Mammals and birds of the East

Good morning peeps.

I think it is a good morning; the view out the window looks promising. Haven’t actually put a foot out to check but that can wait. I’m having a recovery day, catching up on some down time and some sleep.

So what better to do while lying around in bed than go through some photos? Yay!

You know how I recently went on holidays, and didn’t post any bird pictures whatsoever? No not that WA holiday, also not the Phuket holiday. The other holiday, the Victoria one. Hmm, I do seem to have had a lot of holidays lately!

You didn’t really think you’d get away without my birds that easily did you?

Good, cos here they come! Also this special post comes with animals as well, so you can skim over the birds if you like.

And I promise you that you do want to have a look at these photos. We’ve got babies following mums around, mums and dads sitting on nests and maybe one of my best bird of prey photos yet! I know that last statement doesn’t say much, but still…I think it’s worth a glimmer.

These photos were all taken in East Victoria either at the holiday house at Wattle Point, at Paynesville, on Raymond Island, on the Silt Jetties and in the Blond Bay game reserve. I highly recommend any of these spots for great wildlife encounters. Sadly I don’t have photographic evidence of the 3 echidnas I glimpsed from the coach on the way; only my memories.

So here we go!

I love the Eastern Spinebills. So far I’ve only ever seen males, and only ever in the pink flowering gum! Must be one of their favourite playgrounds. Notice the first photo and the second; despite most of the photos showing them at a reasonable size they are actually very tiny!

Stunning male Eastern Spinebill in the pink flowering gum

Stunning male Eastern Spinebill in the pink flowering gum

Tiny little Eastern Spinebill flitting around the gum tree

Tiny little Eastern Spinebill flitting around the gum tree

So agile and skilled at balancing in all kinds of poses so that he can reach the nectar, eastern spinebill, pink flowering gum

So agile and skilled at balancing in all kinds of poses so that he can reach the nectar – sadly the focus is just off

Dangling upside down with breast side up getting right into the pink gum blossom, eastern spinebill

Dangling upside down with breast side up getting right into the pink gum blossom

Another favourite of mine are the swallows. I’ve been trying to photograph them in flight for a few months, and up until recently I had never seen them sit still. Now I know that they do roost at night so dusk or early morning can be a good time to find them sitting still if you catch them before they head out to feed or after they’re back; if you find their nest you’ll see them sitting on the nest or busy building a nest; and when they dip for water they slow right down, and sometimes stop on the edge of the water. So it turns out there are a few opportunities to catch them.

The first Welcome Swallow I found sitting still, checking out the world from the property gate

The first Welcome Swallow I found sitting still, checking out the world from the property gate at Wattle Point

Beautiful Welcome Swallow taking time out of flitting around to preen up in the eves next to the main road

Beautiful Welcome Swallow taking time out of flitting around to preen up in the eves next to the main road in Paynesville

A Welcome Swallow standing on a half built nest up in the eves over a cafe

A Welcome Swallow standing on a half built nest up in the eves over a cafe in Paynesville

Welcome Swallow sitting still at dusk, facing into the bracing wind!, green grass, wooden fence

Welcome Swallow sitting still at dusk, facing into the bracing wind!

My absolute favourite photo from a whole series of Welcome Swallows sitting on the fence at dusk, green grass

My absolute favourite photo from a whole series of Welcome Swallows sitting on the fence at dusk!

And then there are Black Swans, beautiful, elegant, graceful. And then there are their delightful cute cygnets!

