This is Australia’s carniverous Musk Duck. These photos show a young bird on the Moyne River at Port Fairy. They are solitary birds and spend almost all their time floating on the water or just below the surface with the bill and head partly above to breathe. They spend a lot of time diving to catch crustaceans and also stalk and grab floating fledglings of other water birds. The duck worlds Crocodile. I have only seen 2 of these in my lifetime. They rarely come out of the water as their legs are barely able to support what is a stocky, heavy body. Certainly not just another pretty duck
Recently we took a short holiday in Port Fairy down on the Victorian South West Coast. This was a favourite holiday place for Charlie and Maggie was keen to explore the town as probably the next Afghan Hound to visit the place since 2013.
In the mornings I had to be up early as Maggie expected to go walking. Port Fairy has a unique location as a fishing fleet and tourist town at the mouth of the Moyne River with a long sand dune parallel on the ocean side for the last 3 kilometres to that mouth. A causeway connected Island on the other side of the river is home to a lighthouse and nature reserve that is a Mutton Bird rookery where thousands nest after their return Winter feeding migration from Siberia. They are late this year, in fact none have arrived yet, the worst scenario being they have all died on the flight. Hopefully they are just late however climate change effects from the feeding grounds in Siberia to rest and feed stops down the East Asian Pacific coasts could mean they have all starved on the way.
This haiku is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #277 River&Path hit this link to see all the other poetic contributions to Ronovan’s challenge
a nest to be saved
standing firm in defence
spring hovers nearby
We were walking along the coastal pathway at Ricketts Point recently. This blue male Superb Fairy Wren and his brown female partner were aggressively warning all living things to stay away from the nest they had built somewhere in the bushes nearby. For small birds they are very courageous.
for a while
These latest sunset images are from two nights ago when the sun bade its glorious daily farewell to us at Ricketts Point. I have to bid a temporary farewell to you my blogging friends who have been sharing such creative and educational haiku plus poetry, photos and stories with me during these 3 years I have been blogging.
I have to stop procrastinating about completing the initial draft of my first novel. That means I have to seriously rationalise my time and that in turn means minimising my time spent on the internet. Thus a halt to blogs and blogging and all those other fascinating things the internet throws up daily.
So its Sayonara, a longer goodbye as the Japanese would say until we meet again in WordPress space towards the end of our HOT Australian Summer in 2018.
rainbow of colour
A rainbow lorikeet caught in the right setting and angle looks like a Paul Gauguin painting. I have shared them in a number of haiku posts but they keep demanding new appearances. This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 43 the challenge is PAINT . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
lake provides calmness
Whenever we travel to the Grampians or very occasionally Adelaide a lunch or coffee break at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat is planned. Charlie had many picnics by the lake and now Maggie has experienced her first two. The circumference of the lake is around 6 kilometres and it sits in the heart of this city so there are always joggers, dog walkers, cyclists or strollers on the path or adjacent road. Ballarat is the home city of my mother who was born and educated there and my father also went to boarding school there and rowed on the lake. When the Melbourne Olympic games were held in 1956 Lake Wendouree hosted the rowing events. Ballarat is freezing cold in Winter and it usually snows. Spring and Autumn are the best times to experience the city and lake. There are many nesting waterbirds on islands in the lake and this beautiful Cygnet and its sole sibling paddled past while we ate lunch recently.
This is my contribution to RonovanWrites weekly haiku poetry prompt challenge 171 Lake & Calm. To access a multitude of haiku responses to this prompt visit https://ronovanwrites.com/2017/10/16/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-171-lakecalm/
casting spring calmness
The sunsets across Port Phillip bay from Ricketts Point at this time of the year are often golden like this one. We captured these images 4 nights ago. There were many photographers scattered across the point as it was low tide. These two in the images had a camera mounted on a mini tripod right down on the water level. The seagulls as usual glided around as they settled in for the night.
With about ten minutes of daylight remaining this White Faced Heron was desperately stalking the shallows at Ricketts Point hoping for a catch. Twice it appeared to snaffle something, both times a very small fish probably. Then with the light almost gone it flew away across the bay leaving a few squarking Seagulls to settle down.
rainbows of feathers
high and low
Two of our most colourful birds, one obvious and one discreet. The Rainbow Lorikeet here feeding on early Spring blossom is now a common sight in our suburb. The brilliant plumage is clearly evident. The second image is a male Common Bronzewing. These birds are not common in suburban Melbourne. We are fortunate in our city of Bayside to have many golf courses and parks that provide shelter and food for a large variety of indigenous birds. The Friends of Native Wildlife, ( a local government supported environmental group I belong) to have identified a secure fenced area around a golf driving range that provides shelter for a small number of Common Bronzewings. We plant native food ground cover these birds feed from. We also lead education walks in our parks and were delighted to meet this beautiful male and his mate resting beside a dam in a golf course on a recent bird walk.
During our recent holiday in Warrnambool we were driving back from the Warrnambool Breakwater beside a little bay near Middle island, (where Oddball the movie was filmed) when we spotted this pair of Australian Pied Oystercatchers. Not having photos records of this bird I stopped the car and quickly made my way down onto the beach and slowly approached the oystercatchers. They were standing close to the water amongst piles of seaweed. When they began to look at me I stopped and set up the monopod with my 500 ml telephoto. Looking through the lens close up at them I had to check and then re check what I was seeing. Both birds had single legs, one was right legged the other had a left leg. Moving a little closer caused them to hop away from me so I began shooting. Neither bird seems distressed and both appeared well fed and in sound condition. What amazing resilience occurs in the natural world, could humans get over such a loss without any assistance?? Also what a co-incidence they should find each other and pair up. Back home at the next Bayside Birds evening I asked the group how common leg loss was with these birds who generally forage on the shoreline and in shallow water. Apparently such accidents are common and are generally caused by pieces of discarded fishing line wrapping around the leg with disastrous results. Just one more example of humans pursuing their own agenda with little regard for their impact on the natural environment.
These images were waiting for the one a week Photo Challenge challenge and this week it is PAIR. Here is my contribution . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/