I’ve done fewer walks this month because of the smoke levels around Sydney. There have been fewer birds to see, but those I saw seemed to be unusually relaxed and cooperative, like this Crested Pigeon near the Coal Loader café.
My old biology teacher, J.A. Wood, introduced me to Dixon Lanier Merritt’s classic limerick:
A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican
Wonderful or not, the Australian Pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus) has an ungainly comic appearance, with its huge beak and S-bend neck:
The pelican waddles when it walks, and the huge expandable gular pouch beneath its beak shows even when flying:
Last month I took this photo of the sun dimmed through bushfire smoke. Its red colour reminded me of one of the trees whose funeral pyre is now making up much of the smoke - the Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata.)
The patrons of the ‘bee hotel’ beside our house include a few female Blue-Banded Bees. This is one returning to her nest tunnel inside the hotel.
Only the females sleep in their nests, however, and I wondered where the males went. Eventually I found one place. The other side of our house is not much visited by me because it has no through-way, but one day at dusk I spotted this lily bract:
Here’s a slightly different take on the proverbial twelve days of Christmas, photographically speaking.
12 Pigeons Posing
There are actually more than 12 Topknot Pigeons in the photo. The birds look so small because they were 400m away.
I always enjoy watching swallows’ aerobatics, as they swoop, swerve and soar in pursuit of their next meal. What I hadn’t realised until I looked at some photos I had taken was that despite their agility, swallows are quite dumpy little birds, at least from certain angles.
Two more views.