Australian wildlife

We have mostly focused on birds here in Australia, but the native plants are beautiful and many attract different birds such as Honeyeaters, Figbirds and Wattlebirds, as well as Lorikeets. We’ve seen far more than we have been able to photograph, such as raptors, including Whistling and Brahminy kites, Ospreys, Nankeen falcon; different parrots, such as Yellow-tailed black Cockatoo and Galah; as well as Fairy-wrens, Satin Bowerbird, Dollarbird (Australia’s only Roller), Catbirds, and some of the ‘double-named’ birds such as Magpie-lark and Cuckoo-dove.Several of these swoop into Jane’s garden for bugs and flowers; several others sit at the top of a tall tree in the garden. Few have been obliging enough to pose for a portrait.

Apart from birds we have seen quite a few butterflies flitting around, a couple of snakes, including a Carpet snake just at the side of the house, and another smaller one on the little tractor. We have also seen a few kangaroos, and a possum, which woke Katharine by thundering up and down the veranda roof one night.


Little Friarbird on yellow Grevillia


Rainbow Lorikeet


Laughing Kookaburra


Laughing Kookaburra on guard by the compost heap


Like gulls, these Australian White Ibis are great opportunistic foragers.


These Spurwinged Plovers are also very common.


Australian Pelican near the mouth of the Bellinger River at Urunga


Little Wattlebird on pink Grevillia


Grevillia and other native plants


A tiny moth – about 5mm long


Kangaroos in the salt marsh near Urunga


A water dragon


A sweet-scented flowering creeper


Red Grevillia


A native tree in blossom


Coral tree in blossom


Australia – NSW to Queensland

We are spending most of our time with Katharine’s brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Jane, near Bellingen in rural New South Wales, but over the weekend we had a jaunt northwards to Brisbane, where Chris and Katharine have a second cousin, Sarah Davies (nee Barron). On the way north we stopped off for lunch at a pub on the Clarence River. We spent the night in a nice little 1980s motel in Byron Bay, Mecca for hippies and surfers, where we met a friend of Jane’s for dinner in an excellent fish restaurant.

The next day we visited the Tweed Gallery which features many paintings by Australian artist Margaret Ollie, together with a reconstruction of her studio, as well as other work by Australian artists. Our drive to Brisbane was slow, with  very heavy rain and then heavy traffic on the Goldcoast highway, but we were warmly greeted by Sarah and her husband Mark. He is both an excellent cook and a champion beer brewer. On Sunday we visited central Brisbane. In spite of the storm it was still very hot and humid, but an attractive city.

On the way back south we stopped off in Evans Head to visit friends of Chris and Jane’s. The highlights were an evening beach picnic where we drank bubbly and waited for the supermoon; then the next day we had breakfast in ‘Evans to Betsy’s’ breakfast cafe.


Wildlife in HK

Hong Kong is surprisingly green with lots of trees and flowering plants. We did a couple of good walks. Unfortunately all the truly wild birds as well as the butterflies were flying round too busily for decent photos, so we cheated a bit and got some photos in the open aviary in Hong Kong Park. The orchids were in an amazing display also in Hong Kong Park. The big grey butterfly is the size of a small bat – and was black. We’ll try to do better in Australia!


Double hibiscus in Hong Kong Park


Spot the butterfly!


There’s another butterfly hiding here.