Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Please read the comment attached to my Sydney Harbour Bridge picnic post below... I think the blogger/blogging crew somehow missed the point of my blog!

LJ, 27 October 2009.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Billed as 'the world's most dazzling picnic' and 'a once in a lifetime experience', Breakfast on the Bridge occurred last Sunday morning. Some 6,000 people sat on grass laid down on the car lanes of the Bridge, for two hours, to have a picnic. The event cost NSW tax payers a million dollars. What a joke. Bring back the anarchic spirit of 1932... Where's Colonel De Groot when you need him?

LJ, October 27 2009.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Last Friday, I ticked a new bird for my Australian list, an Olive Whistler. I have now seen 522 of the 800+ species recorded for Australia and its territories.

I saw a few of these Whistlers deep within the Edenesque surrounds of Monga National Park, 20km south-east of Braidwood in NSW. The birds, along with many Pilotbirds and Superb Lyrebirds, were in the vicinity of the Mongarlowe River, where tiny pink waratahs were starting to bloom. The waratahs brought to mind the unclenching fists of toddlers or opening marsupial hearts. It's been a decade since I last came upon the floral emblem of New South Wales in the wild.

The Whistler's extremely reclusive and shy nature had an autistic edge. I was not allowed to get close to its spirit. Unlike Golden or Rufous Whistlers, the Olive is no show off. I was able to record three particular ringing, gutsy calls the bird made on my mobile. I don't think a lot of Australian birders see Olive Whistlers regularly. I'm sure many Aussie birders have never seen one. I count myself most fortunate.

LJ, October 11 2009.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm back in the Southern Highlands after three tranquil days on (and around) my father-in-law's property at Ellalong, near the base of the Watagan Mountain Range, deep within the splendid rolling reaches of the Lower Hunter Valley. I found myself unwinding and luxuriating within all the towering gums, seas of ferns and yellow box coppices up there.

The birding was tremendous. I recorded, in a variety of habitats (from yellow box woodland to paddocks with dams), 71 species from Saturday afternoon to today (Monday) at 12pm. The highlights were: Speckled Warbler, Brown Treecreeper, White-winged Chough, Grey-crowned Babbler, Little Lorikeet, Superb Lyrebird, Pied Butcherbird, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Wonga Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Peaceful Dove, White-throated Gerygone, Yellow-tufted, Brown-headed, Scarlet, Blue-faced and Fuscous Honeyeaters, Jacky Winter, Zebra Finch, Boobook Owl, Australian Hobby, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Brown Goshawk.

It was grand to catch up with wildlife artist extraordinaire, Alison Green, and King of Trees, Max Elliot, when up there. Max told me a great story about when he used to work in a koala rehab centre... He had to 'tame' this koala called Blinky Bill so it would be down with the then novel idea of having its photo taken with tourists. For weeks, all Blinky wanted to do was attack Max. He clearly recalled Blinky biting him so hard, through layers of clothing, one day, that the animal's head was shaking with rage!

Check out Alison's website: www.alisongreendesigns.com.au

LJ, October 4 2009.