Tag: Sea World

521. A heatwave begins and we explore our wildlife photos…

Heatwave conditions were predicted to begin today and last through until next Monday.

Now that we have finally completed installation of the awning covers on every window, the hot weather will be a good test. By pulling all the shade awnings down to the bottom edge of the window it puts shade on the windows and dramatically reduces the heat coming in through those windows. By leaving the garage door open only 300 mm allows for the breeze to blow through and into the house via the laundry. Combined with insulation in the ceiling and the fans on low the house is quite cool. So, instead of going to the beach or playing lawn bowls the idea is to stay inside and just relax, stay cool and not exert ourselves in the heat.

As I start to write these words, clouds have rolled in and thunder can be heard nearby. It is becoming dark outside.

Here is a wonderful chance to review our photos for some which have not previously been published. Today we are looking at our animal photos.

031-polar-bear
HENRY the Polar Bear.

First photo in the collection is a Polar Bear. I shot this at the Gold Coast Seaworld in late 2014. In fact it was about this same time of year. It included an afternoon storm of dark clouds, strong winds, hail, rain, thunder and lightning. This, if you can believe it, is the young cub, Henry. His mum, Lia, was in an adjoining enclosure. Most park visitors came to see this young fellow, Henry, who was born at the park in 2013. Since I took the photo, Henry has achieved International travel having moved to Ontario Canada Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in October 2015.

 

032-butterfly-found-in-aboriginal-nature-walk
Unknown Butterfly. Can readers help identify this?

I found this beautiful Butterfly in an Indigenous garden display at Morven in western Queensland late in October 2010. Like many indigenous endeavours they all start off with great intentions but when the allocated donated funds are no longer available there is nobody to maintain the gardens.  Although the gardens were well laid out with native shrubs and other artefacts there was no information available to explain what was what and the place was in a state of neglect. In fact there was nothing anywhere in town to explain that the garden was there. It was not considered something worth visiting. I found it just by walking around the half dozen streets which make up the town and stumbled on it by accident. Obviously the Butterfly was also a visitor and after speaking with locals I was still none the wiser as to what type of Butterfly it was. Maybe a reader can identify it for me.

 

033-australian-ring-neck-parrot
Australian Ring Neck Parrot.

Also in October 2010 we came upon this Australian Ring Neck Parrot in, of all places, Lightning Ridge NSW. This was our first visit to LR and was destined not to be our last. I do not know why but LR has an appeal…to us…and many others. There are four subspecies of this parrot and this one from Central Western NSW is the only one which has a bluish colouring rather than distinctive green of the other three.

 

034-emu
Emu…For our overseas readers the name is pronounced…Eem You.

October 2010 was a busy time in our travel calendar. We were located at Burke, western NSW and in the red sand backroads looking for native wildflowers and fauna. One of the great sightings was the Emu which can be seen in their thousands. Although we constantly saw Emu all day, like all wildlife are hard to photograph as they just do not sit still and pose. All wildlife will stop, look around, feed, look around, move around or move on but they are always in motion. The Emu also likes to move in bush, where, with its natural colouring, can blend in.

 

035-brahminy-kite-in-casuarina-tree
Brahminy Kite.

We saw this Brahminy Kite (also known as the Red -Backed Sea Eagle) at Bucasia Beach on Eimeo Creek tropical Queensland in June 2011. They are found mainly on the coast and in inland wetlands where they feed on dead fish and other prey. (I have seen them catch live fish too) Adults have a reddish-brown plumage and a contrasting white head and breast which make’s them easy to distinguish from other birds of prey. They are sometimes described as a medium sized bird of prey – Raptor – but in my experience are as big as, if not bigger than, a Wedge Tailed Eagle.

 

036-furtive-and-nervous-oyster-catcher
Oyster Catcher.

The furtive and nervous Oyster Catchers can be seen almost anywhere along the estuary mud flats on Australia’s coast. This one we saw at the somewhat remote location of Miara north of Rockhampton on the estuary mud flats of Yandaran Creek in April 2014. Miara Caravan Park exists for serious fisher folk wanting to get to lucrative fishing grounds quickly. I find the name Oyster Catcher rather strange as oysters do not move all that quickly in order to be caught. I think the name should be Oyster Finder.

 

037-welcome-swallow
Welcome Swallow.

