Today’s birds

[Written yesterday, Thursday 3rd July]

This one is just for me.

I love bird watching. Anyone who has read anything on my blog or who knows me in person is familiar with this.

So these are my day’s birds!

I’m on holiday right now and it couldn’t be more perfect, more and more birds every day; the perfect recipe for happy days.

First up was my walk down to the Queenscliff Railway Station

Help needed - I am yet to get a good enough shot to identify this fast little flitter

Help needed – I am yet to get a good enough shot to identify this fast little flitter

A parting shot of this tiny fast birdie

A parting shot of this tiny fast birdie

Loud and beautiful Red Wattlebird

Loud and beautiful Red Wattlebird

Another shot of the gorgeous Red Wattlebird

Another shot of the gorgeous Red Wattlebird

Then Lake Lorne in Drysdale for an afternoon lap

How perfect is this? A beautiful Black Swan swimming along with its reflection

This is so perfect! A beautiful Black Swan swimming along with its reflection

Pure luck - a flitting Welcome Swallow with the early crescent moon!

Pure luck – a flitting Welcome Swallow with the early crescent moon!

Straw-necked Ibis flying in formation to their roost

Straw-necked Ibis flying in formation to their roost

Australian White Ibis at roost in the top of a tree in the middle of Lake Lorne

Australian White Ibis at roost in the top of a tree in the middle of Lake Lorne

Stunning pair of Eastern Rosellas at Lake Lorne

Stunning pair of Eastern Rosellas at Lake Lorne – one of the day’s highlights

Magpie-lark usually called a mudlark dancing in a tree

Magpie-lark usually called a mudlark dancing in a tree

Little Black or Great Cormorants at roost in an old dead tree

Little Black or Great Cormorants at roost in an old dead tree

Great day all in all 🙂

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Heritage steam

Today I went on an exciting adventure. Me and a whole bunch of kids with mum, dad, grandma, uncle etc. I felt just like a kid setting off on an exciting day trip, and as I was surrounded by exactly that, it really helped set the mood!

I arrived at the heritage Queenscliff station at twenty to eleven in the morning to find the train I was about to catch steaming and puffing away with doors wide open ready to receive travelers. What an adorable cutesie sight!! A glorious sunny day, the chill of the morning worn off to a nice comfortable day and a trip in this old steam train to boot!!

Ticket office at the Queenscliff railway station.

Ticket office at the Queenscliff railway station

Irony abounds in the sight of this old fashioned ticket office. I purchased my ticket for the steam train online with my smart phone, and unable to print it out, the railway man had to read my details off said smart phone to record my journey! So much for doing things in the old way! However I did get a cute old school ticket to carry.

Return ticket to board the Queenscliff to Drysdale steam train

Return ticket to board the Queenscliff to Drysdale steam train

Permission to enter the railway station and wait for the train to depart!

Moving from the ticket office to the railway platform

Moving from the ticket office to the railway platform

Queenscliff railway station

Queenscliff railway station

Here’s the train waiting to take on passengers and convey them to Drysdale

Steam engine puffing away ready to take off

Steam engine puffing away ready to take off

Steam engine with the engineers getting ready to depart

Steam engine with the engineers getting ready to depart

Carriages waiting with open doors for passengers to board

Carriages waiting with open doors for passengers to board

Finally eleven o’clock!! All aboard!

Time to depart - all aboard!

Time to depart – all aboard!

Time to pick the best place to sit for the best view!

Time to pick the best place to sit for the best view!

View from the carriage out the door waiting for the station master to shut us in

View from the carriage out the door waiting for the station master to shut us in

The station master closing all the doors for departure

The station master closing all the doors for departure

And we are off! Following the shore of Swan Bay then crossing inland to Drysdale

Perfection! Blue skies, green grass, trees and through it all the gorgeous Swan Bay

Perfection! The view from my seat in the train: blue skies, green grass, trees and through it all the gorgeous Swan Bay

The inside of the 1920s carriage

The inside of the 1920s carriage

Some days, life is just perfect! Comfy seat, train doing all the work, view to boot!

Some days, life is just perfect! Comfy seat, train doing all the work, view to boot!

First stop, Laker’s Siding

Lakers Siding railway station

Lakers Siding railway station

Second stop, Suma Park (bad photo!)

Suma Park railway station

Suma Park railway station

Third and final stop, Drysdale. Beautiful station opposite Lake Lorne, home of some great birds!

Behind of Drysdale railway station

Behind of Drysdale railway station

Purple Swamphens at the Drysdale railway station

Purple Swamphens at the Drysdale railway station

A beautiful Black Swan, a Eurasian Coot and some ducks opposite Drysdale railway station

A beautiful Black Swan, a Eurasian Coot and some ducks opposite Drysdale railway station

Cormorants roosting in an old tree in Lake Lorne opposite the Drysdale railway station

Cormorants roosting in an old tree in Lake Lorne opposite the Drysdale railway station

What a great trip! I can highly recommend the steam train trip between Queenscliff and Drysdale; if you’re in the area, make sure you take the time to enjoy this old school adventure 🙂

Babies

In all the world there is nothing cuter than babies. Maybe not immediately after they are born or hatched or emerge into the world, but once they’ve recovered from the shock of being shoved into the world without so much as a user’s guide or map of life, there is nothing cuter.

Something about miniature versions of ourselves is touching. Maybe it’s the thought of ourselves once being that little and realising how far we’ve come, or maybe it’s the picture of a young, untouched, unburdened little thing with all the hope of the world in front of it.

Whatever it is, I’ve always been a fan. I started with puppies and progressed to ducklings and lately I’ve kind of come around to enjoying human babies too. It helps that my friends have such adorable, cute and clever babies. Or am I just biased?

But the baby I’m talking about today is something different, and so special because I’ve never seen it before and I think that it is probably a rare sight given the protection that these babies are usually given by their cautious parents.

I’m talking about plovers. That’s what we call them, and that is the type of bird that they are, but their bird name is Masked Lapwing, specifically the eastern form of this species.

Adults are not hard to find and in fact can become quite a nuisance during breeding season because they nest on the ground and will go to great lengths to keep you away from their nest! They try to distract you by loud shrill cries, by making a big fuss as they flap away from the nest pretending to be injured, and by swooping unfortunate people going about their business but happening to be passing by a nest.

This is what the adult looks like in the eastern parts of Australia, this particular one found in Queenscliff:

Eastern Masked Lapwing stalking around in the freshly mowed grass

Eastern Masked Lapwing stalking around in the freshly mowed grass

This is the cutest little miniature version, found in Lake Lorne in Drysdale this afternoon:

First glimpse of the cutest miniature ever: Masked Lapwing

First glimpse of the cutest miniature ever: Masked Lapwing

Cute puffy little eastern Masked Lapwing in the lake

Cute puffy little eastern Masked Lapwing in the lake

Baby eastern Masked Lapwing at Lake Lorne

Baby eastern Masked Lapwing at Lake Lorne

Beautiful baby eastern Masked Lapwing

Beautiful baby eastern Masked Lapwing

Two cute little miniature Masked Lapwings, already able to fly

Two cute little miniature Masked Lapwings, already able to fly!

So cute, right? I’m so happy to have found them! Ah bird watching, something new and interesting every time!!