ANZAC DAY

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a day to reflect

that war to end all wars

and all those afterwards

In Australia April 25th is a public holiday. It is the day Australia publicly reflects on all those Australians who have died in and survived military conflicts since the 1914-18 war. This day is known as Anzac Day and in particular commemorates the landing by Australian and New Zealand military forces on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey at dawn on April 25th 1915. The one hundredth anniversary of Anzac day was last Saturday and special events and collaborative activities had been planned for some time. Each year dawn services are held at war memorials across Australia. We attended a dawn service along with some thousands of others from elderly 90 year veterans to babies in prams at this memorial near Brighton beach in suburban Melbourne.

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One special memorial project captured the spirit of Anzac Day. In Australia red poppies are reminders of Armistice Day 11/11/1918, however these tens of thousands of hand made material poppies became a significant element of Melbourne’s Anzac Day remembrance. They were draped across the steps of Federation Square in central Melbourne on April 24th, then displayed on Princes Bridge during April 25th and were later returned to the Federation Square steps, garden beds and in the Atrium.

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Either enlarge the image below or use a magnifying glass to read the story behind the poppy project.

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time out

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warming drying sun

a seabird  break from feeding

fish also relax

A little Pied Cormorant, a couple of Silver Gulls and a flock of Crested Terns share an ideal roosting spot in the early morning sun. From this height they can watch what other birds on the water are up to and save some energy. Any sign of fishing activity, depending on the species, and they would be off to join in.

 

Don’t go yet

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gentle sea breeze

calming flying instincts

resting busy wings

These Crested Terns spend many weeks hanging out with flocks of Silver Gulls, foraging and taking life as it comes around Ricketts Point during late Spring and Early Summer. As the average temperature rises the numbers dwindle. They are a common bird around Australia’s coastline so they move away from this part of Port Phillip Bay as it becomes warmer. The bird with its beak open clearly disliked the sudden movement of its companion however it and the others quickly settled down again.

make the most of it

IMGP1218blossom in autumn

mysteries of climate change

enjoy the nectar

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In Melbourne and across most of Victoria we have experienced a very dry summer with the lack of rainfall extending into Autumn. Our local resident Ringtail Possums with no natural food supplies left have defoliated a Cherry Plum tree in the backyard. The poor tree struggling to survive has produced fresh buds and blossom in April (the middle of Autumn). In turn the new blossom has attracted nectar feeding birds including this beautiful male Eastern Spinebill. These amazing little birds have a long bill, (as seen in the images) that is dipped deep into flowers to extract nectar. In the top image he has finished feeding and below is drying out after taking a dip in the birdbath.

 

sky canvas

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 pink and yellow streaks

across a fading blue sky

pop up evening scene

Autumn sunsets across Port Phillip Bay are a spectacular way to end  the day, especially in April as the weather is usually mild. If there is any cloud in the sky sunset displays cannot be predicted. All you have to do is choose your spot on the Southern side of the bay and wait with camera in hand or on a tripod. No two nights are the same.

hungry

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last of the blossom

kaleidoscope of colour

rainbow in the tree

As Autumn slowly descends on Melbourne nectar seeking birds are out early and still searching near dusk for Banksia cones and other nectar sources that still hold food for them. This Rainbow Lorikeet along with a small flock was feasting on the Banksia’s at Ricketts Point. The evening before we had come across one of these birds who displayed the symptoms of a drunk. It had feasted on so much nectar it could hardly fly and staggered through the air to this same tree and rocked on the edge seemingly ready to regurgitate the lot at any moment. Unfortunately I had no camera so returned the following afternoon looking for some action. This bird was quite sober.