Australia’s most widespread swallow, the Welcome Swallow can be seen fluttering, swooping and gliding in search of flying insects in almost any habitat, between city buildings, over farmland paddocks, in deserts, wetlands, forests and grasslands and every habitat in between. Sometimes they even occur at sea — the name ‘Welcome’ swallow comes from sailors who knew that the sight of a swallow meant that land was not far away. Swallows build their mud nests in many different situations, though most noticeably beneath bridges and on the walls of buildings. This pair was sighted on farmland at Finch Hatton west of Mackay, Qld in October 2011.

 

038-black-swan
Black Swans.

April 2009 we were at Coles Bay in Tasmania. At Moulting Lagoon was huge flock of wonderful Black Swans. The Black Swan is the largest waterbird in Australia. The white feathers can only be seen when it is flying or as in this case just flapping around for the fun of it. Graceful in flight and when paddling around on the water, it is a clumsy bird when walking on land. Until 1697 all Swans were thought to be white. A visiting Dutch Ship caught two specimens in what is now the Swan River, Perth, Western Australia. Both birds died on the voyage back to Holland. Here is an interesting fact – refer to http://panique.com.au/trishansoz/animals/black-swan.html  it is estimated that up to 25% of Black Swan Couples are homosexual!!!

 

039-black-skink
Black Skink. For some reason it is also known as a Land Mullet.

Often the first sighting of a Black Skink is the large, long black tail sliding under a bush or leaves. Bushwalkers first reaction is that they have come across a deadly Black Snake.  In fact the Black Skink, like all Skinks, are usually non aggressive. We saw this specimen while bushwalking at Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland in March 2015. Like all good city people walking in the bush we also thought it was a deadly black snake at first. The overseas tourist in front of us went panic paralysed while screaming they had been attacked by a black snake. In fact the Skink was trying to get away and hide from the noisy people.

 

040-pelicans
Pelicans.

We see Pelicans everywhere on a daily basis. Mostly we see them on the coast but have found them in river locations hundreds of kilometres from the coast. These Pelicans were located at Lakes Entrance in Victoria in May 2009 when we were returning from Tasmania. They are a big bird and to a young child can appear threatening. In fact they are quite tame and can often be approached to within a metre or two. They enjoy being hand fed.

 

492. Sunday 15th May 2016. A quiet week coupled with a parking fine and Animals round off the week…

Sunday 15th May

It has been a quiet week for us. Not boring but we have been busy with medical and dental appointments. We did not visit new locations.

For example on Monday our friend Graham helped us put up awnings on two back bedroom windows and the back door. Graham scored the awning parts from a neighbour. We took them apart and painted all the metal. Graham also scored some near new awning canvas which were all slightly wider but Donnis cut and sewed them to size while Graham and I started on fixing the frames etc to the walls.

On Tuesday I saw the dentist who put in a temporary filling and booked me in for a crown to be fitted. Meanwhile Donnis and Graham finished the awnings. While at the dentist I got a $117 fine for parking illegally.

Sob!

On Wednesday I got the results of my little op last week. It is a cancer – squamous carcinoma – the doc offered to cut it all out right there right then. It will be just a couple of sutures he said. Well okey dokey let’s do it. A few minutes later I can feel blood running down my face and filling my ear. Afterwards I looked in the mirror and found not a couple of sutures…there are six. It must have been a big cancer. He sent the stuff he cut out to the lab to check that he got it all.

Sooo…

Instead of visiting somewhere new I think it is time we caught up with a few photos which have not been shown on the blog before. This week we will look at animals.

First up let’s look at a Polar Bear. Naturally we did not see this guy in the wild as they live in the Artic circle and even the Inuit Indians do not see them on a daily basis. We saw this fellow at Sea World on the Gold Coast. Nice and cuddly, friendly looking as he appears, make no mistake you would not last more than a minute in a cage with him. This bear lives in a large rocky enclosure with glass walls around his pools and viewing platforms above the entire enclosure. He has lots of toys and I was fascinated by his antics. He still had food left over from his previous feeding so he stuffed whatever it was in a crevice in the rocks below the waterline. Every so often he would stop what he was doing and go back to see the food was still where he put it.

031 polar bear
Polar Bear at Sea World Gold Coast, Qld.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sea World I can recommend it. I found the animals more interesting than the rides.

I found this delightful butterfly on a bush in a small garden created by a local aboriginal group. The garden contained lots of native plants found in the area as well as some samples of native craft. The garden is located in the small but amazingly civic minded town of Morven, Queensland on the Warrego Highway midway between Mitchell and Charleville, about 700 Klms west of Brisbane. Morven has several public gardens with most plants identified. The visiting butterfly was obviously not identified. I still cannot identify it. Morven has a free overnight campsite right in town beside the highway. Longer stays at the football field costs a gold coin donation. Power, hot showers and toilets included.

