Birds of the West

Hello Lovelies!

We’re just back from a family wedding in Swan Valley, WA which gave us a good excuse to spend a few days catching up with our various family members who live in Perth and southern WA.

Of course my aims for the holiday included seeing new birds specific to WA and I had some good luck with that!

So here’s the new ones for you to enjoy as well.

One of the most exciting new birds I saw was the WA black cockatoo! Sadly I didn’t get any pictures! I’m pretty sure what we saw was the Carnaby’s, but I’m willing to consider it was the Baudin’s.

The other was a brief glimpse of the Western Rosella, as opposed to our Eastern Rosella; just as stunning in different colours.

A textbook example of a juvenile Silver or Sea Gull near Canning River, green grass

A textbook example of a juvenile Silver or Sea Gull near Canning River, Perth

The '28', one of 4 types of Australian Ringneck Parrot - gorgeous! gum leaves

The ’28’, one of 4 types of Australian Ringneck Parrot – gorgeous! King’s Park, Perth

I thought this was a New Holland Honeyeater but its actually a new one, the White-cheeked Honeyeater! Yay!

I thought this was a New Holland Honeyeater but its actually a new one, the White-cheeked Honeyeater, western form! Yay! King’s Park, Perth

A Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike singing high up in a tree down the paddock

A Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike, humid form singing high up in a tree down the paddock in Boyup Brook

A pretty Singing Honeyeater flitting around above the treeline on Canning River

A pretty Singing Honeyeater flitting around above the treeline on Canning River, Perth

As we drove up to the wedding I saw that bird perched way up high, pretty sure its a Sacred Kingfisher

As we drove up to the wedding I saw that bird perched way up high, pretty sure its a Sacred Kingfisher, Swan Valley

I have never seen so many “crows” on a daily basis! Every day they were all around the house we were staying at in Perth. Did you know that in Victoria we do not have a single crow? We only have Ravens.

This is the Australian Raven. Every time I get a shot like this where I can shoot past or through the foreground to focus on the subject, it gives me great satisfaction!

This is the Australian Raven. Every time I get a shot like this where I can shoot past or through the foreground to focus on the subject, it gives me great satisfaction! Perth

Ad this one is just for kicks…a Red Wattlebird that took off just as I clicked the shutter!

Flying Red Wattlebird! King's Park, Perth WA

Flying Red Wattlebird! King’s Park, Perth WA

And this one for some springtime cuteness!

Soooo cute! A mother Pacific Black duck with at least 7 ducklings which she hurried away from us

Soooo cute! A mother Pacific Black duck with at least 7 ducklings which she hurried away from us to Canning River, Perth

Maybe just one more cuteness photo…

Impending cuteness: mummy Magpie-Lark on the nest, with daddy close by keeping an eye on things

Impending cuteness: mummy Magpie-Lark on the nest, with daddy close by keeping an eye on things

And this is because you don’t see flowering grass trees everyday, and especially not birds feeding off them!

A gorgeous-as-always Rainbow Lorikeet on the grass tree (Black Boy) flower

A gorgeous-as-always Rainbow Lorikeet on the grass tree (Black Boy) flower

And this is for plain fun!

This immature Australian Magpie looks like the cat got his tail!! Doesn't seem to be bothering him too much though

This immature Australian Magpie looks like the cat got his tail!! Doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much though

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Wild flower

[Edit, 14th August 2015: in order to keep this blog going and to keep showing you my photos, I’ve had to make room otherwise I’ll be all full up and writing you essays every time! Thanks for your understanding, as I delete all of these flower photos!]

Okay so you know how I’m just like a teensy tiny eeny weeny little bit obsessed with birds? With hearing them, finding them, seeing them, photographing etc?

Well nothing about that has changed but I’m adding a bit of variety into the mix.

For nearly four years, since hubby and I took a trip to Perth and southern Western Australia over the New Year break in 2010/1, I have wanted to go back there during the wild flower season which is famous world wide. I even booked it into my hard copy calendar on the wall for the following year, but before the dates came around we moved house and the calendar was abandoned to a box in the shed and the idea was forgotten.

Until this year. We received a Save The Date card in August for a family wedding just outside of Perth in Swan Valley for the end of October! Eeek! Right at the tail end of the wildflower season!! YAY!!!

