Summer’s Day Low Tide At The Wetlands

On a bright sunny summer’s day recently, I decided to try my luck birdwatching at Tamar Island Wetlands. I wasn’t expecting to see too much in the way of wildlife as it was quite a warm day and early afternoon with a low tide. I thought the majority of the birds would be hiding away in some shade somewhere, but I was quite surprised by what I found.

Low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
Several great egrets and a cormorant hanging out together
Chestnut teal having a quiet midday snooze
Grey teals snoozing nearby
Another image of low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
A variety of birds in one spot – black swans, great egrets, chestnut teals, grey teals and a masked lapwing
A young Australasian swamphen, the parent was close by.
A pair of geese foraging.
Cracked dried mud
A muddy beaked masked lapwing (plover)
A lovely cool and shady spot next to the bird hide
A grey teal with something to say
One of the lovely views from the boardwalk.
White faced herons.
A pair of chestnut teals.
Mother swan with her growing babies
Another view of the wetlands

If you ever find yourself in the Launceston area, it’s worth a trip out to the Tamar Island Wetlands as you can see all kinds of birds anytime of the day and the views are beautiful.

 

 

Evening Colours at the Wetlands

I recently went for an evening walk at Tamar Island Wetlands. It was such beautiful weather and a hot day was cooling down as the sun set, and as I neared the end of my walk, I was treated to some lovely colours in the sky. No two sunsets are the same, so I thought I would share some photos from that evening.

I think you’ll agree it was a wonderful way to end the day. 🙂

 

Aerial Views From Launceston To Brisbane

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2019! I hope you all had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year’s.

Having moved to Tasmania mid last year, I decided to travel back to Queensland’s Gold Coast to see family and friends over Christmas. As I was flying there and back during daylight hours, the views from up high were magnificent, so I thought I’d share some photos I took on the flight.

As always, you can visit my actual blog site for bigger and better photos. 🙂

This first photo below was taken on my way to Brisbane. There was a lot of cloud that evening and this was taken around sunset. You can just see the moon. I love the changing depths of the blue sky. You can almost think you’re in space!

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The rest of the photos were taken on the flight from Brisbane to Launceston. It would have been nice if the pilot told us what areas we were flying over as apart from recognising the Gold Coast and Tasmania, I don’t know what the other photos are of.

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The Gold Coast

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Nothing but an empty sea and clouds over Bass Strait.
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Flying over Tasmania and you can see Flinders Island.

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Taken just a few minutes before landing at Launceston.

I hope you enjoyed this different perspective of Australia. 🙂

Wildlife Spottings At The Wetlands

Now that daylight savings has started, I have decided to go for a walk almost everyday at the local wetlands. I find that walking helps to unwind from a day’s work and it feels good to get out in the fresh air. Also, it is good exercise and great for the mind and spirit, and it’s even nice to say hello to regular walkers and joggers or stop and have a chat with someone taking photos of the birds.

Here are some of the gems I have spotted on my walks at Tamar Island Wetlands.

Surprisingly, I have seen a small number of geese. These are likely domesticated escapees from people’s homes around the area. I have spotted 2 pairs but only one had these little golden cuties.

Sadly, none of the goslings have survived.

A plentiful bird at the wetlands is the black swan. I have identified 5 different families so far, all with babies of varying ages. It’s been nice to watch the little balls of fluff growing up. Here is one family.

And look at this adorable scene!

If I go walking early in the morning or late in the evening, I am usually lucky enough to see one of these lovely creatures – a pademelon!

In a previous post, I shared a photo of a Native Hen (or turbo chook) with half a dozen chicks that I came across in the car park. Sadly, there is only one chick left. Look how its grown!

Lately I have seen several Great Egrets fishing in the river. This one was fascinating to watch as it went after some food.

There was even a snake having a snooze by the boardwalk. Funnily enough, it was conveniently sleeping only 2 metres away from the snake warning sign so I knew it was a copperhead!

I was even lucky enough to see two Australasian Swamphen chicks up close. Aren’t they cute!

And finally, this is a video I took one afternoon of the 360 degree view from the end of the boardwalk at the Tamar River. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a magnificent view and well worth the walk. 🙂

What little gems of nature do you see on your daily walks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Babies at Tamar Island Wetlands

It was such a lovely sunny, spring afternoon today, I couldn’t resist a walk at the Tamar Island Wetlands. I’m glad I went because it was so worth it to see a number of spring babies!

Close to the boardwalk was a pair of black swans and their 2 cygnets. Aren’t they adorable!?

Further along, there was another pair of black swans who had four babies, but these were a bit older – still cute though!

On my way out near the entry to the wetlands, I spotted these tiny cuties – mallard ducklings.

And just as I was about to drive home, I spotted these baby turbo chooks (Tasmanian Native Hens) in the car park!

Hope you enjoyed my photos of these little balls of fluff! 🙂

 

 

Settling In To A New Life In Tasmania

I’m back! I didn’t mean to be away for so long, time has just been flying by.  Over the past month or so, I have moved into my new home here in Launceston, getting some small home maintenance jobs done around the place, and generally just settling in to a new life here in Tasmania. Life is good!

I have come through my first Tassie winter much easier than I had expected, not as much rain as I thought (although locals tell me it has been very dry here), not as cold as I had anticipated either. Now spring has sprung and it is so nice to see the flowers starting to bloom and new leaves budding on bare branch trees. The changing of the seasons is something I missed living in Queensland for so long where everything remains green all year round. Everyone around me is getting excited for the warmer spring weather ahead and I’m getting caught up in it too.

