The Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis) must be one of the most common finches on the east coast of Australia. We see them everywhere we go, often in small flocks along the road-side. But they are tiny, and skittish, and appear to lack the curiosity of small insectivorous birds like wrens, so it is usually difficult to approach them closely enough to take decent photographs, even with our big lenses. In general we have found that picnic areas and camping sites are goo
During our recent short stay at Lamington National Park, it rained for much of our first afternoon there. This was disappointing for Laura who wanted to do nothing but walk around taking photos of wildlife, but sitting on the balcony of the cafe at O'Reilly's did provide opportunities to observe how birds react to rain. When my children were small they owned a storybook called "What Do The Animals Do in a Storm?". Of course, the book was talking about domestic animals and the
We have just returned from a three day trip to Lamington National Park in QLD on the escarpment that forms the border with north eastern NSW and while we were there we were very privileged to see Albert's Lyrebirds (Menura alberti). Finding these birds took no great effort on our part since they were scratching for food at the edge of the rainforest at the bottom of the main car park at O'Reilly's Mountain Retreat. They caught our attention because another couple already h
This is a photo of my newest garden, and I have just weeded it. "Wha..aaat!" I can hear you say. "That is not a garden at all, and it hasn't been weeded." Well, this is the way that I garden these days. I put in things that will bring in the wildlife, rather than plants with pretty flowers. Every new plant must have animal value, either directly by being a food or shelter plant, or indirectly by adding to my rainforest planting. Actually it is a new old garden, one of the gar
Not everyone likes wallabies. I have a friend who has a beautiful house with a large garden that she established, in a new housing estate, not far from the coast. The site inherited a wild wallaby that must have been a relict from its recent past as farm or bushland. This "brazen" animal was the bane of her life. It chewed the buds off her roses and nibbled the delicate bits from a variety of plants. On one occasion it committed the sin of all sins – it pooed on her verandah
I classify weeds in our yard into two categories, "weeds" and "terrible weeds".
"Weeds" include those ordinary plants that occur everywhere here, many of which are on the local environmental or noxious weeds lists, such as crofton weed, Ageratum, camphor laurel, farmer's friends, and Lantana. They grow readily in my garden and come back very quickly if you pull them out and are a big nuisance, but they have one essential characteristic that distinguishes them from "terrible
Many artists paint the majesty and gloom of rainforest, but what about the liveliness of patches of sunlight on the forest floor? Magical scenes of water-saturated mosses, combining with ferns and fungi, to create brilliantly, if briefly, illuminated fairy dells and shining crystal palaces of hanging water-droplets. The photo I have chosen (left), taken in 2014, in Washpool National Park, shows the problem with trying to take photos of sunlit patches in rainforest. Cameras