Friday, 27 September 2013

Through a Dirty Window

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia


 These pictures were taken through a window earlier this year. Although many Australian species are suffering from development some are fairing well with the trend of native plants being grown in suburban gardens. Some lorikeet species such as this Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, are regular visitors in the many gardens in south-east Queensland. If you plant native trees, they will come.

In Niigata, I went for a walk at Fukushimagata last Monday but things were warm and quiet (Except for a festival!). Apart from a sprinkling of ducks out on the wetlands I saw a young Northern Goshawk hiding in the reeds and later missed getting shots of an adult attacking flocks of starlings and sparrows. Too quick for my lens...with electric poles and cables in front of the subject....excuses...

Disappointed that trees had been cleared there and was told that they will knock down the observatory to build a new one in the middle of winter until April.....just when it's being used the most.

Cooler the last two days so I'm hoping migrations will be obvious soon.

Problems again with the comments box and have replaced "Google+comments" with the old comments system. Thank you to Noushka for letting me know. I'm sorry to anyone who has had trouble and wasted valuable time. Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Toowoomba Japanese Gardens for Birding

Australian White Ibis


Toowoomba Japanese Gardens, Queensland, Australia


Was reading at the start of the week that the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers had officially commenced for 2013. Made me a touch homesick. I recall I attended a parade ten years ago. Before that, it had been two to three decades earlier that I went enthusiastically with big eyes. I remember beautiful carnival floats covered with flowers puttering by with pretty girls smiling and waving. Famous  radio announcers described the floats and said who they were sponsored by. I also remember being scared of the guys wearing giant paper-mache heads wandering around between the floats.  I was just little. 

These photos are files from 2007 and 2008. Maybe the end of winter. I remember there were plenty of flying foxes in the trees. I think they have been rid of by now. I think it's actually pretty cool. No matter how hard you work to make something authentic the local animals have got to stick their noses in it. I think it is a richer place for it. All the Australian species making the gardens home.

Australian Darter


also known as White-eyed Duck

Flying Foxes

Black Flying Fox

July 31, 2008

Pentax K200D with Sigma 28-300mm lens

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Magpies Niigata

Azure-winged Magpie

Shinano River, Niigata City, Japan

August 2013

These are the only kind of magpies I've seen in Niigata. They are quite attractive but always sticking themselves in the densest foliage. I have wanted better pics than these for quite a while but I can't get good views when I've got my camera. They are fairly common about the place and are here all year round. These photos are of a family along the Shinano River. I felt sorry for them last year as many of the trees they lived in were cleared away. 

Some interesting behaviour when I was photographing the young one below occurred when the adults in a tree behind me started a softish alarm call. Actually I was wondering if it was an alarm as it was repetitive but not so desperate. The young bird flew over to disappear in the thick leaves of the trees with its family and the calls went on for a few moments. Suddenly all went quiet and I looked up the see a Peregrine Falcon jetting by. Can't say, I've noticed alarm calls like this before in Japan. Different to the noisier birds in Australia.

This isn't such an attractive shot but it's easier to see their colours with some kind of background.
Photos of these birds with a blue sky background are quite disappointing. 

Young bird in front of a house.

Peregrine Falcon

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Forgotten Post

Eurasian Teal male

Also known as Common Teal

Anas Crecca

Sakata, Niigata, Japan


I found a folder in my documents with these edited pics from 2010. I think I prepared them to post on this blog but forgot all about them. Anyway, I realised it's a while since I posted anything from Japan so here goes. I have some new pics from the last month but am too lazy to download them (Sorry, soon).

Eurasian Teal will come in good numbers from next month and spend the winter in Niigata (Hopefully and if the world doesn't end). They are quite wild but some will surprisingly allow close observation as demonstrated with these pics taken at the Sakata wetlands in Niigata with Nikon D300 and 300f4 lens.

By the way, thank you for your comments, however, I'm not sure if they'll disappear without my control as seems to be what has happened with comments on some recent posts. I had 12 on the last post but then there were just 2 and another time I checked there were zero. Yet, I just checked again and there were 4. (Something wrong with them loading, maybe?) I have the blog set to receive comments from Google + but wanted to go back to the old form. However, once I tried that and all the comments from the year disappeared. What a bother. I do enjoy checking your comments. Thanks and hope to hear from you.