December 29, 2009

Brush-turkey


Brush-turkey
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
We stayed at a lodge on the Atherton table lands near Cairns Australia during our vacation.
Brush turkeys were common around the cabin we were in.
They are a large bird, with a total length of 60–75 cm and a wingspan of about 85 cm.
It has a prominent, fan-like tail that is flattened sideways.

Alectura lathami

December 23, 2009

spiral splash pad


spiral splash pad
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
You can walk down into this water feature at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
The water trickles down the ridges and disappears at the bottom.

Around here the water would turn to ice and you would be stuck at the bottom.

Different.

December 22, 2009

Happy Christmas


Happy Christmas
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
To some one from snow country it is really odd to see Christmas trees and decorations when it is 25c -75F outside.

Sydney had lovely banners on their streets including this one.

Happy Christmas everyone.

December 18, 2009

Erosion


Erosion
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
general term for the processes by which the surface of the earth is constantly being worn away. The principal agents are gravity, running water, near-shore waves, ice (mostly glaciers), and wind

While traveling on the western shore of New Zealand we took a small twisty road up to the head lands of the western access to the harbour at Auckland. This access is not used as much as the eastern entrance due to sand bars .

They might have a small erosion problem.

Photo by Anne

December 17, 2009

Got room for one more...

or possibly some food, kind sir or madame?
This is a kea, the snow parrot of New Zealand. We saw them on our way to Milford Sound. They weren't playing in the snow, unfortunately they were mooching food from us humans

December 16, 2009

Shades of Hotel California

You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.

If you like rain you will love paradise.

Photo by Anne

December 14, 2009

Radioactive dandruff


Radioactive dandruff
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Who cares about sterility, but that dandruff can be such a social burden.

I know I'm a little odd, well a bit weird maybe, but this just cracked me up.

Well doctor, I was just looking for the toilet and now I have this dandruff problem. The glow keeps me awake at night.

December 11, 2009

How tall is your yucca?


How tall is your yucca?
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
I think they call it flax in Australia but it sure looks like our yucca plant.
Anne is about 5'9". The "flower" is over 20 feet tall.
So much for your 3-4 foot ones in North America.

As long as it doesn't start saying "feed me".

December 10, 2009

At least it isn't snow


At least it isn't snow
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
It looked odd to see a lifeguard shoveling away.
In Canada he would be shoveling snow.
It was 25c 75F and sunny.
At Bondi Beach Sydney Australia.

December 08, 2009

Fantail


Fantail
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Now why would they call it a fantail?
Not my best photo, but the best I got of this bird.
They move a lot and boy, do they move fast.
They hop around, spread their wings and fan their tail, supposedly to flush out insects.
I think they want to be peacocks when they grow up.

December 07, 2009

No smoking


No smoking
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Evidently the Australian authorities are tired of arguing with smokers.
This sign was at Central Station in Sydney.
Who's been smoking what?

December 04, 2009

Three friendly Aussies


Three friendly Aussies
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
I don't know who they were but they saw my camera and the guy in the middle really wanted me to take his picture.

Slightly inebriated, but happy.

If you recognize them say hi for me.

Met on the docks at Darling Harbour, Sydney.

December 03, 2009

Docking at ulva


Docking at ulva
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
When we were on Stewart Island, we arranged to go to Ulva Island, a nature preserve. All the rats, cats and other predators have been removed so the flightless birds have a chance.

It was storming the day we went. This sailing ship was trying to get into the dock. It eventually made it, but it was a challenge.
If you look in the background you will see a small water taxi of the type we took.
A wild ride, we weren't sure if Anne could get off the boat as it was pitching so badly.

December 02, 2009

bite me


bite me
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
We were on the tablelands above Cairns, Australia when we came into a small town.
Anne and I both cracked up when we saw this sign.

December 01, 2009

Once you go horizontal...


We watched people jumping just north of Queenstown NZ.
The first couple got up to the edge and she changed here mind. He went by himself.
This couple took the plunge.

Once you go horizontal...


