Deception and Delight: Brisbane Winter Wonders

“People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there” – Zoe Marriot, Shadows on the Moon

I’ve discovered a rare species and as you can imagine, I’m thrilled! Here in the heart of Brisbane city I spotted the rarely seen Penguinadae deceptor-dartus, so named because of its amazing ability to transform from a roly-poly penguin…

PENGUIN MODE

PENGUIN MODE

into the streamlined Australasian darter within seconds!

AUSTRALIAN DARTER MODE

DARTER MODE

At first I thought I must be hallucinating, especially since I’d just been lying on the ground inhaling the spores from these fungal treasures.

brown fungi Brisbane

Ok, perhaps it is just the ordinary female Australasian darter Anhinga novaehollandiae but I do think it does a good impression of a more rotund species. It’s an  example of how we can be deceived by the angle of shots taken. Now if only I could convince someone to work their photographic magic on me so that I look a little bit more like the darter than the penguin. More about this bird later…

Unlike many of my more organised blogging friends I don’t have a back-up stash of retro walks I can fall back on when I lack hiking experiences so  I live dangerously from week to week, never knowing what I am going to inflict on you next. As each weekend draws near, the dark and chilly shadow of the blogging overlord hisses, “Write a post…write a post…write a post!”  Being a little too conformist, I must obey so this week I’m taking  you back into the heart of Brisbane city to revisit one of my favourite lunchtime and after work wanders.

When I began my 8km stroll last week around the University of Queensland lakes and  Brisbane River paths, I had no intention of blogging about it again. I’ve written about this area before in University Daze and Riverside Ramblings and didn’t feel I could add anything more of interest. This was just a quick walk to reduce the effects of excess potato and cheese consumption while I waited for my daughter’s university exam to end. However, the paths still had a few surprises in store for me though, including the magical penguin-darter pictured above.

As I shuffled along at my usual sloth-like pace,  there seemed little of interest to photograph at first. What was I to do but add to my album of native tree trunk textures and patterns? Grouping the examples together like this helped me appreciate the variation even more.

Australian trees 1

Australian trees 2

Australian trees 3

Australian trees 4

Resin or sap on a bunya pine and another unidentified tree also caught my attention.

tree resin 1

tree resin 2

I amused myself with leaves…

leaf patterns

leaf webbing

river leaves

And in the process  I discovered a hibiscus tree with evidence of hungry critters.

leaf holes

Further investigation revealed cotton harlequin bugs , empty egg cases, a butterfly chrysalis (probably Polyura sempronius), moth cocoons and tiny fly-like critters.

harlequin bug 2

chrysalis

cocoons

.flower flies

eggs

Buoyed by an invertebrate-induced high, I continued along until a pair of rainbow lorikeets assaulted my ears. Apparently they weren’t impressed by my close proximity to their nesting hole. My daughter has dubbed them evil clowns because of their merciless harassment of king parrots that visit our garden.

rainbow lorikeet nest 2

With all the shrill complaining erupting from the evil clowns, I don’t know how the possums could remain snoozing high in their boxes. I suppose after thundering over roofs all night, they’re too exhausted to be disturbed by cranky birds.

possum box

I left the distressed parents in peace and watched a little human activity for a while.

ferry

And spotted a cheeky pelican.

pelican

Further along, a brush turkey was enjoying what appeared to be the results of a student’s alcohol-fueled evening. It’s a novel way to recycle a semolina pudding I suppose. Waste not want not.

brush turkey

brush turkey 2

A laughing kookaburra  was perched by the kitchens of a residential college. When all I offered it was a camera lens it flapped off in disgust.

kookaburra 1

kookaburra 3

At the university lakes a royal spoonbill looked a little coy…

royal spoonbill2

royal spoonbill 5

And after its solid session of preening, I do believe this could be the world’s cleanest ibis.

ibis

A little green eyed black cormorant shunned the camera.

little cormorant a

The ducks were not shy about showing their fluffy rears.

ducks

And a freshwater turtle tried to soak up the last of the sun’s rays.

turtle

It was then I came across the Australasian darter, of penguin morphing fame from the beginning of this post. Sometimes it even appeared bat-like.

