Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 133 - Sooty Oystercatchers

Part of the reason for me being so busy of late we that I had to 'get ahead' at work so I could go on holiday.  So, get ready for some posts from Tasmania, Australia's Island State.

I have posted images of Sooty Oystercatchers before, but they are such a splendid bird I feel obligated to post some more!

This species of oystercatcher is called Haematopus fuliginosus and it is closely related to the other  oystercatcher that can be seen around the world. These pictures were taken on the typical rocky shore environment that they seem to prefer.

This wonderful section of beach is near Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania - if you get a chance you should go there!





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Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia Day

The 26th of January is 'Australia Day' - it marks the arrival in 1788 of the First Fleet and the proclamation of British Control over the eastern portion of Australia.  The aim was establish a penal colony it what was then called 'New Holland'.  There were over 1000 convicts on the prison  boats that formed part of the fleet.

Of course, for the Native Australians this was not really a day of celebration, and today many people consider it inappropriate that this event is honoured in this way.

What ever your opinion on the this, the stories of the convicts are remarkable - and the litany of crimes for which they were transported is remarkable to read.

In Campbell Town in Tasmania there is a trail consisting of red bricks, each of which carry the name of a convict, their age, the boat on which they were brought to Australia, their crime (and I use the term loosely), the term of their transportation.  Some also contain addition information about the person.

It's a remarkable experience to walk along and read the bricks.










I feel that reading these bricks may be a better way to think about being Australia than wearing a flag and cooking some meat over a BBQ.  But I don't expect everybody to agree with me!

You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday. SM.

PS: With luck normal service will now resume on my blog!

Friday, 23 January 2015

The coming storm / Rain from the Tor

Glastonbury Tor is a famous landmark on the Somerset Levels in the south-west of England.  The stepped Tor (hill) is capped with the single tower of St Michael's Tower.

The Tor was part of the backdrop of my childhood - and is also the centre of much myth relating to King Arthur, various forms of 'Earth Magic' and even has links back to very early Christianity.

Some people climb it to gain insight. Some people climb it to put them in touch with nature, and spend the whole time seeing fantasy.

I climbed it for the view.

Physics was rolling a back of cloud over there levels towards us and by the time we were back at the bottom of the hill it was raining.

The truth may seem prosaic, but it is often beautiful.




You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 132 - Willie Wagtail

Very short of time this week - so I'll just post these shots of a Willie Wagtail at, on and around its nest for this week.

Can't help but mention how you can see the green cast in the picture from all the light being reflected from the leaves around the nest.  It only became really apparent when I looked at the pictures back at home!




I'd love to be able to some form of 'time lapse' of this bird (and its mate presumably) building this nest.  Next year maybe!

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