Posts Tagged With: Birds of Australia

On: The Land of Oz

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Today to you in the west is the 30th of April, 2014. Our last full day in Australia was on the 29th. The day before (4/28/14), we finally made it to the ocean. So for today’s post, even though we are already in Japan, spending the night and leaving for home on May 1st, I wanted to share some last minute OZ’ stuff with you. Most native Aussies pronounce Australia as, OZ- tralia.We have in many ways, felt like we have been in the land of OZ! 🙂

It's a BIG country

It’s a BIG country

But Australia is not only a country comprised of six states and two territories, it is also, a continent. We have never left the huge state of New South Wales. Not only have we not seen the rest of this beautiful and interesting country, we have not even scratched the surface of New South Wales!

We spent most of our time with family at their home in Camden, NSW, Australia. I personally, fell in love with this wonderful community! We went to Sydney, NSW, a couple of times, went to the Sydney Opera House, the Harbor area, downtown Sydney, the Chinese Friendship Garden, took a ferry boat ride to Toronga Zoo, and went to Sea World. Still, all of this is located in New South Wales. We rented a cottage for the weekend in Katoomba, New South Wales, in the Blue Mountains. On and on and so forth and even though we saw and experienced a lot in just over a month’s time, what do we really know about this wonderful country, not very much! And even though I took probably 1,000’s of pictures, if they all turn out and I shared them all with you, Australia has SO MUCH MORE to offer! And the same can be said of Japan as well!

But we made it to the ocean in Australia. And do you remember a few posts back while in Katoomba, NSW, I said we saw 100 or more sulfur crested cockatoos fly overhead? Perhaps you found that hard to believe, especially since there were no photos or videos to back up that claim.

I'm so pretty! Thanks for looking! HAVE A NICE DAY! :)

I’m so pretty! Thanks for looking! HAVE A NICE DAY! 🙂

 

Well, at the bottom of this post are two videos. 100 or so cockatoos flew over the home where we have been staying in, Camden, NSW, Australia. It was an early foggy morning with a little light rain. It was on our last full day here on 4/29/14. The videos show these same birds, perched in a couple of gum trees, in front of the house. Incredible, beautiful and NOISY! 🙂

The day before 4/28/14, we set out to see the ocean. The following unexpected road sign was seen while in route.

Koala Crossing

Koala Crossing

Road sign to the Ocean

Road sign on the way to the Ocean

We got to the ocean to Susan’s pure joy and delight! If I told you Susan loves the ocean, that would be an understatement, GREATLY UNDER-STATED!! 🙂

It was a nice drive there through some ‘bush’ of eucalyptus forests, past the koala crossing and with a gorgeous view of mountains until, we descended toward the beach. And there, was, a little sand path walk to the shore. It was a lovely cool day and a bit cloudy. It was definitely a remove-your-sandals-and-walk-barefoot-in-the-sand kind of day. There were huge barges and boats in the distance. Several surfers were out trying to, “catch some waves.” Jonathan and baby Felix, Susan and I walked and explored the beautiful beach and walked along the shoreline. But of course we rolled up our pant legs and dipped our feet in the water! It was wonderful! Susan and I collected a few shells to bring home and spied all kinds of washed-ashore plant life and a couple of little live creatures. One was a tiny hermit crab, walking with its shell still attached. There were large black rocks covered with barnacles. But after all is said and done, it’s all about the ocean!

Ocean I

Ocean I – our path to the beach

Ocean II

Ocean II

Ocean III

Ocean III

Ocean IV

Ocean IV

There was some driftwood and a huge chuck of timber that I pretended to be part of some shipreck that really did occur in this area in the late 1800’s. I found a little stick and, but of course, I had to write something in the sand!

With Love from Susan & Dahni on the beach in OZ-tralia :)

With Love from Susan & Dahni on the beach in OZ-tralia , 4/28/14 🙂

As our outing ended, I came back another way, up some stairs to a play area for kids, picnic area and public restrooms. They even had showers that I took advantage of and washed the sand from my feet, before putting my Keen sandals back on (And yes, brother Richard, my Keen’s stood up to sand, shore and salt-ocean-water. Our outing at the beach was short-lived, but WE LIVED! It was an appropriate one ending to our stay in Australia. Why did I use the words, “one ending?” Why, because, the very next morning, those 100 or so cockatoos from the Blue Mountains seemed to show up in Camden, (as if they followed us) and right in front of our house, JUST FOR YOU!!!! 🙂

But before this post ends and you see the little videos, we would like to take this time to thank all the wonderful Aussies, family and all our new friends that made this such a wonderful and memorable experience! Thank you one and all! We will never forget you! Missing you already! Guhday Mates and Maties or Sheilas! 🙂

Dahni in Susan

A Cockatoo Good Morning to You – Youutube video 1

If possible, watch this full screen and crank up the volume! 🙂

A Cockatoo Good Morning to You II – Youutube video 2

If possible, watch this full screen and crank up the volume! 🙂

Categories: Aussie, Australia, Australian Life, Beauty, Birds of Australia, cockatoos, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Japan, Missing You, Ocean, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Visual Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: A Cockatoo Good Morning to You

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

On Friday April 11, 2014, after we checked in at our cottage in Katoomba, NSW, Australia in the Blue Mountains, Susan and Jonathan and I went to town to find some food for super. Caitlin, baby Felix and Fritz the dog stayed behind at the cottage.

