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Two Months of Lifers Down Under

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Old Tuesday 31st December 2019, 11:16   #276
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Here you are John.... a few more whale images

We saw at least two lots of mother and calf, one calf was thought to be only weeks old, the other a couple of months (think that's right).

There were also one or two other adults moving through.

From memory this is the first mother with the younger calf.

And all the time we had this glorious view which I think must be South Stradbroke Island.
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Old Tuesday 31st December 2019, 20:35   #277
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Another set of whale pictures. This time ones with the older calf.

Apparently, the mother has to teach the youngster how to use it's tail, which must become strong before they set off for Antarctica, otherwise he will not survive the journey.

However, she had a complication with, it seems, a young rogue male wanting her attention. In order to keep her calf safe, she had to position herself between her calf and the male. The male could damage the calf even by letting his barnacle covered body scratch the bairn.

So the first picture shows the three of them with the mother in the middle. The next two show the calf leaping and the huge splash it made on landing.

The last two are the male trying to impress the female.
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Old Tuesday 31st December 2019, 21:59   #278
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Loving the whale photos. I am probably greener than Shrek looking at them.
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 13:03   #279
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Sadly the last of the images showing the whales.

1: I believe this to be the calf
2: The young male's tail after a dive
3: The male was really showing off to the female and did a number of dives one after the other
4: The male after another dive
5: The mother and calf had come really close to the boat

The captain thought we'd been with them long enough and wanted to leave them in peace now
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:28   #280
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It must have been a truly magic encounter. I can remember very well the excitement and the wide grins on our faces when we saw a single Humpback in Canada in 2016, so I can imagine how thrilling it must have been to see a group of them showing so well!
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:34   #281
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It really was magic... I'd never been on such a trip as this before - guess they're not all quite like this LOL

Thanks 3IB.
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:37   #282
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Amazing pics of the whales Delia, what a truly wonderful experience!

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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 18:00   #283
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I love your whale images, Delia. I’ve been on one excursion such as this, think I managed all of one photo!
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 20:10   #284
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Thank you so much Chris and Lisa, I'm pleased you liked those whale pictures so much.

Just a few miscellaneous images to finish off

1: Returning to port, these are obviously remnants of what would have been a coastal mangrove swamp, nearly all of it has disappeared along the whole length of the coastline here

2: An overview of the sandbar, mostly Little Black Cormorants, but a variety of other species too, including Australasian Pied, probably some Little Pied, Great Crested Terns and Silver Gulls.

3: A Silver Gull in flight

4: There were helicopter rides available with a pretty constant stream of them in and out. No thanks... a lot of money and think I got more from the boat trip LOL

5: One of the crew, nicknamed Pineapple (for fairly obvious reasons LOL). A very pleasant and helpful guy.

One thing I took away from that trip.... "Try and pick up 3 pieces of litter every day. We can make a difference."
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Old Thursday 2nd January 2020, 11:01   #285
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Thanks Delia for all the whale shots, you certainly did yourself proud! I wonder how many Cormorants etc were on that sandbar.......very exciting for you and for us as you share your images.....many thanks!
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Old Thursday 2nd January 2020, 11:23   #286
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Promenade

After a very nice lunch at the cafe where we took the boat trip. We then drove further along the sea front to see what might be about.

Very little that I could get a picture of, apart from a Masked Lapwing (it was rather hot now, being mid-day).

Back near the entrance to the port, there's a park called Federation Walk Coastal Reserve. We parked in there and wandered around, not finding what Hans was looking for at first, but I did see a Noisy Friarbird in a tree, then a Welcome Swallow.


Finally Hans tracked down what we were looking for, a Bush Stone-Curlew (or Bush Thick-knee if you prefer).

Also seen / heard in the area were House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon, Magpie-Lark, Brahminny Kite and Striated Heron. Also Osprey high on a pole erected for a nest. There seem to be a lot of these out there.
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Old Thursday 2nd January 2020, 11:25   #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora View Post
Thanks Delia for all the whale shots, you certainly did yourself proud! I wonder how many Cormorants etc were on that sandbar.......very exciting for you and for us as you share your images.....many thanks!
Nora
Many thanks Nora.

You know, I've now idea... needs someone better than me to count them LOL

Loads!!!!
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Old Thursday 2nd January 2020, 19:55   #288
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Oxenford Weir

From the coast we then moved inland to visit Oxenford Weir. Rather a nice place with lots to see.

We parked ourselves on some large rocks down near the water to get our bearings (well me anyway - Hans and Judy had been before) and to await events. As my descriptions could sound a bit complicated, I've started with an overall picture of the site. You can't see those rocks, as they're below and to the right of that bench seat.

