Pandemic bird of the day (with bonus llama)

These were neither taken near my home, nor taken recently.  They’re both from my trip in February out to country Victoria.  The birds are also not going to be new to anyone, but I’m posting both because they make me smile, and because – in the case of the llama – I knew at least one of my BookLikes friends is a fan.

First, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo – rocking the mohawk long before teens got their hands on their dad’s electric shavers:

And, well, 2 domesticated geese, but really it’s about the supremely satisfied looking llama:

Pandemic walks / bird of the day

MT and I did another neighborhood circuit a couple of days ago, this time going across the road to the ‘posh’ side of our neighborhood (and it’s seriously posh, with houses big enough to fit ours in their mudroom.  I brought the wrong camera with me, so I didn’t get any examples.  But we did come across a bird I haven’t seen in our area before.  The crested pigeon is a common bird, and I’ve seen it on the other side of town, but never near us.  I always smile when I see them, because they look a bit alternative, with the head-gear, their prismatic colouring, and their perpetually startled expressions.

 

Non-book Post: What I’ve been doing instead of reading, Part 2

(Archive post moved from BookLikes)

Last weekend, we took off for 2 nights for a place we’ve been trying to visit for years: Kingbilli Estate.  ‘Estate’ might be a stretch, but to each their own.  It’s, in essence, a working farm.  A Llama farm, to be exact.  But in its previous incarnations it was a goat/donkey/horse/pony farm and a wildlife rescue hospital, so there’s a little bit of everything (except goats) rambling around the llamas, including a flock of Indian peafowl.

Years ago, the owners built two stone cottages on the property; one for international volunteers, and one to let out to tourists.  Their daughter has since taken over the property, and while the llamas, ponies and horses still have their space, she’s restored most of what was once grazing land back to natural scrub and forest.

Our Cottage

The property still acts as a half-way house for injured wildlife, and there are no limitations as to where guests are allowed to roam, so we – I – went in with the hope/expectation of seeing a lot of Aussie wildlife I’d normally have a hard time seeing: wombats, bandicoots, sugar gliders, etc.

I soooo should have known better.  They heard I was coming and took themselves off.  There were wombat holes EVERYWHERE but not a single wombat did we see.  Nothing but llamas, donkeys and ponies, oh my.  And birds, thank goodness.  So many birds, it was a constant riot of birdsong around the cottage, which sat right on a little stream (which, until the drought, had a platypus in it, dammit).

All in all it was gorgeous and as they only have the one cottage to let, we had it all to ourselves.  Three days of total peace-out bliss – and no phone reception or internet service.

I’ll only share the interesting, colourful birds with y’all as I know not everybody is a bird lover.  But everybody loves baby llamas, right?

Baby llamas!

White-faced Heron

Pacific Heron

Superb Fairy-wren (I just report the names, but you can tell, he thinks he’s superb.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – rocking the mohawk

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – falling off his perch

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Leaden Flycatcher

Silvereye, blending in

Golden Whistler- this one kept throwing himself against our bedroom door’s glass; eventually we figured out he wasn’t attacking his reflection, but picking spiders and bugs off the eaves and the door frame.

 

If you stayed with me up to this point you’re either very kind or really like birds. Either way, thank you. That’s it though – until tomorrow, when we’re off on another expedition. It’s a rather unusual one, but I promise to keep the bird pics to a bare miniumum. After that, I suspect MT is going to enforce a ‘rest period’ and my attention will be solidly back on the books. 🙂

Non-book Post: What I’ve been doing instead of reading, Part 1

(This is a post brought over from BookLikes)

As mentioned in my previous post, we’ve been getting out into nature the last few weeks (with another hike scheduled for tomorrow).  The first was a morning hike at a local park we’d never been too – an old reservoir-turned-parkland.

I was expecting primarily birds, because the park is still in a pretty urban area, and I got birds, but I also happily got a bit of everything else too.  I’ve recently become a member of inaturalist.org as a way of keeping track of, and identifying, what I find when I’m out and about; it’s also a way to contribute to science.  So I got pictures of all sorts of flora and fauna.  I’ll limit my sharing to a few birds, some mammals and one reptile (lizard).

The bird:

White-faced Heron

The mammals:

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, exiting stage right

Swamp Wallaby (no swamp required)

Swamp Wallaby also exiting stage right

And the reptile:

Blotched Bluetongue – it’s blotchy, and it has a blue tongue