Meeting raptors …

Words would be a bit superfluous here … so other than to explain that Kangaroo Island’s Raptor Domain  is home to rescued, orphaned and injured birds of prey, I’ll pretty much let the photos tell the story.

Casper emerges on cue
Casper the Barn Owl
Casper the Barn Owl
Maraki the Sea Eagle
Maraki the Sea Eagle
Hobbit the Hobby Falcon
Hobbit the Hobby Falcon

 

I suspect that this is the closest I will ever come to a Wedge Tailed Eagle …

Jedda the Wedge Tailed Eagle
Tilka the Wedge Tailed Eagle

 

The Stokes Bay Loo …

I suspect that not many bloggers write posts on public conveniences … most of them being either unremarkable or indescribable (the loos not the bloggers).  But the loo at Stokes Bay on the north coast of Kangaroo Island deserves a special mention.

At first glance, nothing unusual, just a conveniently placed beach loo.

But a surprise awaits inside.  The walls being covered with a soft lime-wash in beach colours and beautiful relief sculptures …

A bit of research uncovers that the project was part of Eco-Action’s BirdLife Australia Beach-Nesting Bird Project funded through the Federal Government’s “Caring for our Country”.  Two artists Gay De Mather and Lara Tilbrook spent a summer preparing the site and plastering and painting the walls.

The murals focus on the life of beach-nesting birds, Hooded and Red Capped Plover and Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers, and the impacts that humans, dogs and predators have on them.

This is the first time that a public convenience has been the highlight of my sightseeing day.  Unfortunately it probably means that I will be visiting them on a more regular basis, whether I need to or not!

Lazy birdwatching …

I’ve been on a couple of bird-watching expeditions and had a great time. I remember being particularly impressed with a National Parks & Wildlife ranger who produced a freshly baked cake and a coffee plunger from the back of his car!  But I hate ticks and leeches, and my distance eye-sight is not the best, so I’ve decided that traipsing through the bush hoping for a momentary glimpse of a disappearing drongo is not for me.

Much better that I set up my garden as an oasis for birds, with plenty of water, native flowering plants and small snacks. That way I can sit on the veranda with a coffee (or a glass of wine), a camera and my bird book and wait for the birds to come to me.

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Yes it’s lazy, and so far it’s working quite well. On a hot day, there’s a queue of birds waiting for their turn in the bird bath.  You’ll have to take my word for it that this is a Satin Bowerbird …

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Satin Bowerbird taking a bath

 

And there’s a constant procession of birds dropping in at the feeder to check if there is anything there that they fancy.  Sometimes it’s a bit of paw-paw, a piece of bread (wholegrain of course!), a sprinkling of seeds, a dead bug or a piece of sweet corn – not enough to make them dependent though.

As of today the count is at 34 confirmed species, and a few manic birds who won’t stay still long enough for me to identify them let alone take a photo. Visit my Bird Gallery which I update as I identify new bird species.

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Proper Rain at last …

It has been been raining steadily for over twelve hours, the frog pond is overflowing, the ground is sodden, there’s a flood watch out for the Bellinger River, it’s a dark and dreary day … and everything is right with the world!

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Looking lush already

I’m going to take at least partial credit for this rain, as I’ve almost finished rolling out over 200 metres of hose and 100 drippers in preparation for a second un-seasonably dry Spring.  Of course, I should have done this a few years ago when first planting, but I was lulled into complacency by regular and bountiful rain.

The birds aren’t too impressed with the rain, especially the Tawny Frogmouths who are still roosting under the leaves of a dying banana sucker.  They look even more grumpy than usual if that’s possible?

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