So I jumped right into research mode: what species of flowers would be flowering, in what areas, at what time in the season, where would be best to see them, who operated tours in the right areas. Typical over-organisation, but it’s fun so where’s the harm, right?

As well as my own research, I took the topic to my last photography class and quizzed my teacher (Wendy Clark – Empathy Photographics, Master Your Camera) on photographing miniature flowers, seeing as she is an expert in photographing wild native orchids: lighting, sun and shade, getting up close, use of zoom, getting the colour right, time of day etc.

So excitingly, the right place for sighting and photographing wildflowers at the end of October is right in Perth and southern Western Australia, exactly where we’ll be! As well as hanging out with my husband’s family in Perth I have a lot of family to visit down south as far as Bunbury so I feel like the stars have aligned for wildflower hunting and photography! Awesome!

I’ve looked up all the tours, but Kings Park in the centre of Perth has an amazing display of wildflowers apparently, and some of my family have paddocks of wildflowers next to their properties so I’m going to get my fill there and if I still need some more flowers then I’ll book once I’m there.

So why am I writing all this blah blah? Because I’m about to throw a bazillion practice photos at you *evil smile* I’ve been practicing in the gardens of my neighbours, in the park, at the awesome holiday house my mum and dad (and me and hubby some of the time) just stayed in for a week courtesy of the Otis Foundation at Wattle Point, on Raymond Island, in the Blond Bay game reserve, on the silt jetties outside of Paynesville, Bluff lookout…essentially anytime I find a flower that might be native, or any flower really, and have my camera nearby.

I’m trying to focus on native flowers, but as it happens, I don’t really know which flowers are native and which have been imported. I mean some are obvious, like I know gum flowers and heath and wild orchids are Australian, and willow trees and camelias and holly are from England, but that’s about the whole of my knowledge! So I’m in the market for a field guide, some more experience and maybe a tiny version of a tripod for getting those awkward shots.

In the meantime, here are the flowers from my holiday out East to tantalise us for the West!

Apparently this beautiful flower is called

Apparently this beautiful flower is called “Pig Face”! It’s also pink not magenta, but I couldn’t make my camera agree!

Beautiful purple flowering vine on the lemon version of

Beautiful purple flowering vine on the lemon version of “Pig Face”

Pink flowering gum blossoming out of gumnuts

Pink flowering gum blossoming out of gumnuts

We all fell in LOVE with these gorgeous blue flowers that creep as a vine into other bushes and trees

We all fell in LOVE with these gorgeous blue flowers that creep as a vine into other bushes and trees

Our pretty state emblem, the Heath bell flowers

Our pretty state emblem, the Heath bell flowers

Lovely small little yellow flowers

Lovely small little yellow flowers

Another in the trillions of white star flowers - its amazing how different each one is!

Another in the trillions of white star flowers – its amazing how different each one is!

I love how these white star flowers have little divets cut in between

I love how these white star flowers have little divets cut in between

Very Christmasy native with all the delicate scrolls and bobbles

Very Christmasy native with all the delicate scrolls and bobbles

A fabulous Christmas coloured Kangaroo Paw, definitely Australian!

A fabulous Christmas coloured Kangaroo Paw, definitely Australian!

A weird knobbly kind of flower on a green bush

A weird knobbly kind of flower on a green bush

A fascinating kind of Grevillea flower, all spikes and yellow nobbles

A fascinating kind of Grevillea flower, all spikes and yellow nobbles

A pink variation on the cotton candy bush where the flower bursts out of the nut

A pink variation on the cotton candy bush where the flower bursts out of the nut

Lovely pink Melaleuca flowers, a childhood favourite of mine - love how they cover the whole bush

Lovely pink Melaleuca flowers, a childhood favourite of mine – love how they cover the whole bush

Delightful masses of tiny pink flowers growing off spikes

Delightful masses of tiny pink flowers growing off spikes

Gorgeous pea flower growing prolifically! Fabulous colour!

Gorgeous pea flower growing prolifically! Fabulous colour!

This pretty pea flower is apparently called the egg and bacon bush! What?!

This pretty pea flower is apparently called the egg and bacon bush! What?!

More star flowers than I can count! This time they are mauve

More star flowers than I can count! This time they are mauve

Another pretty purple hibiscus flower

Another pretty purple hibiscus flower

Lovely spike of tiny pink flowers

Lovely spike of tiny pink flowers

Christmas bells! Hope they last til the festive season

Christmas bells! Hope they last til the festive season

Yellow button flowers clustering together

Yellow button flowers clustering together

Pretty pretty white star flowers with cute baubles

Pretty pretty white star flowers with cute baubles

How much do these gorgeous flowers look like butterflies?

