A very small problem

Sitting at my computer a few days ago, I was distracted by a tiny bug moving around on the screen. My first impulse was to identify it, and the way it moved, its body shape and what I could guess of its leg-count all said, “spider, not insect.”

My next impulse was to remove it without harming it, and this is the point at which things got really interesting: I discovered that it wasn’t on the screen at all, but inside it. That, naturally (for me, at least) called for a photograph. Out came the camera and the macro lens …

spider on computer screen
The distraction

But that was a problem, too, because photographing anything small, moving, poorly lit, obscured by its surroundings, or under glass is a challenge, and this was all five.

Let’s deal with the questions one at a time. Continue reading “A very small problem”

Kookaburras in Annandale

Between the floods and the resumption of regular service on Green Path we received an email via the Contact page. The observations in it were so good that I asked permission to publish it, and here’s the result. I have used italics for my words to keep them separate; apart from that, I’ve done just a tiny bit of editing for consistency and brevity, and added links where appropriate.

Tue 19/03/2019

G’day Malcolm

My name is Ray and my wife (Judy) and I are retired and live in Annandale, backed onto the creek that runs from the Army base under the A1 and the “Richard I Bong” Bridge on Macarthur Drive. Got your email address from the Green Path website and you seemed quite experienced in birdlife. Thought you might be able to enlighten us – if you have time.

We have been visited lately by  four Blue-winged and one Laughing Kookaburras (see pics attached).

kookaburras, blue-winged and laughing
The visitors (photo: Ray)

As near as I can make out, the (slipped masked not quite covering the eyes) Laughing Kooka and two Blue-winged Kookas are female by standard assessment – with rufous tails and generally less blue than the others. There is another Blue-winged Kooka with a dark blue tail and a lot of blue including a distinct blue back – presumably male – then the fifth one has a rufous tail at upper and lower ends, but has a dark blue patch in the middle of the tail, that appears to defy normal consideration for gender! Continue reading “Kookaburras in Annandale”

Myrniong: landscape and birds

One of the locations I visited in my recent trip to Victoria and Tassie was Myrniong, about halfway between Melbourne and Ballarat, not far from Bacchus Marsh. Melbourne’s West is drier than its East, and the Myrniong landscape is not unlike that of Sunbury, with bare hills dissected by deep narrow valleys; Lerderderg Gorge, nearby, is just one of the bigger examples.

The property was an outdoor education centre, much used by school groups, and featured an artificial lake near the campus buildings high on the hill above the river.

Myrniong
Looking down on the Werribee River gorge

Continue reading “Myrniong: landscape and birds”