We watched people jumping just north of Queenstown NZ.
The first couple got up to the edge and she changed here mind. He went by himself.
This couple took the plunge.

November 30, 2009

I love birding


I love birding
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
A day in New Zealand. Generally the weather wasn't bad while we were on vacation, we only had one day that was rained out and this was it.
Anne wasn't enjoying herself and the birding was poor. One out of 29 isn't too bad.
This was at Miranda in New Zealand looking for shore birds.

November 20, 2009

Wandering albatross


Wandering albatross
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
The largest wing span of any bird according to our field guided.
The one in the water is also a wandering albatross.

Seen on a pelagic cruise off New Zealand

November 19, 2009

Mollymock


Mollymock
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Does he remind you of Mr. Burns on the Simpsons?

We were on a pelagic trip, fancy name for going out to sea in a small boat to look at birds, and this is one of fmany species we saw.

It is in the albatross family. A very large bird.

November 15, 2009

Pukeko in the flowers


Pukeko in the flowers
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Monday Nov 16 at 3.31pm here, probably still Sunday back home.

Back in Auckland after a great trip to the south island.

This pukeko was feeding in a field next to the road.

November 04, 2009

Tui


Tui
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
An endemic bird to New Zealand.
We fhad to climb what seemed to be a mountain to see this bird. Considering Anne's bad ankle and my bad knees it was an effort, but worth while.

Bit of an attitude

November 03, 2009

Australian gannet


Australian gannet
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
We went to a gannett colony Tuesday and it was excellent. Good pathes, stairs and decks get you close without disturbing the birds.
Amazing how large they are.

Luggage finaly caught up with us.

On the flight over I kept humming John Foggerty's song Put Me In Coach (I can play centre field)

Why would I want to go from Bussiness class to coach?

October 30, 2009

Conformity


Conformity
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Some times there is a reason.
Don't get your feathers all ruffled this weekend but do enjoy yourselves.

October 29, 2009

These things are HUGE!!


These things are HUGE!!
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Until you see one up close you don't realize just how big they are.
The trees are 70 to 100 feet tall and this turbine dwarfs them.

I don't know if they are really a form of green energy or if they are a hazard to wildlife but the certainly stand out on the landscape.

October 27, 2009

Eight feet up and I still can't see over the phragmities

I was standing on a 8 foot high platform on top of an ATV type vehicle and was trying to film the extent of the phrag cell by holding the video camera up as high as I could.

All I got was the top of the phrag plants.
Later we estimated this particular cell at appox 7 acres. A small one.

October 26, 2009

I'm over here.


I'm over here.
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
This tree frog is about the size of a fingernail.

I was out with the people doing phragmities control and when we stopped to survey an area there were frogs everywhere.

I haven't seen them this late in the year before.

October 23, 2009

October 22, 2009

Blue spotted salamader


Blue spotted salamader
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
While doing yard work yesterday i uncovered this beauty.
It was about 4 inches long.

I put him in some leaf litter in a sheltered spot. Hope he makes it through the winter

October 21, 2009

Natures canvas


Natures canvas
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Walking in the woods at Rondeau I came across a log with fungus growing and leaves all around.

October 20, 2009

Not a great photo but..


Not a great photo but..
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
it shows how tall the invasive phragmities is at Rondeau Provincial Park.
In areas of the marsh it was over 20 feet tall and so thick the Argo had trouble getting through.

There is a control project in progress, unfortunately it is limited by meager funding.

It appeared the infested area was expanding faster than the kill off.

October 19, 2009

Mr. Bluebird is on my.... bird bath?

Well any way
Everything is satisfactual... even if it is Monday morning.

We don't get many bluebirds in our yard but one dropped by yesterday and Anne took this through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

photo by Anne

October 14, 2009

Canadian, eh?


Canadian, eh?
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
Fall has arrived at Rondeau, the leaves are falling and the warblers are heading south.
Blustery cold winter weather isn't far away.

October 13, 2009

October 12, 2009

Peregrine Falcon


Peregrine Falcon
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
We were at Holiday Beach Conservation Area watching the raptor migration.
Three peregrines flew over while we were there.
He was wayyy up there.