Australian darter 6

Australian darter 7

a darter bat

The  darker male version was not in the mood for morphing.

male Australian darter

A solitary duckling looked vulnerable as it paddled off alone into waters turned silver by the setting sun.

wood duck duckling

Lone duckling 1

From the Eleanor Schonell bridge I watched less feathered activity on the Brisbane River.

rowing

As I plodded back to the car park, I noticed an imposing statue in the darkening shadows. I’ve passed this spot many times without knowing the details. I’d always assumed it was representing an English academic or cleric. Deciding my blog friends may be interested, I ventured over and was surprised to discover it’s actually a representation of St Vladimir the Great, commissioned by the Russian community of Brisbane to celebrate the Australian bicentennial celebrations and 25 years of Russian Studies at the University of Queensland. It’s difficult to impart the intimidating size of this figure. From a distance it was too dark to capture the details. From close up it was too big to capture the size.

Statue of St Vladimir

St Vladamir statue

Even though I’ve taken this route on many occasions there were  still discoveries to be made. Just when I think I have seen all there is to see at a location, I’m surprised to find more treasures. It’s not every day that one spies a “penguin” in subtropical Brisbane. I find the combined heat and humidity of a Brisbane summer difficult to tolerate, however there are few places I would rather be in winter. Glorious blue skies and mild days make it perfect for walking.

I may be taking a break from reading blogs and writing for a couple of weeks as I take advantage of ideal walking conditions, spend important time catching up with family members and finish some neglected projects. However, in my possible absence I’d like to thank my loyal blogger friends who’ve supported me over these last  months with a small gift. Since I am a fan of postcards I was recently given large gift packs of stunning Australian postcards, already pre-stamped for international mail. There are birds, sunrises, Australian icons and landscapes. Since I already live in this beautiful country  I would like to share these with my overseas blog supporters (and any Australian friends that want one.) Just send me your postal address  via the form in my contact page if you would like to receive a handwritten postcard from Mildly Extreme Jane during the next month. Who knows, I may become a famous lost hiker one day and my hand signed cards could fund your early retirement.

Thanks for reading and for your kind support!

tall gum

95 thoughts on “Deception and Delight: Brisbane Winter Wonders

  1. Thank you Jane. Your thoughts, photos and words are a highlight. You have a marvellous blog, one of the few I subscribe to. My morning rambles basically emulate your style & interests. Enjoy the time with family. Tony

    • Thank you, Tony! Great to hear from you. I’m so glad you are able to enjoy similar rambles. It gives me great joy to spend time outdoors. I’m glad you share such an interest in the natural world too. I appreciate the kind feedback. 🙂

    • Thank you, Tom. Lovely to know I’ll be missed. I’m just not sure whether I’ll be online much for the next few weeks so I wanted to warn my friends if I go missing and don’t comment on their blogs for a little while. I’ll be back with plenty to share I hope. The darter was extremely quiet. It let me come right up close to it which allowed me to take some better than usual pictures. Have a lovely week.

  2. I’ve walked the same path nearly everyday for over two years, and I’m still finding new things, it’s part of the beauty of nature, you never know what you’ll find.

    What you did find was a great collection of birds, insects and a few other things, it’s hard to remember them all, there were so many! I especially liked the photos of the birds, not only are they sharp and clear, you caught the birds’ personalities in most of them, excellent job!

    • Thanks Jerry! Yes, it is amazing what we do find on our regular walks, isn’t it? You never know what you may see. That is the first Australasian darter I have seen so I was quite excited. I was amazed when it actually stood up and flapped and looked so streamlined. It really did look quite cuddly to begin with. I had a very good afternoon in the bird department. I was lucky as many of these birds are used to students being around and don’t frighten easily. If they were wilder creatures away from the city I wouldn’t have been able to get close enough with my old camera. It’s funny you should mention the characters of the birds as I really got the impression that the spoonbill enjoyed showing off in front of me! I was very amused. 🙂

  3. I’m a nature lover too & really enjoy reading about your excursions and discoveries. I particularly liked your bark mosaic this time!

