cut. I have bought it home and hope to see what come out of this beautifully constructed nest.
I found this beetle marching with purpose along a log.
The Common Jezebals have been flying about the bush and garden for a few weeks. When they fly they have an intense stroboscopic pattern flashing of black and white. When the wings are flat you can see the predominately white side of the wings.
I love it when there is an unexpected spider on a flower or seed head as well as small grasshoppers and ants. The seed head is about the size of a 20 cent piece.
This is the rest of the spike
There is a lot of native flowers popping up this August. It was unseasonably very warm. A lovely circle of yellow flowers about the size of a 10 cent piece.
I called this flower a Buttercup but it’s probably not. The leaves are similar to Oxalis.
Look how hairy the leaves are and the flower has a lovely reddish brown centre.
The Egg and Bacon plant is growing on the top of the dam wall. The flowers are beautiful and yes the leaves are spiky. A great place for small birds to escape into.
I call this vine a Native Wisteria. It is also called False Sarsaparilla and a few other names. It looks lovely when the vine entwines with a wattle threading purple among the wattle flowers.
Scattered throughout the bush these little star shaped flowers are easy to miss as they are about ten millimeters across.
The Bottlebrush flower is photo-bombed by a Stingless Native Bee.
This Grevillea flower is called Lemon Daze.
Isn’t the inside of this flower interesting?
Love the colour of these flowers.
Pansys. Who doesn’t love smiling Pansy faces. The colours are spectacular.
The camera can’t catch the deep purple of these Pansys
One August afternoon the sunset was spectacular.
I love the effect of the hills and trees on the horizon.
One of my Canon Powershot camera setting is called “Creative”. It takes a number of photos with different setting. This one made the sun look explosive.
Looks like the sun has set so goodbye and thanks for stopping by.
It’s been a while since I have put a bit about what I have discovered in my travels around the north coast. A lot of these photos are from my place and my besties plus some from places in between. There has been many a thing to find, some accidental, some that made me go wow and of course an assortment of themes.
Last week at work, I looked out of the window and there was a rainbow’s end in the park. But I looked again and saw the second rainbow so I thought that is rather special to share. Yes folks, that is the view from my desk. Looking across the mighty Clarence River to Susan Island and beyond to South Grafton.
I think these tiny plants are a moss growing along a small north facing bank. They look like little stars but are tiny erect plants when the macro lens gets into the structure.
These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.
There is so much debris on the beaches most of it natural. I love the shapes and random patterns it makes interspersed with a splash of colour, a bit of green here, a bit of pink there.
The coastline has some interesting geology as well as all the other stuff we see at the beach. The vertical strata caught my eye at Cabarita.
The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.
Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.
The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.
There were a lot of Egrets wading on the edge of the Lake when all of a sudden they all took to the skies, wheeled about for a while then just settled back to their preening and looking for a snack or two to come along. There were plenty of frogs calling.
Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.
Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.
Of course my blog wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a Spangled Drongo doing something different. This bloke seemed to have his head on backwards.
I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”
I caused a bit of a Twitter conversation with this photo of a Praying Mantis egg casing. Thanks to all the people who let me know what it was as I have seen them before but had no idea what it was.
There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.
The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.
The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.
The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.
The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?
The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.
I have never seen a galangal flower before.
The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.
My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.
The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.
The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.
The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating
These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.
The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.
The huge fig tree at my besties has possible reached the end of its life and has been dropping its huge branches so only two remain. The recent rain has seen a lot of the dead wood covered in this fungi.
It is so white and fans out from the branch.
All through the fungi are all sorts of insects. The Ear Wigs were scurrying under and over the fungi so not a clear photo but I was surprised that I actually got it.
On the way home from work, I drive past a small pond which has had a tyre in it as long as I can remember. On this day I had to do a quick U-turn as the tyre had two Long-necked Tortoises enjoying the sun. I have called them the Tyre Turtles as it sounds better than the Tyre Tortoises.
Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?
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
While the Lemon Migrant seemed to prefer the red flowers
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.
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.
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.
The Mistletoe Bird was hopping around the Duranta looking for bits of nesting materials as well as examining the flowers.
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
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.
You can see why the are Rainbow Bee-eaters!
Meanwhile, back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater was hanging on as best she could to get a snack.
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.
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.
The Rufous Whistler is singing in the bush, but on this day also dropped in to the garden for a visit.
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.
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.
Well I have to fly…
….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.
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.
Last weekend my bestie and I went for a walk around my place as well as a bit of a drive to see what we could discover. A walk up the road in the morning was so nice. Listening to the birds in the bush, seeing them fly between the patches of bush and trying to get a photo or two certainly occupied the morning.
