Two of Anything

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Couples, Twins, Two of Anything

I love my nature photos so I looked for a some bird photos for this challenge.

White-throated Honeyeaters at the little pot birdbath
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Two Whipbirds on the Wisteria
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Two Seagulls at the beach
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Two Terns with their windswept “hair”
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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters U or V

Cee’s Photo Challenge using the letters U or V. We are getting closer to the end of the alphabet and these letters really had me thinking.

The promotion women walking through the streets of Rome in 2012 with their Umbrellas

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Every seagull needs an Umbrella on a hot Australian day at the beach

170512_bandw challenge_letter u_umbrella seagull

What Vehicle would be the most appropriate for the letter V!!! Only a VW would do. This is my besties sons which one day will be resuscitated.

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The Water Vine is huge as it uses itself to climb higher through the trees in the rainforest

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The end of May

I cannot believe how the months are whizzing by!! I have been meaning to bung a bit about what’s been happening for ages. Life gets in the way of good intentions. There have been some interesting things I have found in my blog stats, especially in what people have been searching for, and ending up at my blog, sometimes in one of the blogs way back in the archive. This has sent me looking at the earlier stuff I have posted. I was thinking of doing a “best  of” blog with your favourite photos that you have told me you have liked…..but then again I need a bit of time and motivation to do that don’t I?

This small lot of photos have been sitting here waiting for me to write a few words about them. I love this tiny stem of flowers from a Spider Aloe. I didn’t get back in time to see them open so maybe next year?

aloe flower01_named_binna burra_may 2015

The weather in May was a few showers here and there, plus some very warm days, so the fungi has been popping up all over. I love the orange wood fungus. It can always be seen adding a splash of colour in the bush or even on a bit of wood near the chooks yard.

fungi_wood_named_binna burra_may 2015

Some of the larger fungus are much easier to spot. I love the frills under the cap.

fungi_named_binna burra_may 2015

One of the latest birds to appear in the garden are the Rose Robins. This little one was always on the look out for a snack.

bird_named_home_may 2015

Down by the Clarence River in Grafton, we were having lunch when one by one the seagulls appeared.

seagulls_named_grafton_may 2015

Later in the afternoon, having a wander about town, a tree suddenly became the place to be if you are a Rainbow Lorikeet looking for a roost for the night.

rainbow lorikeets_grafton_named_may 2015

I can’t resist putting a Golden Whistler in as they are the bird of the month and are everywhere in the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

The only bird who has taken to being in the garden are the lovely Eastern Yellow Robins. I love seeing them hop about the garden.

eastern yellow robin01_named_home_may 2015

Here is a close up of that young Rose Robin. What a cutie to have around.

bird_named_small_home_may 2015

The days in May have seen the Moon setting during the day. I love the blue sky behind the Moon instead of the usual inky blackness don’t you?

moon_named_may 2015

Now to get started on the photos and stuff for June.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have a favourite photo from the past please let me know so I can include your favourite photo in the favourites blog.

Birds, bugs and things in April

As you know I love to get about when I can, discovering new things or rediscovering stuff. I love living in a bio-diverse region where the trip to the mountains or to the coast always sends a surprise encounter. Over the month so far I have seen so many wonderful things this world has, sometimes it may just be something that I saw that I found to be wonderous whereas others have just walked by probably thinking what the hell is that bloke doing with that camera.

So…..this wander through my days I hope fills you with a bit of love for our nature and environment in which we inhabit as it does for me.

I do find butterflies amazing creatures, as you probably have noticed as a lot of my blogs seem to have a butterfly or two. This small butterfly, about 17mm in size, has been whizzing around my besties garden and mine as well –  a Small Green-banded Blue butterfly.

small green-banded blue butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

I was wading through the water at Taylor Lagoon when all bout there were dragonflies zipping here, zipping there on their mission to do…..waht do dragonflies do when they zip about like that. Well after a while some settled on the sticks poking out of the water. Their irridecence was amazing to see. Unfortunately the dragonfly isn’t quite in focus but I love the effect of the water, don’t you?

dragonfly_blue_named_broken head_april 2015

This dragonfly has a great grip on the stick.

dragonfly_yellow_named_broken head_april 2015

While wading in the shallows I looked at the water and the reflections of the over-hanging bottlebrush and sedges around the edge. I think it was facinating the way the image always changed as the water rippled and moved with the wind. This photo was my favourite of the couple I took.

water patterns_named_broken head_april 2015

The shadow of the tree looked like it was walking across the rock face. What do you see?

