Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 213 - Orange-footed Scrubfowl

 The Orange-Footed Scrubfowl was the first bird I photographed during my trip to Darwin.  These large, turkey-looking birds were busy in the park just across the road from where I stayed. I was also a bit surprised to find one on the beach later the same day - a true Australian!

This bird is about 45cm long and is a member of the 'mound builders' group.  These birds scrape together  huge mounds of vegetation in which they lay their eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the young birds dig their way to the surface and rush off into the nearest cover.  They receive no care from the parents at all - they are on their own from day one!

These birds are know as Megapodius reinwaardt - which reflects their big feet and the Dutch ornithologist who named them.  This species is found along the northern edge of Australia, but can also be found on some of the islands of Indonesia.  

As you can see from these pictures, these birds could do some serious harm to your garden beds!

I hope that normal service will restored this week - so spread the word far and wide and get as many people as possible to link up.  Cheers.  SM

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Corroboree Billabong, Northern Territory

I have made it back from a great trip to the Northern Territory for 10 days - there will be lots of pictures over the next couple of weeks.

Corroboree Billabong is part of the Mary River Wetlands about 100 km east of Darwin.  The day stared, as would become par for the course on this trip, in the darkness of the pre-dawn day.   The plan was to fish for Barramundi - a wonderful sporting fish - around the lily pads and snags in the billabong.  While I managed to go that, I did not manage to put a fish in the boat - having one pull the hook close to the boat.  As I have said before, if the only thing that interests you in fishing is catching fish, you will be bored for most of the time.

There was a heavy mist at the start of the day which combined with smoke from the ever-present grass fires of the dry season produced some atmospheric light.

To preempt the question - a billabong is another name for an oxo-bow lake, the kind of lake that it formed when the loop of a meander is cut off from the rest of the river.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 212 - Dunlin and Sanderling

The Brough of Birsay is a small island off the north-west coast of the Mainland island of Orkney - like almost all of Orkney it is very rich in archeological sites.  You can get to the island by walking over a causeway at low tide.  As we were returning from looking at the archeological sites I noticed a couple of wader dashing about in the rocks on the shore.

I got good views of one of them and knew it was a Dunlin - that black belly is a bit of a give away.  I assumed the second bird was also a dunlin, but inspection of the pictures I took show it to be a Sanderling.

One of the things that I find hard about identifying these waders in the UK is that I rarely get to see them in breeding plumage - by the time they arrive in Australia, there are in their non-breeding plumage, and generally looking less colourful.

So, here is a Sanderling (first two pictures) and a Dunlin (the rest).


When this post 'goes live' I will be deep in the Northern Territory - so I will be well and truely 'off the grid' as far as internet and such like.  So, don't get impatient if you dont hear from me for a while.  

Hope to be able to post some NT birds for next weeks WBW.

So, off you go, click the Blue Button and I'll see you when I get back!  SM

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Sea and Land

During my trip to Orkney I was struck by how green the islands were, and how you could never escape the sea.  This is what I was trying to 'talk' about in these pictures.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.