My husband Don is a keen observer of birds and has been ever since he was a small boy, living on the family farm at Williamstown in the forties and fifties. These days he is a sedentary observer, having suffered a number of health issues - he spends hours sitting on our front veranda observing the antics of the many birds that share our garden. Although I am the photographer, it is his knowledge and interest that gets me going and results in the photos I post on my Blog.
Recently he has been feeling a lot better and we have ventured further afield, visiting local bird habitats. We were very disappointed a couple of weeks back when we visited the Monarto Conservation Park and saw no birds at all - we will go back in Spring. Midwinter is probably not the ideal time to visit.
So imagine our excitement as we were driving home past the Ferries MacDonald Conservation Park when a Mallee Fowl ran across the road in front of the car. As Don said, "I nearly wet myself. I am nearly 80 and that is the first one I have seen." I had my camera on my lap, but was so astonished that I didn't have a chance to even lift it a fraction. These birds are very shy and retiring and are rarely seen by anyone, let alone two novice birders just driving home.
Last week we visited the Lataringa Wetlands at Mount Barker. This wetlands has been established with recycled water, planted with local plant species and open to the public for walking and cycling. It is a gentle, level walk with a good sealed path, skirting the lakes and is about 1.2 kms long. The lakes are home to many species birds, reptiles and small mammals. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the area..
|Royal Spoonbills with the black beaks and Yellow-billed Spoonbills.|
|Australian White Ibis|
|Black-fronted Dotterel (not a clear shot)|
These next two shots were interesting. Out in the middle of the lake we came across a large group of mixed birds, all swimming in a tight huddle, feeding on something close to the surface. At one stage they were startled and moved apart quickly, but within a few seconds they were back together again. Obviously there was something in that spot, but we have no idea what.
|Front left are 3 Australasian Shovelers|
Hmm. Wonder what is for dinner there.