The property at the end of the road have dragged the old truck from one property to their front gate. It looked like a painting of a rural scene.
We found a She-oak that I have never seen before along a track. It felt so soft to the touch unlike the She-oaks that are everywhere. It just cascaded to the ground and was much lighter in colour.
There seems to be a lot of air fern growing on dead wood as well as on trees.
As the weather is warming up, lots of insects are on the move, especially the Bull Ants.
It seemed a bit dangerous to get down to photograph this tiny yellow flower with the Bull Ants prowling about the leaf litter.
The birds seemed to like sitting on the dead branches of the trees along the road. This little Robin just sat for a while before hearing a call and swooping away.
The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike tried to look like the branch it clung onto.
On the drive we came across a couple of Spoonbills sitting on a Bottlebrush. They didn’t seem to care until I got closer, then they the became restless.
Overhead a Whistling Kite rode the air currents at speed. I didn’t think I actually got the photo but ended up with two plus a couple of photos of blue sky.
We went for a walk to the rock pool on my place. On the way, I found a Satin Bowerbird’s bower that was covered in blue items from all around the neighbourhood. There can’t be too many blue pegs left in the neighbourhood as well as bottle tops! I think this bloke has a hoarder issue.
This pool hasn’t dried out, even in the big drys that have happened since I have been living here. This is one of my favourite spots on the place, lovely and cool on hot days. A Yellow-faced Honeyeater came down for a drink while we were having a cup of tea.
Although it pretended to be shy at first.
I saw a flash of red and then a tiny Scarlet Honeyeater dropped in for a drink as well.
Besides Water Striders, the only other thing in the water was a frog. It splashed into the water and was gone. After a while she came out and sat on the ponds edge. I have heard them, but this is the first time I have seen an Eastern Stony Creek Frog.
So the She-oak and a photo of a Spoonbill and the frog were the new discoveries. I wonder what new discoveries I’ll find this weekend. I will take my wildlife camera as well and maybe set it up to see who come to my besties bird bath.
I have had some new visitors to my garden over the past week or so. First of all, a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike sat in the tree near me
and a while later, way over there, collecting small twigs for a nest I guess. It has been quite a while since I last saw a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike around here.
The other new one arrived a few days ago….meet the White Cheeked Honeyeater
They are quite athletic when getting into the blossoms
No blossom is safe
The Little Friarbird arrived about the same time
The everyday things wanted to be discovered or rediscovered. The birds and flowers that are nearly always here at the same time most years seemed to attract my attention, perhaps it was the light or as with the Leaden Flycatcher, seemed to sit and pose for a while which is unusual for a bird who just loves to flit about the bushes and trees singing at every stop.
As usual the Noisy Friarbirds dominated this part of the yard as well. They have a never-ending flight between the Honey Gem out the front, and the Callistemon out the back, trying to stop all the other birds having a snack. They certainly love to swoop at the bushes to scare the other smaller birds. Or they will sit there trying to give the death stare to anyone who is anywhere within eye shot.
The poor little Scarlet Honeyeater is always on the look out when it grabs a quick snack before the bullies come back from their other bush protection flight.
But always get a good feed
Willie Wagtail managed to get a cicada and was banging it about the tree branch
Elsewhere around the place, things are looking good with just the right amount of rain to keep everything growing and flowering. I looked down the back and saw a lot of yellow flowers. I thought I had the Fireweed beaten and was a bit dismayed at seeing the many spots of yellow everywhere!!! Having a good look up close I was relieved to see it was a little native star-shaped yellow flower.
Sitting among the star-shaped flowers was this little one as well. Many of the native flowers here are very small, around 10 – 15 millimetres in diameter.
Some of the white flowers are just waiting to burst out.
While some are out enjoying the sunshine already
There are a few little yellow fluffy flowers that are more like Fireweed.
In the trees, the Spangled Drongos enjoy having their weird sounding conversations.
Which didn’t bother the King Parrots very much as they were more intent on seed hunting.
The Figbird was looking rather splendid as it hopped about the lower branches
Just looking about
I don’t think I have ever looked at one of the many blooms of the Agapanthus flower before
The little pink Grevillea flower is quite small and I don’t think any of the honeyeaters visit as most of the flowers are intact.
All over there has been a certain busyness which has even effected the insects. Some ants were marching up and down the wall
While a grasshopper thought that some of the indoor plants were worthy of investigation to ascertain their edibility
I guess anytime around here there is always a young Red-necked Wallaby. As I haven’t included at Joey shot for a while, here you go as I know a lot of you like these fluffy little blokes.
There’s been a bit happening around here hasn’t there…..
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