    • Thanks Leanne! It’s always great to hear from another nature lover. I had a lot of fun putting the bark mosaic together. I knew we had a great variety of trunk textures and patterns but it wasn’t until I set about collecting them that I realised just how many different species are in a small area. We do have great beauty here. Have a great week. 🙂

  4. Australasian Darters Jane! Nice work!
    While the ‘Blogging Overlord’ still whispers in my ear, other more compelling forces still determine when I get around to blogging – and lately, reading others blogs! Having just returned from holidays though, I’ve got an even bigger store of Tasmanian stories to share. No great bird or bark shots like in your post here, though I can confirm Mt Field is a mycologist’s wonderland. I even found some blue ones! Haven’t tried to ID them yet. (Haven’t loaded camera photos yet.)
    Enjoy your break – I hope you get one; I’m sure it’s well deserved. 🙂

    • Thanks Dayna! I was very pleased to see these birds at close quarters for the first time. They allowed me to get within a few metres of them. I usually miss out on bird shots to share. From your twitter account I can see you’ve had a great time on your holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing all the pictures in your blog especially the blue fungi ones! I’ll get down there one of these days soon. In the meantime I can enjoy reading accounts of your travels. Enjoy the photo fun! 🙂

  5. Such wonderful discoveries. I enjoyed the more detailed images. As Jerry said, you can always find new things even on walks you take every day. That’s the beauty of nature. Wishing you some wonderful adventures on your time off and looking forward to new stuff when you return. You’ll be missed.

    • Thanks Gunta! I’m glad you appreciated the smaller detailed images as I had a lot of fun collecting those. I seem to be getting a great deal more joy than usual out of the little things lately. It probably suits my much slower pace. 😉 It’s always nice to know when someone enjoys the things I share. I probably won’t be away from the blogging world completely. I hope to pop in from time to time on my break to check on friends. 🙂

  6. This is a great post Jane! Finding beauty and mystery in everyday places is a wonderful way to live.
    We have a spoonbill that swills his beak in the waterlily ponds where we live – every afternoon just before sunset. I love watching the smooth sweeping action of his bill as he wades through the pond.
    Enjoy your time away doing other things. I’m sure you’ll return with loads of interesting stories and photos to share 🙂

    • Thanks Gail! I should expect it by now by I am always surprised at the transformation in my mood when I am out there taking pictures of the natural world. It’s like a switch has been flicked and I feel a sense of peace as well as a buzz of excitement. I never know what I may find out there! It’s like a renewal of pure childhood enthusiasm.
      I loved watching the spoonbill do its sweeping action too and I took many photos. It almost seemed to enjoy being the centre of attention and at one point seemed to do a bit of a dance. It made me laugh.
      Thanks for the good wishes, Gail. I look forward to reading your inspirational blog when I can. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

      • That’s a wonderful feeling Jane. And it shows through really clearly in your words and pictures. I love it!
        Thanks for enjoying my blog. It’s pretty neat to be able to share our stories and photos as we do.
        Have a wonderful week and a restful time offline 🙂

    • Thanks, Terry! One day I’ll get a better camera that allows me to make decent bird recordings and I will share them on my blog, although it’s much better to be here in person to enjoy it! I hope that somehow you can hear one in real life. Have a lovely week in Montana and happy hiking. 🙂

  7. Beautiful and varied pics as usual, most enjoyable. I especially love your panel of textures, as you know I love texture, and our trees have such wonderful variety, colours and patterns. You get some very beautiful beetles up your way also. Thanks again for a remarkable post!

