Tag Archives: noisy miner

Veale Garden’s Bird Life

3 Jul

Veale Garden’s Bird Life

 Dear Reader;

There is a posse of bandits in the trees around me. Noisy miners with their black masked faces and highly social behaviour resemble just that, especially when they are defending their territory. Today it is a magpie that is on the receiving end of their aggressive chattering and aerial sorties. Despite its size, the magpie soon leaves the area and the miners return to their foraging and socialising in the trees.

Noisy Miner glaring at magpie

 

Australian magpie

 

I am in Veale Gardens, a lovely green space that borders South Terrace on the very fringe of Adelaide’s CBD. I have been attending a convention in the Adelaide Pavilion which caters for a range of functions from weddings to corporate events. After a superb lunch I am taking advantage of these charming gardens to enjoy some urban wildlife. Lawns, trees, flower beds, tall trees and a little brook that runs through the area make it ideal for a little environmental decompression on the edge of the city.

Veale Gardens Creek

In one shaded area of the creek there is a small pool that is attracting several different species of water birds. A male and female Pacific black duck are resting on the rocks at the edge of the water.  Nearby a little pied cormorant is perched a little further along the rock wall near a small waterfall. The predatory bird is watching the water intently for prey such as small fish, yabbies and frogs which it will chase underwater using its wings like flippers.

Pacific black ducks

 

Little pied cormorant

 

There are many other bird species around the gardens especially in the tall eucalypts that run along South Terrace. My favourites are the corellas which congregate in the trees and on the well tended lawns probing for bulbs and tubers in the grass. Their raucous calls can be heard as extensive flocks fly over the city to their roosting sites in the late afternoon.

Corella

 

It has been a rewarding lunchtime stroll around the gardens but the convention beckons and it is time to put away the camera and listen to another speaker extolling the benefits of the city’s parklands to the general health and well being of the public…..quite ironic really.

 Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, barbecues, parking and other facilities nearby.

 

Torrens Lake…..Down by the Weir

2 Nov

(Naturallysouthaustralia.com response to feedback and article)

Thank you for your comments regarding my change of style to a field notes format. Most people seemed to prefer the original recount genre and therefore I will return to writing in this manner.

 

Torrens Lake….Down by the Weir

Dear Reader:

From the walkway where I am standing I can see the V shaped ripples of an Australian water rat swimming towards the concrete lattice work at the foot of the weir. I am always excited by the chance to photograph these elusive mammals and despite the overcast conditions I am in a good position to get a few nice pictures; if the little creature cooperates just a tad.

1 The usual view of a water rat, a V shaped trail that quickly disappears nto the reeds

The usual view of a water rat, a V shaped trail that quickly disappears into the reeds

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Just sitting here enjoying the view

 

When the rakali (another name for the water rat) reaches the reeds instead of disappearing, as usually happens, it dives under the concrete barriers and hauls itself onto the flat surface. After settling for a few seconds it has a quick look around, grooms its fur then slides back into the water. Oh yes; there is a god of wildlife photography.

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Popeye does a U turn at the weir

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Below the Weir where ratty lives

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Great places to dine

 I am at the end of the Torrens Lake by the Weir. It is a place where cycling and walking tracks converge, the iconic Popeye makes its turn for home and the par 3 golf course begins. There are also free city bikes at the little kiosk and the Red Ochre/River Cafe restaurant complex which provides excellent dining and wonderful views across the lake towards the city.

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Moorhens in love

On my way to a coffee before heading home I can’t help but notice a pair of dusky moorhens delicately tripping across the top of the spillway. They follow each other for some time, apparently with amorous intent. Yes, spring is in the air.

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Miner getting a bite to eat the hard way

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I simply loved the colour and motion

 

Noisy miner birds are common along the river bank (not to be confused with the introduced Indian Mynah that plagues Sydney) and a small group are feeding close to the weir. One particular bird hangs from a slender eucalyptus branch as it gathers nectar from the blossoms then kicks off in flight. A nice couple of images to finish my walk by the water.

 

Enjoy the spring weather and our wildlife

Cheers

Baz

Adelaide’s Frome Road Bikeway

16 Aug

Adelaide’s Frome Road Bikeway 

Dear reader:

One of my favourite bike rides starts in north Adelaide at the junction of Barton and LeFevre Terraces. From the roundabout, a dedicated bike lane follows Le Fevre Terrace which is flanked by open parklands on one side and lovely colonial homes on the other. For the marginally more adventurous, there are several paths through the park that run almost parallel to the road. Noisy miners, honeyeaters, magpies and lorikeets are common here and in the evening you might see brush-tailed possums in the trees.

miner bird5

Noisy miners are a species of honeyeater

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Nice little house with a good view of the parklands

 

The bike lane curves down towards the city through more parklands and playing fields. Huge Moreton Bay Fig Trees dominate the parklands providing a vantage point for both rose breasted and sulphur crested cockatoos that often fly down to the grass in search of food.

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Galahs having a bite to eat

 

Just over the Frome Road Bridge, Adelaide Zoo’s classic entrance marks the end of the parklands. Tucked between the zoo and the Botanic Gardens there is a stand of huge pine trees. Look up and it’s hard not to notice a large colony of fruit bats (flying foxes) that call these trees home.

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Entrance to the zoo

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Fruit bats in the trees

 

After the zoo there is a well marked bike lane that runs up Frome Road past the medical school and hospital. The lush lawns around these buildings are a favourite haunt of Sacred Ibises that probe the soft ground with their long curved beaks in search of worms and grubs.

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View of the Torrens from the Frome Road Bridge

 

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Sacred ibises feeding

 

As Frome Road crosses North Terrace you enter a purely urban environment with a wide bikeway that cuts all the way across the city towards the southern parklands. This charming region of the city has many unique little houses and flats decorated with native plantings providing a rich urban ecosystem that supports common bird species such as sparrows, blackbirds and magpies.

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Magpies carolling in an urban environment

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Stopping for a coffee along the way

 

The bikeway finally emerges at the Himeji Japanese Gardens. These gardens are dedicated to Adelaide’s sister city on the Japanese island of Honshu. In keeping with the rest of Adelaide’s green belt parklands the signage also relates to the aboriginal heritage of the area. Rosellas and lorikeets are common inhabitants in the ancient eucalypts that characterise this southern edge of the city.

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Japanese garden

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White cheeked eastern roesella

 

 

From the Japanese Gardens there are bike paths that meander through all of the southern parks but their wildlife and charms will be the subject of a further post in the warmer months to come.

 

Cheers

Baz

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