How much do these gorgeous flowers look like butterflies?

A cute littlepurple paper mache type pom pom flower

A cute little purple paper mache type pom pom flower

fabulously intricate white flower with yellow stamens

fabulously intricate white flower with yellow stamens

If you look closely you see that there is a long thin red and yellow stem coming out of the centre of this tiny star flower

If you look closely you see that there is a long thin red and yellow stem coming out of the centre of this tiny star flower

White ringed yellow centred pink daisy - so pretty!

White ringed yellow centred pink daisy – so pretty!

A cotton wool type flowering popping out of a nut

A cotton wool type flowering popping out of a nut

Another Christmas like delight unfurling from a tight little bud

Another Christmas like delight unfurling from a tight little bud

Another spiky bobbly Christmassy flower

Another spiky bobbly Christmassy flower

All I can think of looking at these flowers is false eyelashes

All I can think of when looking at these flowers is false eyelashes

A funny bobbly seed pod: not sure if it was a flower or always a pod

A funny bobbly seed pod: not sure if it was a flower or always a pod

Chewed on yellow centred yellow daisy with creepy crawlies

Chewed on yellow centred yellow daisy with creepy crawlies

Don't know what these yellow centred star fllowers are but they're cute

Don’t know what these yellow centred star fllowers are but they’re cute

Orange dotted purple centred washed out orange daisy

Orange dotted purple centred washed out orange daisy

White sprigs of blossom, perfect for a vase

White sprigs of blossom, perfect for a vase

A gorgeous yellow sprig of star flowers on a ridiculously long and fragile stem - hard to capture blowing in the wind!

A gorgeous yellow sprig of star flowers on a ridiculously long and fragile stem – hard to capture blowing in the wind!

I call these cotton ball flowers - no idea what they actually are

I call these cotton ball flowers – no idea what they actually are

Cutesy little rose like flower bursting out of little nuts

Cutesy little rose like flower bursting out of little nuts

Yellow centred purple daisy standing out by itself, bank, green plant

Yellow centred purple daisy standing out by itself

Purple centred peachy coloured daisy

Purple centred peachy coloured daisy

Delightful little purple flowers giving colour to a grey bush

Delightful little purple flowers giving colour to a grey bush

fabulously tiny and petite purple flowers growing on a bush

Fabulously tiny and petite purple flowers growing on a bush

Cape weed - an introduced pest but it does look spectacular in the springtime

Cape weed – an introduced pest but it does look spectacular in the springtime

Lovely yellow centred white ringed pink daisy...just a tad chomped on by rogue bunny rabbits

Lovely yellow centred white ringed pink daisy…just a tad chomped on by rogue bunny rabbits

Lovely trumpet type flower, pale pink on the outside, maroon on the inside

Lovely trumpet type flower, pale pink on the outside, maroon on the inside

Pretty white 4 sided star flower in a bunch

Pretty white 4 sided star flower in a bunch

Delightful white daisy with pink dots - the bush is amazing!

Delightful white daisy with pink dots – the bush is amazing!

Lovely double sided crinkle edged yellow flower

Lovely double sided crinkle edged yellow flower

Teensy tiny itty bitty purple flowers on a grass bush

Teensy tiny itty bitty purple flowers on a grass bush

Fabulous yellow centred yellow daisies - such a prolific flowering plant

Fabulous yellow centred yellow daisies – such a prolific flowering plant

Pretty pretty pretty - a lovely yellow centred white daisy

Pretty pretty pretty – a lovely yellow centred white daisy

Not sure what it is but love the green-red contrast and delicate flower

Not sure what it is but love the green-red contrast and delicate flower

Blue and yellow centred white daisy

Blue and yellow centred white daisy

Looks like the other pink pea flower but this is a bush, not a tree

Looks like the other pink pea flower but this is a bush, not a tree

Beautiful bunch of white star flowers

Beautiful bunch of white star flowers

Lovely purple hibiscus flower, paper thin but surprisingly lasting

Lovely purple hibiscus flower, paper thin but surprisingly lasting

Pretty little blue star growing out of a grass bush

Pretty little blue star growing out of a grass bush