    • Thank you for the lovely comments again. I’m so glad you enjoyed the panels. We do have such a wonderful variety of colours and patterns in Australia to enjoy. I haven’t seen many beautiful beetle species for a while (apart from the cotton harlequins) but I’ve seen gorgeous shots of many from northern Queensand. I’ll have to go searching. Thank you for your continued support. Have a lovely birding week. 😉

  8. HI Jane, you managed to get some lovely bird photos; as I scrolled down through your post to each bird photo that appeared I was like “Oh, that one is so my favourite!” Until the next photo appeared, and the next and so on……..So I guess I don’t have a favourite as such, but thought they were all lovely! Hope you have a lovely break, and manage to leave your blogging task-master behind for a while 🙂 Leah

    • Thanks Leah! The University of Queensland lakes is a beautiful spot and the birds there are quite used to people. I’ve never been able to get that close to cormorants, darters and spoonbills in wilderness areas. That’s why I was able to get some clear pics this time. Usually I have little hope of a clear shot. It’s a special place for me because that’s where I went to uni and I’d take my books (no laptops then) down to the lakes to study. I also used to take my first born son there and now all three of my children are at the Uni. Thanks for the kind wishes. You have a wonderful week, Leah. 🙂

      • Jane, I came across this quote the other day in a book I was looking through, which I thought summed up well your notion that you were not going to write another post about your ‘lunch-time gardens’, as you had already ‘been there and done that’. It is by Marcel Proust – ” The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I just had to share that one with you! 🙂 Leah

        • Thanks Leah! Sorry I took so long to reply. I am away from good Internet at the moment so I haven’t had a chance to catch up on blog reading or doing much online. Great quote! 🙂

    • Thanks Steve for those lovely words! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I just received your email so will send you something this week. I can’t guarantee it will be in pristine condition by the time it gets to you though. I know that I’ve had mail with tyre marks on it here! I hope it brightens up your office anyway. Have a great week! 🙂

  9. You have a great eye for photography Jane! I love the kookaburra snaps, they are my fave aussie bird me thinks! Gotta love aussie winter hey? We’ve had perfect blue skies and 20 degrees for thr past week! Its just glorious!

    • Thanks Anna, you are kind. That was a pretty demanding kookaburra. It flew down onto the ground near me and kept snapping its beak and tapping it on the ground. I think it is used to being fed. They are cheeky looking sometimes! Love how they laugh at us when we are hiking. 🙂 Yeah, Brisbane winters are just perfect most of the time. It’s never long enough for me. I’ve struggled with summers most of my adult life although I’m much better in dry heat. I hope you have got over your sickness you had while hiking recently. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great week. 🙂

      • Oh yes fully recovered thanks. I was just about to reply to your comment about that hike but miss 3 decided i had to play running races with her through the house. Lol. I was so glad i got out that day, even though i was quite crook i actually think i got better while doing that hike! The fresh air did do a world of good. Have a good one! X

        • I know what you mean about feeling better in the fresh air even though you start out sick. I’ve had a few walks where I’ve had allergy/cold symptoms and improved on the walk. The fresh open air and slightly increased blood pressure on the walk would help nutrients reach the cells better. I’ll let you chase Miss 3 around! I’m glad you’ve fully recovered. Have a great week, Anna. X

  10. Hi Jane, I am sure your collection of bark photographs could be the inspiration for art work where lots of texture is used. The colours of the harlequin bug are pretty amazing.
    I admire the way you can take advantage of new opportunities in familiar surroundings.
    I hope you return refreshed from your break.

    • Thanks Margaret. I was actually thinking of your beautiful artwork when I was taking these pictures. I can imagine you drawing these.
      Even though harlequin bugs can be a pest, I am always fascinated by their iridescent colours.
      Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you are well and are able to keep enjoying your visits, although I suppose winter down that way is not as comfortable. Have a lovely week and I look forward to catching up on your posts. 🙂

  11. I see your getting the hang of our “small world” through your lens. Thanks Jane for letting me take a walk with you through the urban landscape. Lovely photos and fab words 🙂

    • Thanks again, Brian, for your lovely encouragement. The “small world” is getting more appealing as I am getting older…and slower! 😉
      The southern birds are appearing in my backyard now that it’s getting chilly. I imagine you are seeing them too. I just hope the neighbour’s cat doesn’t consume them! It’s been much quieter here since the furry ginger critter moved in. Have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing Bushboy’s latest encounters. 🙂

      • The only trouble with that is getting down to take the photo….well thats not the hard part, getting up again is lol.
        The birds have almost deserted my place as it is getting dry. I usually have the birds come down from the mountains but I guess they will when it gets colder. There is one Satin Bowerbird around and luckily so far the Currawongs haven’t decended in number as yet.