032 butterfly found in aboriginal nature walk
Unknown butterfly, Morven, Qld.

The Australian Ring Necked Parrot inhabits dry desert regions. We found this parrot in the dry scrub country near the gemfields of Lightning Ridge. We have been to The Ridge several times and always enjoyed the visit. In fact Donnis worked here for three months a couple of years ago. Finding this parrot was during our first visit and the Subaru Imprezza was put to good use driving through all the back roads and tracks leading to disused mine shafts. It was on one of these back roads we found the parrot.

033 australian ring neck parrot
Australian Ring Neck Parrot, Lightning Ridge.

Once again we were discovering back road out back of Bourke, NSW. There is an Aussie say when a place is a long way from anywhere we say it is “out the  back of Bourke”. In this case we were way out back on one of those red sand tracks and beginning to feel lost. We had not seen another car for two hours. This emu, like all emu’s know how to blend in with their surroundings.  After another half hour battling deeper and deeper sand tracks we found a sign, pointing to Bourke but no indication of how far away it was. We saw lots of Emu that day, some even running along the track beside us but by then all we wanted to see was a sealed road and sign to take us back to Bourke.

034 emu
Emu, Back of Bourke, NSW.

Just about anywhere on lonely coastal stretches in Queensland you can see the Brahminy Kite. They just seem to drift along in air currents, not using much effort at all. They are a big bird and mainly live on fish but will take other small animals as well. This specimen was sighted at a boat ramp at Bucasia on the Eimeo Creek Qld.

035 brahminy kite in casuarina tree
Brahminy Kite Eimeo Creek Bucasia Beach, Qld.

These Oyster Catchers can be seen just about anywhere along the coast of Qld, NSW and Victoria. They feed in the mud flats and sandbars at low tide. Oyster Catchers seems like a strange name as oyster would not be that hard to catch as they do not move once they cement themselves to rocks or tree branches or whatever. The birds are very shy and move away from humans quickly. This specimen was seen at remote Moore Park Beach about midway between Bundaberg and the town of 1770.

036 furtive and nervous oyster catcher
Oyster Catcher Moore Park Beach, Qld.

You can find Welcome Swallows just about anywhere. They spend most of their daytime life on the wing. Flying around looking for food…flies, moths, butterflies etc. They usually like to nest somewhere near water so they can collect mud to make their nests – often under houses, eaves or in open horse sheds up under the rafters. They rarely hold still  long enough to be the subject of a photo. We saw this pair, in October 2011 on a fencing wire at Finch Hatton, a small rural town about 60 Klms west of Mackay.

037 welcome swallow
Welcome Swallows Finch Hatton. Qld.

In May 2009 we were camped in our Toyota Coaster Motorhome at a free campsite at Moulting Lagoon on Coles Bay at Freycinet Bay, Tasmania. One evening we heard lots of loud honking across the bay. In the morning we were surprised to see hundreds of Black Swan had arrived overnight. These large birds feed on vegetation and it was a pleasure to see them bob for grass or weeds under the water, their bums stuck up in the air.

038 black swan
Black Swans Moulting Lagoon, Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsular,Tasmania.

We were walking along a bush track in the Springwood National Park in the Great Dividing Range just a few Klms west of the Gold Coast. Some people just ahead of us let out a squeal and all jumped to one side of the track and clustered themselves together. (German ladies backpacking Australia) They were frightened by a black snake. Black snakes are deadly but being the silly inquisitive person I am, stepped forward for a closer look at this fatter than usual black snake. To my relief it was a large black skink quite plentiful in this park and not really afraid of squealing tourists who were so scared they wanted to turn back. They live on fungi, fallen fruits, invertebrates and are also known as a Land Mullet.

039 black skink
Black Skink at Springwood National Park, Gold Coast Qld.

Finally one of everyone’s favourite birds, the Pelican.

A funny bird the Pelican

His beak holds more than his belly can.

This group waddled around on a little beach beside a fishing boat ramp. The local fishermen clean and fillet their catch here and feed the scraps to these well fed guys at Metung Beach, Lakes Entrance, Victoria. We were driving our Toyota Coaster Motorhome on our slow way back to Airlie Beach from Tasmania in May 2009 when we stopped here for lunch.

040 pelicans
Pelicans at Lakes Entrance, Vic.