Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 10:47 AM - GeneralWe have just spent a most wonderful week in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Games. We are so glad to have made the decision to go & a week was just perfect in maintaining the high of it all. However we are home again now & back to reality reflecting on the many things that happened.
To begin with the weather was just perfect & the whole organisation of the Games was in our minds just great....did not see any trouble or anyone unhappy at all or for that matter worried about safety issues.
There are too many highlights to cover but a brush with royality is one not to pass.
The Queen came into the swimming venue one morning when we were there & was seated only meters away from us. As the morning session was drawing to a close we decided to leave early & catch a tram to our next venue at the gymnastics. I decided then this would be my opportunity to take her Majestys photo. I composed the frame but could see the Queens face looked decidedly green from light coming through the brim of a green hat she was wearing....I hesitated to take the photo. Then the Premier of Victoria who was seated beside her lent forward to speak to a person & blocked her out completely. Two police officers suddenly appeared before me announcing "No photographs!"
We were ushered into the tunnel out of the stand, & then just to rub it in that I had missed my only chance in life to take a photo of the Queen of England she walked out past me. This is while Jen the wren was in the Womens...my camera at this stage had been put away in the back pack.
The Queen of England walks by me only meters away & Ian does not have a camera !
I could not believe it ... Was not meant to be
The children I noticed in the crowds showed a lot of outward excitement, they really enjoyed it & will have long lasting memories I'm sure. It was great to see many people & athletes only before ever viewed on TV. This passing parade seemed many of athletes who never made it to the podium to attained that level of Superstar made even more so by action after action replay. I hope those who did not win a medal go home with the memory that they are were a superstar in their own right for having competed at Melbourne.
One of the best things we had in our back pack for the Games were the field glasses... be sure to always take yours !
Ciao for Now
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Monday, March 13, 2006, 05:13 AM - GeneralLast Saturday I had the privilege of accompanying Marj Cochrane on a bird watching outing to the Ingalba Nature Reserve near Temora.
Marj a resident of Junee is recognized as a long standing identity in the field of Bird Watching. She is known far & wide for this interest & there is not many a place left in Aus where she has not been in pursuit of observing the feathered kind... As a matter of interest she informed me on the drive to Ingalba that she has been visiting there for over 30 years. I was glad of her expertise on birds & knowledge of the Reserve knowing also that recently some tracks had became blocked by fallen trees thus saving valuable driving time.
The morning was still pleasantly cool when we arrived but the March Fly's quickly found us & soon filled the Nissan wagon with their buzzing & stinging bites... Even through our clothing I might add.
A short distance along the track having stopped the vehicle a pair of Jacky Winter birds appeared on Marjs side. Perhaps they recognized her as being the President of the Friends of Ingalba ...A group dedicated to the care & preservation of this place.
I stepped up to Marjs shoulder to see where she was pointing. One of the Jacky Winter's then came right up seeming as if to officialy welcome her back. It flittered about on the twiggy branches directly in front while I took some photos, then on towards Marj I think with the intent for a moment to land on her straw hat.
On the day we observered quite a few different birds but it is this event I prefer to remember.
Marj wanted me to make mention of the Superb Parrots (endangered) sighted at Ingalba. In doing so I will invite her to list the others if she so desires via the Comments Tab when viewing this Entry.
Information on Ingalba can be found by going to Bookmarks & Link into the National Parkes Wildlife Service....Enter search into NSW Parks & Reserves
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Saturday, March 11, 2006, 10:19 PM - GeneralYesterday morning produced a surprise for me...Since losing the hearing in one ear several years ago due to an operation, I have learnt to use my eyes more to locate things as mono hearing is of little use for a bearing fix.
I had detected movement of a bird in a White Cypress pine of the forest & it took some time to actually see it. It was in fact a Whistling Rufous that was busy feeding & remaining very quiet...I never heard it make any sound before or after this encounter.
The possum still sleeps at the hollow entrance & I am worried so must make that box. The Mum Roo & youngster remain in the forest, I slipped by them quietly pretending not to see her watching me from close by over the branches of a fallen tree.
In getting back to the house I ventured over the nearby Houlaghans Ck into my Reserve to see what was doing there & found a single White-backed Swallow. This took my interest as it was just sitting there on the fence...a real bandit if ever I saw one !
I would love to find a Brown Snake in the Reserve before hibernation time soon but in going to a watering place I have put in once again there was nothing. Not wanting to be seen it seems
Later in the day I took a photograph of an Eastern Rosella for Cade to add to the Bird Sounds Link ...so will not duplicate it here.
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Wednesday, March 8, 2006, 10:05 AM - GeneralBird life was quiet this morning but the kangaroos were here taking shelter in the trees for the day. The two youngsters left behind yesterday were back with their Mothers. However an even younger one was stuck on the wrong side of a fence to its Mum ...she was waiting nearby but then all fled at my approach.
The mob started out across a field but then turned back when they realized the joey could not follow, they then veered along the fence & away... Joey hopping like mad to keep up on the other side.
After a time the Mother came back looking for the young joey & I got some photos as she passed by. I think the joey is now with the mob that has gone up along the creek, so Mum will probably stay in the shelter of the forest for the day untill tonight when they can get back together.
One of the reasons farmers don't like kangaroos is the damage they do to fences. They will go through any sort of a hole, or underneath & in general make these holes etc bigger.
Adults can jump fences easily but it takes time for the young ones to get big enough & to learn doing it.
I have tried for a long time to get a photo of a kangaroo jumping a fence but as yet have not managed to do so.
OK Byes for now & See ya !
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Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 09:52 AM - GeneralWow ! I am so impressed....I just found a comment from a wonderful person & friend from a far off land. Thank you Gail
The weekend was spent away visiting family in Canberra, it was a great time together. We sailed on the city lake & watched aerial aerobatics overhead then fireworks on into the night...Earlier in the morning when walking looking for kangaroos I took what is an unusual photo of the Parliament House tower.
You would not know the scene could possibly be of our National Capital
There was definetely a chill to the morning air today, then discovering a pair of Red-capped Robins at the forest told me the Autumn weather is at hand.
I tried in vain to get a better photo of the Yellow-rumped Thornbills but they were just to flitty. The possum was at the hollow entrance again seeming to try & sleep so I am wondering perhaps if I should make a box for it as maybe that tenament house is full.
After all, with the depletion of old mature gum trees containing hollows it is no wonder there is not enough housing for the birds & the bees ...they can't all live in the one house
The Eastern Grey kangaroos had come & gone again during the night but this time they somehow left behind two young juveniles. Most probably because they have not yet learnt to jump fences. So these little paws were feeling rather lost & nervous as displayed by shaking of the head.
The mob should return again tonight for them to re-unite.
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