    • Thanks as always, John, for your lovely words of encouragement. I will do my best to enjoy my time away. I hope you are well, happy and enjoying summer. Have a wonderful week, John. 🙂

  12. Fantastic creatures and amazing pictures! I didn’t know “kookaburras”. A very special bird. They look very strange. Its proportions are unusual. Australian fauna and flora are impressive!

    Happy two weeks! 😉

    • Hi Daniel! Thanks for reading and for your kind words. Kookaburras are an iconic Australian bird. Their long distinctive laugh-like call reverberates through the bushland. They do look out of proportion with their large beaks and smaller bodies, don’t they? They use their beaks to catch things like small snakes, lizards and other birds’ chicks. We do have a wonderful diversity of flora and fauna here. Thank you and have a great week. 🙂

  13. Lovely post again, Jane! Whilst I enjoy taking a hike with you, I particularly like your bird photos in this one. Although I was lucky enough to see the 2 species of spoonbill in Australia, I didn’t get a chance to photograph them. I love your spoonbill photo! The other birds and and tree photos brought me back to Australia for a while. I hope to see you back blogging again soon as I do enjoy your posts immensely.

    • Thanks very much, David. I appreciate those encouraging words, particularly since you are a much better photographer than me. The birds here were very kind to me that day. I was able to stand only a few metres away and they weren’t bothered at all. They kept preening themselves and eating as usual. Being at the uni lakes, they are used to people and somewhat protected from danger. The spoonbill almost seemed to enjoy the attention from me and did many funny poses. Perhaps I will share more at a later date. I also very much enjoy your posts and look forward to catching up on any I miss. Thanks! 🙂

  14. “Now if only I could convince someone to work their photographic magic on me so that I look a little bit more like the darter than the penguin.”

    Photoshop hath charms to slim the solid body.

    • Haha…thanks, Steve. You made me laugh. I haven’t got photoshop yet. Perhaps I should although I’m not really bothered by my new cuddlier dimensions. It gives me something to joke about. Speaking of software, at present I only have gimp but haven’t got further than using the contrast and the brightness. I am much less patient with the editing process than I am with taking the photos out on my walks. Have a great week, Steve, and thanks for reading and being cheeky! 🙂

      • Better cheeky than creaky, don’t you think?

        I use Photoshop not to slenderize but to deal with other imperfections in photographs. It’s a great and powerful tool, though not a cheap one.

  15. Hi Jane,
    Great photo’s as usual. I loved the very rare subtropical Penguin:) I hope you enjoy your small sabbatical. I wish I was up there with the warm sun and blue skies, its decidedly grey and overcast down in Melbourne at the moment, well at least it seems to be whenever I get a day off to do some walking, its good weather for drinking coffee and reading papers though! I’m looking forward to reading about your up coming adventures.
    Cheers
    Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for the kind praise again. Yeah, I must admit I did a double take when I first saw the “penguin”. It was the first time I’d seen this species of darter and I had no idea from that angle what it was. Then it flapped and looked like a completely different bird. I like grey and overcast in summer here as it means less burning sun but in winter down there it would be miserable weather for outdoor activities. The perfect weather for snuggling up under blankets or in a cosy armchair with a hot drink and something good to read though as you say. Well I always look forward to reading your Australian adventures (and overseas) on your blog. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. I don’t know how you churn them out so regularly! I do read them all even though I may not comment. I hope you get some blue skies soon! 🙂

  16. Hi Jane, Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the laughs. Loved the penguin-darter and the glowing ibis. When I worked at a penguin colony down south I’d often see daytime tourists happily taking photos of cormorants which they thought were penguins ( when all the penguins were at sea, or in their burrows). I have a better appreciation of how similar they can look after your post 😊