shadow on rock_named_broken head_april 2015

I love the contrast of colours, the shadows and where the rock landed (or was put by my bestie lol)

rock colours_named_broken head_april 2015

Shells. I love seeing the shells and stuff that is on the beach. The light shining through the shell caught my eye form a distance.

shell_named_broken head_april 2015

I wonder how the small creatures can survive when the tide is out or is it how do they survive when the tide is in? This one found a nice little niche in the rocks. Aren’t the colours subtle but striking at the same time?

snail shell_named_broken head_april 2015

The number of tiny sand balls that were spread all along the shore was incredible. Some of the patterns made were so artistic.

sand ball_crab_named_broken head_april 2015

And here is the little bloke who spend a large amount of its life making those tiny sand balls.

sand crab_named_broken head_april 2015

“OK fella…..how about a bit of privacy. I didn’t come down to the beach to sit in the shade of my lovely green umbrella just to have you come along taking your photos….”

umbrella_seagull_named_broken head_april 2015

“If you are going to hang around with that camera, I’m off….”

seagull going_named_broken head_april 2015

As I was walking along the shore, all of a sudden there was a whoosh and a couple of Pelicans came flying along looking for a place to land. They are so big up close.

pelican_named_broken head_april 2015

As we walked along the beach, we were discussing how we hadn’t seen any White-bellied Sea Eagles or Brahminy Kites, which are nearly always here. All of a sudden, at the other end of the beach, there was a commotion with Seagulls wheeling about and then appeared the Sea Eagle with a fish. Even with the lens at full stretch they were still a long way a way.

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Here is a close up as best as I could manage. The image is heavily cropped just to show the size of the fish.

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There was also another White-bellied Sea Eagle just soaring around the sky looking for it’s own fish.

sea eagle01_named_broken head_april 2015

Meanwhile at the waters edge, a group of Crested Terns were having a bath and preening themselves trying to get their “hair” in order.

terns01_named_broken head_april 2015

I have no idea what this plant is but the spots of white among the rocks certainly stood out.

white flowers_named_broken head_april 2015

Even the Eastern Spinebill was too heavy for the Pentas making hanging on a bit of a chore.

eastern spine bill_named_binna burra_june 2014

The Whipbirds are always pocking around in the garden, flicking over leaves and bits of bark to try and find some insects and bugs to snack on.

whipbird_named_binna burra_june 2014

Over the past few weeks the Eastern Yellow Robins have seemed to appear in numbers in the garden. This one was sitting out front on the warm gravel early one morning. They are such sweet little birds.

yellow robin_named_home_april 2015

Heading into town early one misty morning, I spotted this Black-necked Stork (I really prefer Jabiru) stalking about the small pond where the “Tyre Turtle” lives. It was one of a pair. The other one was further back in the paddock in the ffog.

black-necked stork02_named_grafton_april 2015

Aren’t the colours great. I never noticed their red cap before either.

black-necked stork03_named_grafton_april 2015

The Water Dragon has set up home in my besties garden. Such a lovely prehistoric looking creature.

water dragon02_named_binna burra_april 2014

But they still enjoy a good laugh. Not really. He really enjoys a few bits of apple. The inside of his mouth is so pink.

water dragon01_named_binna burra_april 2015

That’s the end of what I have found in April so far. Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have seen.

Lots of things to discover

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.

rainbow_office window_named_grafton_april 2015

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.

star moss_named_binna burra_april 2015

These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.

beach plant_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

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.

beach debris_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

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.

rocks_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.

seagul flying_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.

wonga pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2015

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.

black faced cuckoo shrike_named_lismore lake_april 2015

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.

egrets01_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.

azure kingfisher_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.

leaden flycatcher_named_home_mar 2015

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.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_march 2015

I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”

wattle birds_named_binna burra_march 2015

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.

praying mantis egg sack_named_small_home_march 2015

There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.

skipper_butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.

butterfly_name_home_march 2015

The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.

meadow argus_named_home_march 2015

The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.

bee_red pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?

pink pentas_ant_named_grafton_march 2015

The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.

white pink pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

I have never seen a galangal flower before.

galangal flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.

hibiscus red_named_home_march 2015

My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.

flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.

pink bell flowers_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.

blue ginger flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating

fungi_wet_named_binna burra_april 2015

These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.

fungi_two_named_binna burra_april 2015

The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.

fungi_named_binna burra_april 2015

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.

fungi_white01_named_binna burra_april 2015

It is so white and fans out from the branch.

fungi_white02_named_binna burra_april 2015

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.

fungi_earwig_named_binna burra_april 2015

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.

turtles_tyre_named_grafton_march 2015

Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?

tyre turtle_named_grafton_april 2015

Some birds, some insects and some flowers

It seems like ages since I had time to sit down  and look through the photos I have taken over the past few weeks. Some of these are from the end of February as I decided to just do the butterflies. I took a lot of butterfly photos in February and since then, have even taken more. I was asked about taking butterfly photos and had to say that out of twenty or so photos, there is usually only a couple that are ok.