The cottage had a large open space for the living, dining and breakfast area, with a high cathedral ceiling. The west wall was all glass and outside was a large wooden deck. Two large cedar trees were on each side of the deck.

The view of the Blue Mountains towards the frot of the deck or due west was incredible! It was the perfect place to view the sunrise, sunset, moon-rise,  moon-fall and the many coolabah (eucalyptus or gum) trees rising mysteriously in the distance. These trees hosted many cockatoos and other birds. Throughout our weekend, we could see them fly over and sunset and sunrise and perch in the trees. And, outside on the deck was a wonderful place to hear the cacophony of sounds and breathe the fresh clean mountain air and reflect on life, chill or just be at peace.

But as we three, on our first evening here, crossed the street from our cottage, at least 100 cockatoos flew overhead, just around sunset. We we brought food home for Caitlin and told her about this, she let us know that she saw the same group of birds fly overhead and land in the trees, in front of the deck of our cottage!

Personally, I’ve only ever seen any of these beautiful birds in zoos and as pets back home in the United States, but and never so many and flying-living free in Australia!!! 🙂

Although I was not able to capture this extraordinary sight with my camera, four cockatoos showed up the morning we left for home. One in particular, seemed more than willing to pose just for you! So I share this ‘Cockatoo Good Morning with You!’

Good Morning from our cottage deck in the Blue Mountains

Good Morning from our cottage deck in the Blue Mountains

Four Cockatoos

Four Cockatoos

Curious Cockatoos

Curious Cockatoos

Strutting Stuff

Strutting Stuff

Got any food?

Got any food?

Sure I'll pose for you!

Sure I’ll pose for you!

Look at me!

Look at me!

Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?

It is a beautiful morning!

It is a beautiful morning!

See how high I can sit in the tree!

See how high I can sit in the tree!

I'm so pretty! Thanks for looking! HAVE A NICE DAY! :)

I’m so pretty! Thanks for looking! HAVE A NICE DAY! 🙂

Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Beauty, Birds of Australia, Blue Mountains, cockatoos, Eucalyptus Trees, Family & Friends, Inspiration, Japan, Katoomba, Photography, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized, Visual Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Bell Birds

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

I only thought we were in the country until we actually went into the country. It was a nice ride from Camden to Picton,  New South Wales, Australia about 16 miles. We saw rolling hills and cows and sheep much like anyplace I have ever seen. If not for driving on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road, it all looked similar to anything I’ve ever seen. On occasion there would be a sign that read, “Stay in line unless overtaking,” meaning the center lane was for passing ONLY. Somehow, before we leave, I will snap a picture  of the road sign for Kangaroo Crossing. But again, everything seemed quite the same. WOW, was I about to be surprised!

Our destination was the Razorback Inn, a quaint out-of-the-way place to eat that was established in 1849.

The Razorback Inn

The Razorback Inn

Menu from 'Common Gound'

Menu from ‘Common Gound’

The eatery is now run by a Christian Commune called, ‘Common Ground.’ They make their own clothes, live in the area, and run the restaurant including making all the food from scratch and natural and wholesome ingredients. A s delicious as the food was and as charming as the place was, this was not the most memorable experience, of this experience to me. It was in fact, the Bell Birds. Yes, that is what you read, what I wrote and what was meant! And as the name implies, the birds have some association with bells because, however they make this sound, they sound exactly like bells!!!!!!

The Bell Bird or the Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys), commonly known as the Bellbird, is a colonial honeyeater found in southeastern Australia. The common name refers to their bell-like call. “Miner” is an old alternative spelling of the word “myna” and is shared with other members of the genus Manerina. The birds feed almost exclusively on the dome-like coverings of certain psyllid bugs, referred to as “bell lerps,” that feed on ucalyptus sap from the leaves. The “bell lerps” make these domes from their own honeydew secretions in order to protect themselves from predators and the environment.

Bell miners live in large, complex social groups. Within each group there are subgroups consisting of several breeding pairs, but also including a number of birds who are not currently breeding. The non-breeders help in providing food for the young in all the nests in the subgroup,  even though they are not necessarily closely related to them. The birds defend their colony area communally aggressively, excluding most other passerine species. They do this in order to protect their territory from other insect-eating birds that would eat the bell lerps on which they feed. Whenever the local forests die back due to increased lerp psyllid infestations, bell miners undergo a population boom.

The sound is beautiful and quite enchanting. It is difficult to believe that you are hearing  these sounds and that they are made by birds. Adding to this difficulty is their size. They are so small and so fast, it is almost next to impossible to see them in the trees and capture them with a camera. The following pictures of the Bellbird are not mine. I was able to capture their unimaginable and unbelievable sound, but I found a wonderful video on Youtube, so I will use this to share with you.

Gum Tree (a species of eucalyptus) where the Bellbirds feed

Gum Tree (a species of eucalyptus) where the Bellbirds love to feed

 

Leaf size Bell Bird

Leaf size Bellbird

 

 

Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Bellbirds, Birds of Australia, Family & Friends, Food, Japan, The Gathering Place, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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