Bali Botanical Gardens

bali botanical garden
Formal gardens in the European style

The Bali Botanical Garden is up in the mountains, near Mount Batur, an hour or so from Ubud by car. Its altitude makes its climate significantly cooler than the lowlands and the day we visited was overcast with intermittent rain but we had a wonderful time anyway. The orchids and ferns were particularly good, and we would have spent far more time in the Taman Usada or Continue reading “Bali Botanical Gardens”

A Balinese flying fox

I interrupted my intended series of posts about Bali (snakefruitbutterflies) to keep up to date with local subjects but I can now return there in spirit if not, unfortunately, in body.

Here’s the only local flying fox we saw close up, resting beneath its perch outside a restaurant in the hills between Mt Agung and Ubud.

The lovely golden fur was enough to alert me to the fact that it wasn’t a species we have here in Australia but discovering its identity wasn’t easy: Wikipedia tells us that there are at least 60 species worldwide but few online resources go into any more detail.

In the end I consulted yet another of my Friendly Local Experts Continue reading “A Balinese flying fox”

The invasion of the butterflies

Tawny Coster, Acraea terpsicore,
Tawny Coster (female) on Cape Pallarenda

The Tawny Coster, an Asian species, was first noticed in northern Australia five years ago and has been spreading southwards ever since. It has reached Townsville in the last few weeks.

I was alerted to the alien invasion by a friend in Bushland Beach who saw them a fortnight ago and asked me if I had seen any  Continue reading “The invasion of the butterflies”

One morning on Cape Pallarenda, with birds

A few days ago I left home just before dawn to visit Pallarenda – specifically the Old Quarantine Station, Cape Pallarenda and Shelly Cove.  Part of my motivation was simply to be outdoors, since the weather at this time of year is too beautiful to waste, but the main reason was to see the wildlife. I didn’t have to wait long: a couple of crows came to check on me when I sat on the beach to have breakfast. I walked down to the water’s edge afterwards and turned round to see Continue reading “One morning on Cape Pallarenda, with birds”

Recent additions

I have just added another book review to the site, of Alex Miller’s Landscape of Farewell. It’s part of a sporadic process of republishing old reviews and other articles on the blog; each is posted under the date of its first publication so the quickest way to find them (if you’re curious) is to scroll to the bottom of the drop-down “Archives” menu at right.

Birding from Mingela to Clare

On Sunday I enjoyed a longer-than-usual BirdLife expedition, a round trip from Townsville to Ravenswood via Mingela, returning via Clare and Cromarty for a total of nearly 300km. One of the reasons I accepted the invitation so enthusiastically was that I had never been over the ranges from Ravenswood to Clare and Continue reading “Birding from Mingela to Clare”