Way back at the beginning of January 2017 I was planning to be diligent about posting on my blog this year, envisioning at least one post a month. That idea fell by the wayside rather quickly. In my defence, we have had a bit of a crazy year, what with selling our house, moving, travelling and so on. I did manage to squeeze in a fair amount of photography along the way so have decided to share some highlights of 2017.
In January I spent a lovely morning watching the Fairy Tern colony at Rous Head, where these endangered birds raise their chicks on a small patch of fenced off land in the middle of Fremantle’s busy port (see here for more information).
An Immature Fairy Tern stretching its wings
Young Fairy Tern being demanding
The demanding chick getting its fish
We spent many weekends during 2017 in Bridgetown, working on our new house, particularly the landscaping. In February I practised some macro photography on subjects found while gardening and moving soil. March was not a great month for photography as we decided to sell our Perth house and I spent most of my time painting, cleaning and de-cluttering. One thing I did manage was experimenting with taking bird’s-eye-view images of leaves and insects floating on the surface of the pool (probably when I was supposed to be keeping it clean). I was very happy with how an image of bleached bougainvillea flowers turned out (called “Floating Trio”). It has done well in a couple of competitions, netting a Silver Award with a score of 87 in the Revealing Nature category of the 2017 Better Photography competition.
Eastern Paper Wasp (Polistes humilis) on its nest
Wolf Spider in the dirt pile
Garden Orb Weaver at night
Ants raiding the paper wasps nest
Our Perth house sold in April, which was a great relief. I was lucky to get a week off from the chaos, visiting Far North Queensland with my daughter. We hired a campervan and explored the area near Cairns, managing to make it to the Daintree, one of my bucket list destinations. Although it wasn’t the ideal time of year for birding we saw heaps of interesting things, including a couple of very special birds on an amazing boat cruise with Ian “Sauce” Worcester on the Daintree River.
Peaceful Dove on the Cairns Esplanade
Papuan Frogmouths on the Daintree
Great-Billed Heron calling
Immature Australasian Figbird
Male Olive-Backed Sunbird
May was a mad rush of packing and moving, with some stuff going to Bridgetown and some to a rental in Perth. We did get a bit of time to enjoy autumn down south.
Male Scarlet Robin
Autumn Leaves in Bridgetown
Once the moving was all done, we set off in our camper trailer for a long-awaited month of long-service leave, travelling north from Perth all the way to Broome and back (about 2400 km each way). We saw some amazing landscapes, met interesting people and saw lots of birds and other animals.
Murchison River at sunset, Wooleen
River Campsite at Wooleen Station
Stars at Millstream
Blue-Spotted Mudskipper, Broome
Western Netted Dragon (Ctenophorus reticulatus) at Hamelin Bay
Masked Lapwing at Pardoo Station
Flocks of Cockatiels at Quobba
Highlights included some amazing station stays at Wooleen Station, in the Gascoyne, Hamelin Bay Station near Shark Bay, Quobba Station north of Carnarvon, Bullara Station on the way to Exmouth and Pardoo Station on the northern coast. In Broome we stayed at the awesome Broome Bird Observatory and on our way back south we detoured to Millstream-Chichester National Park in the Pilbara.
Termite Mound at Millstream
Green Sea Turtle from the cliffs at Cape Keraudren
Cockatiel in the cattleyard at Bullara
Spinifex Pigeon near Karratha
Woolen Station sunrise
Sturt’s Desert Pea
Spinifex at sunset at Millstream