Fascinating viewing: two Black Swans fishing together along the shallow shore

Fascinating viewing: two Black Swans fishing together along the shallow shore

These are about the most adorable thing I've ever seen! And I used to rear ducklings that are also cute and cuddly, black swan, cygnets

These are about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! And I used to rear ducklings that are also cute and cuddly

Adorable grey fluffy Black Swan cygnets bobbing in the lake, green water

Adorable grey fluffy Black Swan cygnets bobbing in the lake

And another mum and bub group! This time the Black Swan cygnets are tinier and cuter

And another mum and bub group! This time the Black Swan cygnets are tinier and cuter

The cutest little only child learning to gather sea grass with its vigilant parents

The cutest little only child learning to gather sea grass with its vigilant parents

I love Laughing Kookaburras. They can look fluffy and cute, lean and mean and sound lovely or act vicious. You just never know how you’ll find them.

Evil mean look Laughing Kookabura, ironically found next to the house named 'Kookaburra Corner', electric wire

Evil mean look Laughing Kookabura, ironically found next to the house named ‘Kookaburra Corner’

Here’s a “lifer”, twitchers/birdwatchers term for a bird that you’ve never seen, or in my case photographed before; in this case a bird that I’ve never appreciated before. And never heard before. They can produce an amazing volume of sound that travels for blocks and blocks!

The female Common Bronzewing pigeon sadly in the shade so you can't see the luminescent bars on her wings

The female Common Bronzewing pigeon sadly in the shade so you can’t see the luminescent bars on her wings

A few days later,  huge "oom oom" sound caught our attention. We finally tracked it down to the male Common Bronzewing pigeon sitting on the nest

A few days later, a huge “oom oom” sound caught our attention. We finally tracked it down to the male Common Bronzewing pigeon sitting on the nest on Raymond Island

If it doesn't turn you cross eyed, this was meant to be a great photo of the bronze wing which gives the bird its name, but i must have moved!

If it doesn’t turn you cross eyed, this was meant to be a great photo of the bronze wing which gives the bird its name, but i must have moved!

Cormorants are just so fascinating with their clever diving and swimming under water skills and then their wing drying habits.

A mixed bunch of Little Pied and Little Black cormorants hanging out in the sun

A mixed bunch of Little Pied and Little Black cormorants hanging out in the sun

I do love all kinds of seas birds. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen these terns before, and I’m almost certain I’ve never photographed them.

lake, pier, Pair of fabulous Crested Terns hanging with a silver gull

Pair of fabulous Crested Terns hanging with a silver gull

Another graceful gentle bird:

Ever graceful, even when stalking prey, beautiful White-Faced Heron, cape weed

Ever graceful, even when stalking prey, beautiful White-Faced Heron

And now to the nest!!

A pair of Willy Wagtails taking turns sitting on the nest

A pair of Willy Wagtails taking turns sitting on the nest – fascinating watching them switch over with dance rituals and much noise-making!

The partner looking on in displeasure as I get too close to the nest

The Willy Wagtail partner looking on in displeasure as I get too close to the nest

Beautiful cheeky Willy Wagtail dancing around for his mate before they changed turn on the nest

Beautiful cheeky Willy Wagtail dancing around for his mate before they changed turn on the nest

Forest birds are pretty great. I loved finding these because they weren’t screeching; I tracked them down by the sound of them destroying an innocent gum tree!

Somehow I haven't gotten to photograph many cockatoos so far, but I love the glossy white and bright yellow crest, gum tree

Somehow I haven’t gotten to photograph many cockatoos so far, but I love the glossy white and bright yellow crest

Sulfur-crested Cockatoo: such a beautiful, if racous and destructive, bird, gum tree

Sulfur-crested Cockatoo: such a beautiful, if racous and destructive, bird

I apologise in advance for this one because I’m meant to be posting new stuff only, but you know I can’t resist fairy wrens! Especially on the beach, it just seems so unusual, even though I’ve seen it a few times now.

Female Superb Fairy Wren dancing into the sun and just the right moment, beach, sand

Female Superb Fairy Wren dancing into the sun and just the right moment

Another oldie, but these are the best shots I’ve taken, I think.

