What Bird is That?

Two bird photographs from my walk around Magnetic Island in June have languished on my hard drive ever since, waiting for an ID. In cases like this I usually spend some time going through references online or on paper then, if that doesn’t give me a result, ask the appropriate Friendly Local Expert (FLE). FLE’s are wonderful people, putting up with some very ordinary questions (I’m sure) for nothing more than the pleasure of sharing their passion for ants, sap-sucking insects, or (as in this case) birds. This bird was my problem:

rufous whistler
Very ordinary small bird (1) side view

Continue reading “What Bird is That?”

Why don’t people like us?

Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Here we are, performing a really important, useful service, day after day, year after year, uncomplainingly, and getting no recognition for it at all. Okay, I admit that being on the clean-up crew is rarely regarded as being a glamour job, but where would you be without us? Under a big pile of very smelly decaying organic matter, that’s where. (I’m not going to say ‘shit’, because most of it isn’t. Oops! I said it anyway. Tough.)

But it’s worse than that. Continue reading “Why don’t people like us?”

Magnetic Island profile

This blog is usually updated about twice per week so the gap since my last post is longer than I would have liked. I can’t even excuse myself by saying I have been away from home, but I do apologise.

We have been to Magnetic Island twice in the last fortnight and passed it on the way to Cape Cleveland two days ago. There should be at least one more post arising from these trips but meanwhile, here’s a photo from the last of them: the island as seen from the South-east, an unusual vantage point which puts Picnic Bay at the far left and Radical and Balding Bays at the right.

magnetic island
Magnetic Island from the South-east

The photo was taken from the ferry on the way to Cape Cleveland – another Wildlife Queensland excursion – on a blustery day of low cloud and occasional drizzle; the tops of Mount Cook (497m) which dominates the centre of the island, Mount Stuart (584m) and the spine of Cape Cleveland were all lost in cloud at various times. The overcast skies were such a contrast to our usual winter sunshine that the monochrome treatment seemed appropriate.

P.S. The organisers’ report on the trip is now on here on the WQ branch blog, with photos.

Magnetic Island walks: Nelly Bay to Arcadia and the Forts junction

The walking tracks

Magnetic Island walking track
Easy walking through the wattles

The walking track through the hills between Nelly Bay and Arcadia, with its extensions to the Sphinx Lookout and the Forts walk carpark, is longer than most and I hadn’t found an opportunity to explore it until last weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the landscape was at its best.

It isn’t possible to see all of these tracks without repeating at least one section (see map) and I walked from Arcadia to Nelly Bay, with the side trip to the Sphinx, Continue reading “Magnetic Island walks: Nelly Bay to Arcadia and the Forts junction”

A visit to Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is very beautiful and is only twenty minutes by ferry from Townsville but we only get over there a couple of times per year. Here are some souvenirs, with minimal commentary, from our visit last weekend.

Landscapes

magnetic island walks
The beginning of the walking track up to Hawkings Point

Two walking tracks lead up from the Eastern end of Picnic St, Picnic Bay – one towards the Recreation Camp and the other, new us, to a lookout on top of Hawkings Point.

That’s the one we took, early on Saturday morning. It’s a short walk – less than an hour going up, even with stops for photography – and is rewarded by expansive views Continue reading “A visit to Magnetic Island”