One was eating a blue jay while circling.

October 09, 2009

Fall in ohio


Fall in ohio
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
We were at the Midwest Birding Symposium in September at Lakeside Ohio.
It is a pretty town/village and one of the residents had done up thier yard in a fall theme.
If you're a birder in the midwest you should try to attend. The next symposium is in September 2011.

Have a good weekend.

October 08, 2009

As seen In Ohio USA


As seen In Ohio USA
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
I know our American cousins don't know a lot about Canada or Canadians but really...

October 06, 2009

A butterfall


A butterfall
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
I don't know the species but it looked nice in the flowers. They are butterfly in the summer and butterfall in the fall. :-)

October 05, 2009

If they aren't migrating, some one is in trouble

About 200 turkey vultures gathered over Rondeau Park on Friday.
They just hung in the sky. I couldn't frame them all without turning them into tiny dots in the sky. They kept appearing and disappearing into the clouds. About 40 in this group.

I always walk a little faster when I see this type of thing, just so they know I'm not dinner.

October 02, 2009

Reflections on a windy and wet Friday

October 1 was a pleasant,sunny fall day. Today we have high winds, driving rain and grey clouds.
So, I present a few flowers to brighten the day.

Not even the woodpeckers are coming into the feeders and the gulls are sitting on the beach.


Still a rainy weekend is much better than a sunny Monday.

Enjoy your weekend.

October 01, 2009

Unusual road kill at Rondeau

Sushi at Rondeau, probably delivered by an eagle or an osprey.

It was gone the following day. Late night snack for a raccoon?

September 30, 2009

odd spider - can any one ID it?

Not the best photo but it was all I could get.

Fairly small, this is the macro setting on a point and shoot.

I'm surprised it didn't show up in a Star Wars movie.

September 29, 2009

The Rondeau Spa


The Rondeau Spa
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
A pair of nashville warblers enjoyed the facilities at Rondeau a few days ago.

We had a burst of warblers including, nashville, bay breasted, yellow, red-start, pine, blackpoll, as well as red eyed(?) vireos.

Taken through the wildlife window on a sharp angle

September 25, 2009

Incoming


Incoming
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
What ever you do, keep your mouth closed.

On a "pelagic" trip on Lake Erie while attending the Midwest Birding Symposium, we had various species of gulls coming in close to mooch food.

I don't think I have taken a shot quite like this before.

If you like bird people, great speakers, good fall birding you should check out The Midwest Birding Symposium. The next one will be in Lakeside Ohio in 2011

September 24, 2009

The animals in Ohio are so polite.

Recently we went to Ohio for the Midwest Birding Symposium at Lakeside, on the south shore of Lake Erie.

It was a great time, people, speakers, trade show, art, and BIRDS.

On one of our birding walks we came upon this sign.

The animals of Ohio are so polite.

September 23, 2009

Ride'em cowboy


Ride'em cowboy
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
The butterfly bronc riding is a favourite at the Natural Rodeo, held at Rondeau Provincial Park. We even have spotters, lower left, in case things get out of hand.

I knew this red admiral was being bothered by hornets when I took the photo.

What I didn't realize was that one had landed on the butterfly and another was coming in to tag team the poor fellow.

I am in serious camera withdrawal, my EOS Xsi and 100-400 mm lens are in for repair. The lens wouldn't pull back to the 100 mm setting and wouldn't come off the camera. Using an older unit for backup, but it isn't the same
4-6 weeks for repairs and we are off to New Zealand in November, the timing is making me nervous

September 22, 2009

Let the molt begin


Let the molt begin
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur
For non birders - in birds, moulting is the periodic replacement of feathers by shedding old feathers while producing new ones.
Two years ago I shaved off my mustache which I had for over 30 years. It has been a very slow molt as it just started to re-grow.

I found out this weekend that my wife preferred me with the stash, also a birding friend ,Julie , said I had lost a major field mark. There were other considerations which I won't go into right now.

I will keep you updated on the progress of the molt.