This blog hasn’t any butterflies but has some other insects that I came across when walking around the garden or other people’s gardens. I was getting buzzed by this black insect. It wouldn’t go away but finally tuckered itself out and sat on a leaf.

insect_named_home_feb 2015

I also spend a bit of time chasing bees around gardens. Coming in for a landing with rear legs full of pollen.

bee_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It took a bit of wrangling to get the caterpillar a bit angry to expose his red antennae while holding the camera in one hand and keeping the spikes on the bush lemon at bay as well.

caterpillar_named_home_march 2015

Always have a close look inside of flowers. You never know who you may find!

spider_alamanda_named_home_mar 2015

I love these little orchid flowers. They grow on long stalks and this year have been flowering all the time.

orchid_named_home_feb 2015

The tiny Native Wisteria flowers are so perfect as they gradually open along the stem giving a blush of colour throughout the garden.

native wisteria_named_home_feb 2015

One of the old cottage style Hibiscus flowers. One of the original plants over thirty years old in my besties garden.

hibiscus flower_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I found hundreds of small flowers growing on the breakwall at Ballina.

beach plant flower_ballina_named_few 2014

The Pink Bloodwoods were covered in blossoms, with bees buzzing about making a bit of a racket.

pink bloodwood flowers_named_home_feb 2015

I was walking through the bush at my place when I came across a small shrub covered in white flowers. I haven’t seen this plant in flower before. It is quite pretty isn’t it?

white flower01_named_home_feb 2015

Here are the flowers up close. Can anyone tell me the name of the shrub please?

white flower_named_home_feb 2015

I love the Tiger Lillies when they bloom, adding a splash of colour through the garden.

tiger lily_named_home_feb 2015

While we endured six months of no rain towards the end of last year, my favourite Honey Gem Grevillea suffered with the lack of water and still hasn’t flowered as strongly as it has in the past. Luckily the Pink Euodia has stepped up for the birds with bunches of flowers covering it, attracting so many birds. The Rainbow Lorikeets did their usual antics, hanging upside down to get a snack.

rainbow lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

The Little Friarbirds kept an eye on the lorikeets when they popped in for lunch.

little friarbird_named_home_feb 2015

This is the first time I have seen the Scaly-breasted Lorikeets at my place. They only stayed for a couple of days.

scaly-breasted lorikeet_named_home_feb 2015

The Musk Lorikeets returned to feast on the Euodias bounty.

musk lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

They are so striking with their red heads, cheeks and beak

musk lorikeet02_named_home_feb 2015

I really love the smallest of Australia’s Honeyeaters, the Scarlett Honeyeater. They can sit on top of the blossoms and not even bend the boughs at all.

scarlett honeyeater01_named_home_feb 2015

They look so lovely among the pink flowersscarlett honeyeater02_named_home_feb 2015

They really are like “tiny red jewels” among the foliage around the garden.

scarlet honeyeater_named_home_feb 2015

One rainy day, I heard some disgruntled squawks and found some less that appreciative Rainbow Lorikeets sitting in the rain.

rainbow lorikeet02_close_named_home_feb 2015

As always, the Kookaburra kept an eye out for any small creature or insect to wander across the grass. I was going to say lawn but that would be stretching the truth a long way.

kookaburra_named_home_feb 2015

The Galahs in the reserve behind the beach at Ballina found the Casuarina nuts irresistible.

galah_ballina_named_feb 2015

Down at the water’s edge, a Seagull looked wistfully out to sea.

seagull02_ballina_named_feb 2014

The Seagull kept an eye on us in case we had some chips.

seagull01_close_ballina_named_feb 2014

Some birds have shown their funny side. I wonder if this is why this one is called a Drongo.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_feb 2015

The Wedged-tailed Eagle is the biggest bird. I spotted one down by the side of the road ripping into a Wallaby road kill while it’s mate and the young one sat in a nearby tree. I didn’t notice them until one glided off the branch and into the forest leaving the young one. It sat there for a while until it too flew off. Such magnificent birds.

