Broulee Island Nature Reserve is a rocky hillock about 500 metres across, connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus. I visited it briefly during my trip to the South Coast two weeks ago. As I was standing on a rocky stretch of shore photographing some thornbills on the nearby hillside, I noticed this big black bird behind me with something in its beak.
These pigeons have been the bane of my life lately—I could never get close to one even though they flap round regularly in Sydney in summer—but I find them fascinating: they look so exotically eccentric. A topknot pigeon is a conventional grey pigeon except that it has a red beak and eyes, and a forward grey crest like a bulbous forehead as well as a trailing red/brown ponytail crest. Here’s what one looks like:
Nearly three months after the bushfires, I visited the coast south of Sydney last week. It was wonderful to see how resilient old Mother Nature can be after all the devastation. I found mile after mile of burned forest furred with new green growth, like this stretch in Mogo state forest:
It was an impressive demonstration of the ability of eucalypts to survive extreme temperatures – on occasions steel signs were melted by these fires – and it was noticeable that it was the thicker limbs that survived. This tree in the Currumbene forest was one example:
Small brown birds aren’t always easy to identify. Here’s one I saw on 29th February.
When I first saw it, it was in long grass below a thick bush. It had seen me too:
Watching Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) can be great fun. Take this one reclining on the grass at Sydney Uni with a sprig of leaves in its left claw.
Walking through Badangi Reserve, I spotted a greyish bird on a low branch. It immediately flew up into the canopy and I was able to get a quick shot.
Although its head was in deep shade, I could see clearly its white underside with dark streaking, and this made me think it was either an Oriole or a Figbird. The insect in its beak suggested an oriole, but both species take insects. The bird then flew to a more open spot: