Monday, March 27, 2006, 11:07 AMBefore going to the Commonwealth Games I had some photos in my camera from morning walks here & a visit to Mnt Bethungra which overlooks Ulandra Nature Reserve so today is about what the Aboriginals term a "Walkabout".
Of late not many clouds have passed over but 2 weeks ago on the 13th it happened the timing was right for a sunrise spectacular. The forest was quiet that morning but Mrs Red-capped Robin obligued with a photo shoot while partaking of breakfast.
The Drive to the summit of what is locally known as Mnt Bethungra is one I have no intention of ever doing again. It was without doubt the steepest & roughest track I have ever been on. Once started there was no chance of turning back so Mo & I were much relieved to arrive at the top. I am pleased to say I have photos to show that I have been there.
Highlights of this visit included a Mexican stand off with a snake at my feet (unknown type) for a minute or so before it disappeared away at an incredible speed. Swamp wallabies watched me & I them in a game of hide & seek ...sometimes you just have to take the shot !
The mountain offers a wonderful bird watching place by a waterhole so I will be sure to visit again leaving the peak to the eagles.
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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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Thursday, March 9, 2006, 11:31 AMI was a bit slow this morning so missed nice colour in the sunrise which has heralded in a lovely day.
The kangaroos were at it again with those fences & today I did the right thing by spooking this pair along the fence to a gateway where the youngster got back underneath to Mum.
I have a list of birds I am wanting to photograph for the Bird Sounds Link so managed to get another one being the Magpie Lark or "Pee Wee" as we say.
Also took a photo of our resident Masked Lapwing Plover ...I say resident as most farm houses will have a pair of these birds living close by. Some months ago one of the pair disappeared & I am blaming a feral cat that I have seen as being the culprit. I expected this remaining Plover to leave but it has not... being recognizable by the loss of the lower part of one leg.
If you are wondering what Mo was doing, well he found a young rabbit under the water tank by the old house ruin when we passed by so that entertained him for some time...he gave me all the body language movements & eye contact looks to move the tank.
Sorry Mo not today !
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