wedged tailed eagle01_named_home_feb 2015

Well it’s time to kick back and relax. If anyone knows the names of any of the flowers or insects in this blog, please let me know. Thanks

red-necked wallaby_named_home_feb 2015

At the beach and in the garden

This time of year plants get a boost on before the cold sets in around here. March is the best time to plant. This year summer was extremely dry but when the rains came flowers appeared showing their fantastic colours, shapes and scents attracting pollinating insects. The days are quite warm and quite often a trip to the beach is taken and sometimes, if the water isn’t too cold, a swim but usually I sit around camera in hand hoping something interesting will come into view.

Here is a few things I found, the good the bad and the ugly. Ready to go? I think I might start with a couple of photos at the beach and see where we go from there. I like to find a nice pandanus to sit under out of the sun.

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Always there are seagulls whizzing around, perhaps looking for that chip tossed by someone.

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But this day the bonus was the Osprey wheeling about the sky.

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And occasionally hovering over the water.

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As I said, it was wonderful when the rain came, clouds full of promise and delivery. I liked the way the clouds and trees matched shapes.

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The insects are busy buzzing around before the cold sets in. They are everywhere looking for nectar or whatever will sustain them for the coming months. The honey bees and little native bees were all over the Hibiscus zipping from flower to flower.

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This year, the cicadas were in full song, at time deafening. The garden is full of their shells.

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I found this tiny tiny moth on the door. It is about 10mm in length and very hairy.

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Among the flowers in the garden, the Pink Euodia was the pick of many insects and birds.

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The Lewins Honeyeater was very protective of “his” tree giving anyone who dared try to sample the blossoms a quick seeing off.

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The Butterfly Bush was full of flowers as well. They just look superb as the flowers seem ready to fly.

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This year the Cats Whiskers seemed to have more purple on the tips.

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I was disappointed that the bees didn’t seem to want to be around the White Crocus as much as they were around the pink one.

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This so white flower with its lovely red centre was the only one in the garden.

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I love the shadow of the stamens shadow on the petals of the flower.

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Early morning and the buds were almost ready to burst.

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On the ground, the Grey Shrike-thrush hopped about the garden looking here and there for a bit of lunch.

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While one of my favourite bird, the Eastern Yellow Robin sat on the post watching for movement in the garden.

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During the long hot summer days I go down to the chook house to gather the eggs. Sometimes I come back empty-handed. This bloke is one of the reasons for that. I went into the chook house and he scarpered out, too fast for me to catch and sat up in the tree.

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Well the Moon has risen so it must be time for bed. I hope you have had a good time at the beach and in the garden with me.

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brian

Back roads and the beach

I enjoy travelling on the back roads where you can discover all sorts of things, plus it’s a great way to find where “that road” goes, which often is a surprise. Some roads are dead ends, some are gravel and some lead to the beach, so lets see what I found recently. The last time I went to the beach everyone enjoyed that day. Seat belts on and off we go.

One of the main things you have to do is take notice of the road safety signs, even if it does mean you have to be aware of Koalas on bikes.

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One photo I wanted to take was one of cattle and Cattle Egrets. Luckily it was a rainy day so there were some cattle just resting with egrets hanging around. Just love the one which poked its head up.

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At one stop, a cow decided to come over and check out what I was doing, mooing very loudly, until I pointed the camera at her.

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There are always flowers. These are quite spectacular.

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A lone Zinnia looking quite beautiful.

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On the track through the dunes where a Dunecare group planted a lot of plants, which have stabilised the dunes, was a Marengo which have the most fantastic leaves, The wind was blowing so the full leaf was hard to capture so a close-up was just as good.

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Once down on the sand, trying to stay out of the sand blasting, I noticed that there was a Pelican floating around on the current.

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The Pelican was soon joined by lots of seagulls

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And then there were Terns speeding along the breakwall, flying up high and then dropping out of the sky into the water as well.

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The Terns seemed to go ever so high into the sky

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Before plunging into the water. I just couldn’t time it right to get the entry but have lots of photos of splashes.

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Next a flock of Cormorants arrived to help to herd the fish into the shallow water.

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And everyone took advantage of the Cormorants fishing skills.

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In this photo, I think the Tern is a Little Tern in the bottom right.

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So after a while the Pelican wasn’t alone.

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On the drive home, the Moon looked very surreal.

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Thanks for taking the drive with me along the back roads in the rain and down to the beach.