Sunset at Lake Colac

Lake Colac, situated in the south-west districts of Victoria, Australia, has a surface area of 2,778 hectares, with a circumference of 33 kilometres. It is a shallow lake with an average depth of about 2.5 metres. In 2009, the lake completely dried up for the first time in 173 years. With below average rain during the winter, and very low water levels, the lake is under threat as forecasts tell us we are about to begin a sustained dry period. Scientists have warned us we are about to experience a severe El Nino.

Bird Reserve, Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Bird Reserve, Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

The Gulidjan clan of Indigenous Australians have called home the area around Lake Colac for tens of thousands of year.

Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Rotunda situated on the southern bank of Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Sunset is a good time to visit the lake. It is easy to see why the Gulidjan people have a spiritual connection to Lake Colac.

Sunset at Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Sunset at Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Crested Terns

The following photographs are of Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii).

These birds are about 43 – 48 centimetres in length; they have a yellow bill and white body with black on top of the head, and when breeding will have a black crest. Their wings are grey.

Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) gather on the jetty at  Anglesea River in Victoria, Australia.

Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) gather on the jetty at the
Anglesea River in Victoria, Australia.

Crested Terns begin breeding when about two years old. The breeding season in eastern and southern Australia is usually from September to January; clutches consist of two eggs. They are native to Australia and are carnivores. They will be found in coastal bays and inlets, lakes and large rivers.

They were once known as “sea-swallows” because of their forked tails and graceful flight patterns. Their conservation status is considered secure however in Victoria they are “near threatened”.

Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

Crested Tern
(Thalasseus bergii)

Terns are related to gulls however have more pointed bills and slender wings. Juvenile birds are distinguishable by their greenish-yellow bill. They are similar to non-breeding adults but their black cap extends like a collar to the throat sides. They will have a black shoulder and their upper parts are variegated; dark grey and white.

Incoming Crested Tern, (Thalasseus bergii) at the Anglesea River.

Incoming Crested Tern,
(Thalasseus bergii) at the Anglesea River.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

Red-rumped Parrot

The following photographs are of  Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus).

They are small birds of about 27 centimetres. Their voice is a two-syllable whistle and Red-rumped Parrots can be heard and seen in open woodlands, Red Gums, grasslands, farms and urban parks. These birds were located in an urban park (Balyang Sanctuary), situated on the bank of the Barwon River in the Victorian city of Geelong.

A male Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus) at  Balyang Sanctuary, Geelong.

A male Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus) at
Balyang Sanctuary, Geelong.

A female Red-rumped Parrot, (Psephotus haematonotus) at Balyang Sanctuary.

A female Red-rumped Parrot,
(Psephotus haematonotus) at
Balyang Sanctuary.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

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The First of Spring

Spring has arrived in Australia and all the signs are there:

The Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) are swooping around my house, Dragonflies are seen in the garden, and of course the first Butterfly is fluttering around the spring flowers.

Australian Painted Ladies (Vanessa kershawi) are one of the first butterflies to emerge in spring. Their flight season ranges from August to May.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

On Reflection

The other day I was walking my dogs on the bank of the Barongarook Creek when this Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) landed on the water and begun hunting for food. As it swam towards me I could see the Pelican’s reflection and I immediately wanted to include it in the photograph.

A Pelican and its reflection

A Pelican and its reflection

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Banksia

The Banksia is a native Australian tree or bush. The following three images illustrate perfectly the life of the flower spike which is much sort after as a food source by nectarivorous animals, including birds, bats, rats, possums, stingless bees and a host of invertebrates. The flowers are also of an economic importance to the Australian nursery and flower industry.

These images were taken at the Geelong Botanic Gardens in autumn. The first photograph shows the flower in its perfect state.

The flower spike of a Banksia

The flower spike of a Banksia

The next image shows a flower spike after it has been visited by a nectar seeking bird or other animal.

This flower spike shows distinctive signs of being visited by nectar seeking animals.

This flower spike shows distinctive signs of being visited by nectar seeking animals.

And, finally, a flower spike which has no, or very little, nectar left to share.

A flower spike with no nectar left.

A flower spike with no nectar left.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

A Sleeping Pelican

Yesterday I made a quick stop-off at Balyang Sanctuary on the banks of the Barwon River, and it was there I saw this Australian Pelican, (Pelecanus conspicillatus), sleeping on top of one of the nesting boxes. As I moved closer to get this shot I could see it actually had an eye on me.

A Sleeping Pelican - Keeping an eye on me!

A Sleeping Pelican – Keeping an eye on me!