The weir itself is the line of rocks to the left. You can just see the river in the background, which does a big sweep round to come through the weir, then off to the sea I presume.

On the rocks that formed part of the weir was a rock-climbing Dusky Moorhen, then the other side of the weir both Great and Little Egrets standing together.

Pacific Black Duck and Eurasian Coot in the water.
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Old Friday 3rd January 2020, 10:24   #289
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We watched as a few Sulphur-crested Cockatoos flew into some trees on the far side of the river - I managed to get a poor image of one of them.

An Osprey was sitting on a pylon while two Brahminy Kites displayed overhead.

I went back up to the car with Judy to fetch some drinks down and there on an overhead wire was a Laughing Kookaburra.

To finish off this set of 5, a Little Black Cormorant swam (and dived) in front of the weir.
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Old Friday 3rd January 2020, 16:26   #290
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Loved the Laughing Kookabura.
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Old Friday 3rd January 2020, 20:24   #291
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I walked along the wall of the weir, in order to get closer shots of a Striated Heron, but got side-tracked when a call from Judy alerted me to a flock of Chestnut-breasted Mannikins which had flown into a tree. A bit distant, but you can see what they are.

I've given you two pictures of them; one to show you the size of the flock and the other a cropped close-up view of them.

After that I turned my attention back to the heron. Amazed at how small they are, only about the size of a Common Wood Pigeon would you believe!!! I'd no idea. He wasn't at all concerned about my presence on the wall.

Returning to my rock seat, an Australian Pelican then came paddling along and found himself in a patch of water weeds that had come from the other side of the wall.

Sharp-eyed Judy noticed something moving in the weir wall, which turned out to be a rather handsome Water Dragon in breeding dress. I tried to get closer but then couldn't find the rocks he was located at.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 15:37   #292
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A few odd pictures to finish up that visit to Oxenford Weir.

Judy and I carried our mugs and other bits up to the car, then I busied myself with taking pictures. Firstly the view of the river from where the car was parked. The weir itself was hard left out of sight.

Then I spotted a Crested Pigeon sitting up on the wires. I'd really got to love these cute wee guys.

I thought then I'd take a view across the river to the other part where you can see a speed boat having fun. Wondering where Hans was, we suddenly realised he was still sitting on the rocks, deep in conversation with someone discussing the techie points of cameras LOL
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 17:47   #293
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Wonderful report Delia. It's great you made the trip, it's a birder's paradise, isn't it? Your posts take me back and I would love to go back someday. I loved our time there.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 17:53   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
We watched as a few Sulphur-crested Cockatoos flew into some trees on the far side of the river - I managed to get a poor image of one of them.

An Osprey was sitting on a pylon while two Brahminy Kites displayed overhead.

I went back up to the car with Judy to fetch some drinks down and there on an overhead wire was a Laughing Kookaburra.

To finish off this set of 5, a Little Black Cormorant swam (and dived) in front of the weir.
The Brahminy Kites are such beautiful birds. Miss hearing the Kookaburras sound off.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 17:58   #295
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Hi Sue - how lovely to hear from you.... where have you got to on your boat?

Many thanks for your lovely words and yes, the Brahminy Kites really are beautiful, aren't they.

I hope you have a wonderful 2020 lass.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 22:31   #296
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Springbrook

15 October 2019

We were off early the next day to explore Springbrook, which is either part of, or adjoins, Lamington National Park.

The drive up was a bit steep and hairy in places but beautiful. I'd never really been in forests where there were these vines hanging, so I had to take a picture.

We were now at Purling Brooks car park and there was a sign there showing a translation of some Aboriginal place names. Hans and Judy had not come across these anywhere else, so I thought I'd take a picture in case you were interested.

We walked through the forest trail hearing Eastern Whipbird (still no picture even though I sort of saw him moving some leaves), a female Satin Bowerbird and Brush Turkey.

At the end of the trail, there was a viewing point over a gorge looking at a rather fine waterfall (one can only imagine how spectacular it would be after heavy rains). While there I caught sight of a rather splendid Pied Currawong.

On the way to our next stop, we came across this beautifully painted building.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 22:36   #297
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That Pied Currawong is one beautiful bird and this capture of it is pure awesome D!
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 23:39   #298
Lisa W
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Those vines remind me of the Kudzu growing in the U.S. in Georgia and Alabama. It is an invasive species from Asia.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 00:41   #299
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Yeah... they are rather neat birds those KC. Thanks.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 09:27   #300
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Love your avatar Delia, a bird not very often seen around here, great image!
Thanks again for all the updates much appreciated, love it all!
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