Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Faces from Oxford

If your week has been anything like mine, it's been busy! Far too much to do!  So, in these situations, I delve back into the 'archives'!

These are some faces I found looking at me from the walls of Oxford during our trip there earlier in the year.  Most of the faces are from around the doors of the Bodleian Library, and the one with the flowers is from Balliol College.

I rather like them, and I wonder who they are.








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


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 280 - Crested Tern

Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii) is one of Australias most widespread terns - being found around the  entire coast of the country.  It is also rather most tolerant of people with lenses than most other terns.

These birds were loafing about on an old - and infrequently used - jetty at Apollo Bay in Victoria.  There was not really much going on with the birds - they were just sitting around, preening no and then and occasionally briefly flapping the wings.  They normally did the wing flapping when the lens was not on them! Although I did manage to get one bird mid-flap.

Not much else to say - these are splendid birds, and I enjoyed sitting down with them for an hour or so!







To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails.  This is the 280th time I have posted for WBW (!) and I can't help but notice that the numbers of participants are slowly falling.  So, if you know of any bloggers who have stopped sharing, give them a nudge.  And if you have found any new bloggers that may be interested, give them a nudge too!  I'll keep running WBW as long as people keep joining in.  SM

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A couple of locals..........

We had two months rain fall over the weekend - which put a literal and metaphorical dampener on most of my plans!  Just over 100mm of rain - which is just about what we would expect in all of December and January combined!!

So, here a couple of shots I took the weekend before:  Australian Magpies lookinggood.  I really like these birds, they seem to have both intelligence and personality, so what's not to like.



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

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 279 - Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeets are a reasonably common bird in my neck of the woods - we get them in the trees in out garden, and at this time of year they are active around many of the holes that form in our older street trees.  I'm trying to track down some nest sites, but as yet I have not found any.

The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is about 25 - 30cm long and can be found along the eastern side of Australia from northern Queensland to South Australia.  This species has also been introduced into Tasmania and Western Australia.  In fact, it has also been introduced into New Zealand as well.

The first part of the birds scientific name means 'Hairy-tounge' - and this refers to the birds brush like tongue, which it use to feed on nectar and pollen.  Given its diet, it will be no surprise to find out that you can often see this bird on gum trees when they are in flower.

These birds are wonderfully colourful, noisy and great fun to watch.  I can't help but think that the 'jumping parrot' is shouting Tally Ho!











To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

In a plant pot...

When we were staying near Apollo Bay, the house we rented had a number of large plant pots scattered about the garden.  I noticed that they were popular with some of the local Eastern Spinebills.  The amount of plants in the pots made it difficult to get any shots - but I managed these two.

So, this is a bit of a different take on My World Tuesday.



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

Friday, 24 November 2017

Through Cloudy Skies

So, more shots from Switzerland!

Just to show that it was not all sunshine and scenic cows, here are a couple of shots on a very cloudy day.

I really like the atmosphere in these pictures.  And being in this kind of location in less than perfect light (and weather generally) was really rather good value.  For all the fact that there were other people about, there was a great sense of privacy.



Both of these pictures will look much better if you click on them to see a bigger version.

You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 278 - Royal Spoonbill

This weeks WBW is brought to you by one of the better beaks - or maybe bills - in the world of birds.  The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) is generally spotless white, sports a 20cm long spatulate (spoon-shaped!) bill, and in breeding plumage also has a few patches of colour.  All in all its an impressive bird.

The breeding plumage a buff 'wash' on the breast - although this bird seems to have more than I would call a wash - long plumes off the back of the head and yellow patches of skin over the eyes and a pink patch in the middle of the forehead.  As far as I am aware, the male and females both have this set of colours.

This bird was loafing around in some shallow water near a boat ramp, which is not where I normally expect to see them.  My experience of these birds is that they are rather more shy than that.  As you may anticipate, I did not complain about its cooperativeness!








To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Out and About

A number of people seem to assume that I spend my life jetting all over the globe - and only rarely call Australia home!  Well, thats not really the case!  The truth is, that when I am overseas I take huge numbers of pictures - and when I'm at home, I'm (far too) often at work.

So, in an attempt to redress the balance and provide some Australia content, here are some picture from a recent trip down to Apollo Bay - which is a costal town in Victoria.   The beach scenes are from Apollo Bay, and the forests are from a grove of Californian Redwoods, which were planted near a settlement called (rather confusingly under the circumstances) Beech Forest!








As you can see, this was a trip of beaches and forests and sunshine and showers.

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

Friday, 17 November 2017

Through a Swiss Window

Jungfraujoch is a saddle - an area of lower ground - between some pretty impressive mountains in Switzerland.  It sits about about 3460 m above sea level.  Luckily you can get there by train!

About a forty minute walk from the train station is a mountain hut, that is used by climbers as a base.  It has a cafe where I drank some of the best hot chocolate and cold water I have ever had!

These are some things I saw from the windows in the hut.




You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 277 - Little Pied Cormorant

The Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is Australia's smallest cormorant.  It's found over much of the country - with the (unsurprising) exception of the western desert areas.

This bird was sitting on a rock in the small harbour at Queenscliff in Victoria.  This bird is in the classic 'wing-drying' pose.  In this case the bird probably is drying its wings, which is not always the case for birds in this pose!  In some birds - such as Anhingas - the position may be more to do with temperature regulation than just feather drying.

This bird was a little more cooperative than normal for cormorants, and it stayed on its rock for a while as I photographed it.  Eventually it was spooked off by the arrival of some ducks - which just goes to show I am less intimidating than a duck!










To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.