This photo is still a bit dark despite my adjustment, but it shows the white eyebrows of this White Browed Scrub Wren very nicely

This photo is still a bit dark despite my adjustment, but it shows the white eyebrows of this White Browed Scrub Wren very nicely

Fun shot out in the sun, eyebrows aren't as clear but you can see the bars on the wing more clearly

Fun shot out in the sun, eyebrows aren’t as clear but you can see the bars on the wing more clearly

Another favourite that I can’t resist:

Acrobatic Rainbow Lorikeets are always a delight to photograph

Acrobatic Rainbow Lorikeets are always a delight to photograph

I love to watch birds of prey circling and catching prey, but I’ve hardly ever gotten a shot that means anything! I took this a while ago so I can’t remember the face so much, but fortunately this particular bird can be identified from underneath.

You'll have to take my word for is because I don't have a top or front shot, but this is a fabulous White-bellied Sea-Eagle over Blond Bay, blue sky

You’ll have to take my word for is because I don’t have a top or front shot, but this is a fabulous White-bellied Sea-Eagle over Blond Bay

A more distant shot but this shows off its wings a body a bit more - White-bellied Sea-Eagle

A more distant shot but this shows off its wings a body a bit more – White-bellied Sea-Eagle

I’ve posted photos of Eastern Rosellas a million times but I am always fascinated by juvenile forms:

Lovely juvenile Eastern Rosella with more muted colours, following mum around gathering food

Lovely juvenile Eastern Rosella with more muted colours, following mum around gathering food

And an underneath picture gives a whole different perspective:

gum leaves, The fabulous under belly of the Eastern Rosella - just as pretty as the top side

The fabulous under belly of the Eastern Rosella – just as pretty as the top side

A big moment, finding the Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos in exactly the same spot Mum and Dad had found them the day before!

I just love these darlings! I've been lucky enough to see them a few times, but it's always just as exciting! Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo

I just love these darlings! I’ve been lucky enough to see them a few times, but it’s always just as exciting! Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo

And now for the cute animals!

The cutest little bunny Rabbit caught in a 'who me'? moment deep in the capeweed on the side lawn green grass

The cutest little bunny Rabbit caught in a ‘who me’? moment deep in the capeweed on the side lawn

Another caught-in-the-headlights moment with a Wallaby, no idea what type sorry

Another caught-in-the-headlights moment with a Wallaby, no idea what type sorry

The most exciting amazing awesome moment of the day/week/month/year! So we’re driving along beside the river and suddenly three dolphins breach the surface!! In my haste to get out I very nearly didn’t stop the car, put on the foot brake, take off my seat belt, put the gear into neutral or any of the other necessary tasks when driving! I got some awesome video, but only one photo. Still, that’s better than nothing.

A gorgeous Dolphin surprisingly found up river...I guess the water is still salty there. I'm assuming it's a Bottlenose, only because I don't know any better

A gorgeous Dolphin surprisingly found up river…I guess the water is still salty there. I’m assuming it’s a Bottlenose, only because I don’t know any better

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Raymond Island

Hello again friends,

I know I’m a bit off my usual topics at the moment but I had an amazing four days away at Wattle Point on Lake Victoria near Paynesville last week, and I just want to relive it over and over!

Cuddly cute Koala soaking up the afternoon sun on Raymond Island

Cuddly cute Koala soaking up the afternoon sun on Raymond Island

Did I mention at any stage that I’ve gone back to work? I’m currently doing 3 shifts of 5 hours from 8.30am to 1.30pm each week on Monday, Thursday and Friday. I started back EXACTLY six whole months since I left and it’s going well.

Except that it sometimes cramps my style! I say this jokingly, mostly, but being off work with the whole week at your disposal apart from doctors appointments, psychologist appointments, classes and whatever activities I was up for had its great points especially in the last two months after I started lithium and was actually able to function!

The most adorable baby Koala learning to climb and cling to branched all by itself!

The most adorable baby Koala learning to climb and cling to branched all by itself!