I’d like to share just a small selection of photos I have taken since living in my new home. It is so nice to hear the happy chirping of birds early in the mornings, and see them flying around. I’m also very fortunate in that I have nice views of the Tamar River and mountains from my house. I have seen rain roll in, foggy mornings where the river completely disappears from view, gorgeous sunrises and even a magical rainbow.

Spotted dove on next door’s roof
House Sparrows next door
Female blackbird at my kitchen door
Birds on a wire out the front of my house
Close up of starlings and blackbirds
I can watch cows grazing across the road
The moon seems to be lower in the sky here giving me good photo opportunities
Nice view of a full moon from my lounge room window
A beautiful big rainbow
A recent sunrise
My new backyard. Nothing but grass. Lots of possibilities here!

A short video of the view from my house looking towards the Tamar River. Turn up the volume and you can hear birds.

 

I am finding that this part of Australia is truly beautiful, more people should visit Tasmania and see all the wondrous things it has to offer. I’m really happy about starting a new adventure here in Tassie and I’m looking forward to exploring all the possibilities that the future holds.

 

My First Bird Sightings In Tasmania

I have been living here in Tasmania for a few weeks now and during that time I have spotted a few different birds so thought I would do a quick post with what I have seen so far.

These are birds I have seen in a park across the road and in the nextdoor neighbour’s backyard. Unfortunately, where I am currently staying, there is no yard at all as it’s a unit. Although I am extremely grateful that my friends Bill and Helen have let me stay in their holiday unit I find my own place here, I am hoping it won’t take me too long to find a new home with a backyard so I can once again enjoy local wildlife visitors.

My first photo is actually the very first birds I saw on arrival here. These Magpies look quite different to what I’m used to seeing in Queensland. These ones have a white back instead of the black backs found up north. It is quite comforting to still be able to hear the familiar melodious warbling of magpies in the mornings.

Magpies

This is a Spotted dove, a common enough bird in suburban areas everywhere.

Spotted dove

Turns out there are quite a number of these European Blackbirds around. I haven’t seen one of these birds since leaving Sydney more than 20 years ago.

European blackbird (male)
European blackbird (female)

Not a great photo, but these are Tasmanian Native Hens, referred to as “turbo chooks” by the locals. I spotted these in a new development area when I went for a drive.  And their behaviour really does remind me of chickens the way they forage and run down the road with their wings out trying not to get left behind by the group. 😀

Tasmanian Native Hens

Since arriving here in Tassie, I had been hearing a very strange bird call and it took me ages to try and spot one and then get a decent picture of it. It’s a Little Wattlebird.

Little Wattlebird

I even managed to get a snippet of its call:

 

I spotted this Green Rosella in the park one morning. This bird was a first for me!

Green rosella

And here it is again, looking a bit cold in the weak morning sunshine.

Green rosella

This Silver gull (seagull) spotted me eating my lunch in the park across the road from work one day. He waited patiently till I had finished, and when I left to return to work, he checked around for any crumbs.

And finally, I have seen many of these Masked Lapwings, or plovers. I often seen them in the park or along the roadside, and I hear their squawking call during the night, probably warning something off their territory.

Masked lapwing or plover

So some interesting bird sightings for me in my new environment here in Tasmania. I wonder what I will see next?

 

 

Goodbye Spotted Gum Tree

Last Thursday when I was sitting at home reading a book enjoying a day off work, I heard a loud creaking, cracking sound followed by a loud whoomph! Not the kind of sound you want to hear when you live on gum tree studded acreage!

I rushed out onto the veranda to find that a big gum tree close to our house had fallen over – right across the neighbour’s driveway and onto their fence!

If the tree fell a few metres to the right, it would have badly damaged the neighbour’s carport and vehicles and perhaps their in ground pool.

It was extremely fortunate that no one was hurt and the only damage done was a small portion of our wire boundary fence getting crushed under the tree and a section of the neighbour’s wooden fence being broken by the canopy of the tree. And thankfully the possum box was unoccupied at the time.

From the next few photos you can see that the gum tree took out a few limbs of another tree on the way down and also got one of its own branches caught in a neighbouring tree.

It seems that the ground was just so wet from all the rain we’ve been having here, and being on a slight hill side, the tree roots just gave up their fight of holding on and the tree fell over.

Thankfully we have a good neighbour and the matter was quickly sorted. Their insurance company arranged for tree cutters to come out in the afternoon and remove the tree, but only the parts that had crossed the boundary fence line.

The tree cutters were there for several hours, even continuing after dark for awhile, cutting away the canopy so they could get an excavator in to carry the logs of cut branches back to a truck to be turned into bark chips or sawdust. The following morning they were back again to finish the job. You can see in the photo below the damage to the neighbour’s fence once the tree had been cleared from their driveway.

So now we are left with a huge tree trunk on our property we will have to deal with at some point. It’s probably hard for you readers to determine the size of the gum tree from the perspective of the photos, but I can tell you that the trunk is so wide that when I tried to hug the tree I couldn’t get my arms all the way around it.  I also measured the trunk left on our property out of curiosity and it was just over 12 metres long. I would say then that the height of the tree was easily 25 metres tall.

To show how big and beautiful this tree was, below left is a photo of this tree back in 2015 when we had a friend help us install the possum box (he had an extremely big ladder!). On the right is a photo I took the day after the tree fell.

I guess an upside of this is that we will now have uninterrupted views straight to the forest and also of the sunsets as this looks to the west.

This spotted gum tree was a beautiful tree. It will be sadly missed, not just by the possums who used the box, or the birds that perched in the branches, but by us, as now a source of shade and protection for the house has gone forever.