And having to work around three shifts of work is fine, except when an extended trip comes up. I worked around my Thailand trip (more to come on this!) because I was booked in before I started back at work, but this week long holiday came up with my mum and dad and I had to just take the bits that I could get. My year long contract finishes next week so I want to make the most of being able to make money while I have the opportunity!

The majority of Koalas just seem like they're snuggled up in bed, gum tree

The majority of Koalas just seem like they’re snuggled up in bed

In the end I worked Monday, caught public transport 4 hours across Victoria to spend Tuesday and Wednesday with mum and dad, caught public transport back to work Thursday and Friday, then drove back with hubby and a great friend to spend Saturday and Sunday. Just a bit tiring but the lengths people go to for a holiday… 🙂

The first Koala of the day, quite at home next the the main road and the kids playground and low enough down to touch!

The first Koala of the day, quite at home next the the main road and the kids playground and low enough down to touch!

So the holiday. It was a fascinating opportunity that came up through the Otis Foundation, an incredible institution that raises money for women who have had breast cancer. The money goes towards providing holiday accommodation free of charge to the woman with breast cancer and her family. The idea of the holiday is to leave breast cancer and all of its trappings behind: chemo, radiotherapy, medicines, nausea, pain etc and just go on retreat from the real world for a while.

Sitting pretty, propped up on all side

Sitting pretty, propped up on all side

And it truly was a retreat! The house at Wattle Point was fabulous and absolutely suited to holiday makers with loads of windows looking out over Lake Victoria, an open fire for chilly nights, outdoor decking and BBQ, tables and chairs for outdoor dining, spa, window seat, hall book shelf and gorgeous gardens, pond, orchard, chook yard, canoes and trampoline. Amazing! And there were all kinds of birds, plus rabbits and hares running across the lawn!

Stunning!

Snuggled up with a branch for a prop

Snuggled up with a branch for a prop

Sleepy grandpa Koala with a "do not disturb' face

Sleepy grandpa Koala with a “do not disturb’ face

20 minutes from Paynesville, 20 minutes from Bairnsdale, 10 minutes from Blond Bay game reserve, 25 minutes from the silt jetties, Bluff lookout and the flora and fauna reserve.

So much to see and do!

I can see one hand dangling, and neither leg is hanging on...

I can see one hand dangling, and neither leg is hanging on…

But one of the most amazing of all of the local attractions is the Koala trail on Raymond Island. This is connected by chain ferry to Paynesville, an easy 5 minute crossover and then the delights begin!

Immediately! For free! And so thrilling and delightful! So on a perfectly sunny glorious morning we headed for Raymond Island.

Another Koala in an incomprehensible position with too many limbs lolling down!

Another Koala in an incomprehensible position with too many limbs lolling down!

Snoozing along a limb in the afternoon sun

Snoozing along a limb in the afternoon sun

The very first tree after you cross over the road from the ferry to the park had the first koala! Right there! Right in the fork of the tree! You don’t even have to look; it’s right there! And it’s not in an enclosure or a wildlife park; these are wild koalas put on the island nearly 100 years ago to prevent them from becoming extinct. I went through the park last Tuesday and again on Saturday with more people, and as hard as it was to believe, there were even more koalas the second time around!

Just postcard perfect! Thanks for turning your head just at the right moment

Just postcard perfect! Thanks for turning your head just at the right moment

This Koala climbed out here to feed...looked pretty precarious!

This Koala climbed out here to feed…looked pretty precarious!

Fluffy ears with a good view of the world from up in the sky

Fluffy ears with a good view of the world from up in the sky

I hope you enjoy these super cute delightful creatures as much as I did! I think from now on when I’m having a down day, these will be my cheer up photos!

The cutest, most alert koala of the day...check the next photo for what he did next!

The cutest, most alert koala of the day…check the next photo for what he did next!

Having a good ol scratch, oh to be that flexible!

Having a good ol scratch, oh to be that flexible!