    • Thanks, Paula. Yes, I can really understand those tourists mistaking the cormorants when the birds are fluffed up and facing them, especially from a distance. I had to tell myself that of course it couldn’t be a penguin here! I must admit I was hopeful that it was something really unusual. It was my first Australasian darter though so that was exciting. Looking forward to your next blog post, Paula. Enjoy your week! 🙂

  17. Gorgeous pics as usual Jane. I particularly like the bark and the beautiful skeletal leaves. Your darter is in disguise I reckon!! Thanks for the blog post and good luck with the holiday. We will look forward for posts on your return…

    • Thanks for your lovely words. I can spend a long time examining tree trunks for insects and interesting features. It’s such a contrast to other aspects of my life. Leaf patterns also fascinate me. There is a lot of pleasure to be found in simple things. I thought it wonderful that your blog also featured darters! I doubt I will be able to keep away from my friends’ blogs for too long, but a break from publishing my own will help me finish some other projects and focus on some family relationships during the Uni holidays. Thank you kindly for your continued support. 🙂

  18. Fabulous blog as ever Jane, enlightening and full of great observations. Please enjoy your hiatus with your family and may all your adventures bring you thrills but no spills. Take care 🙂

    • Thanks Pete. Always great to hear from another person who appreciates the little things. Just read your blog post too. Interesting as always! I’m hoping I don’t have too many spills… The weather has turned a bit gloomy – cloudy and rainy – so you aren’t missing our blue skies. It means I won’t get fried though. My skin isn’t suited to our harsh sun really. Thanks for your best wishes. Enjoy your mini-beast discoveries! 🙂

    • Thank you for those encouraging words. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my wanders. I enjoy sharing them. I also enjoy your wonderful nature shots of many places I have never been. Have a lovely week. 🙂

  19. It’s interesting how often you can do a walk and how different it can be at different times of the year. Your posts really show how you notice and take pleasure in the small things Jane. I try to do the same, as I think receiving joy from the simple things that many people often overlook leads to a more contented life. I hope you get in a few walks over the winter, I’m hoping to do the same!

    • Thank you, Amanda, for your continued encouragement. I can tell from your posts how much you enjoy the simple things in life too. You gain a great deal of enjoyment out of your walking. Your blog is a wonderful record of your time spent in nature and sharing the joys with your family. I hope you get to do lots of winter walks. I also hope to arrange something with you before uni starts again! Have a beautiful week. 🙂

    • Thank you kindly. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful nature stories when I finish up some projects and am back from family trips! Have a lovely week. 🙂

  20. I love the penguin version of the bird ! And i find the texture gallery really fascinating. I love all the details you can find in Nature. Nature is truly amazing and fascinating for people who take the time to look at it. Thanks for sharing this with you.

    I may send you my address just in case you still have some postcards 🙂 I would love to go to Australia so baldy that it would be a nice treat 🙂

    Enjoy your hikes, and come back to us soon with incredible stories !

    • I’ve only had a few people send me their address so I still have many postcards left so please do send me your address. 🙂 Thank you for the lovely feedback. I am having a short break from blogging but hope to have some walks to share when I get back. The winter weather is perfect for walking here. Coldish nights but truly gorgeous days with blue skies and mild temperatures. Have a beautiful week! 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the kookaburra and the penguin transformer. They both amused me on my walk and I hoped would give others some entertainment too. Have a great week! 🙂

  21. Wow, just about every single one of your photos were so interesting! Well done! I felt like I was watching the National Geographic channel in pictures! O.O

    • Thank you for your kind praise. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. It’s a lovely walk and the weather is beautiful here in winter. I was surprised to see so many birds that day and enjoyed sharing them in my blog. Best wishes. 🙂

  22. Wonderful photos as always Jane. Love all the birds, so many I have never seen before. Does the black cormorant actually have green eyes or is it an effect from the camera? And I love how you have presented the texture of the tree trunks in a gallery, it is beautiful. I bet you could make that a print and people would pay to put in in their wall:) Enjoy your walks, looking forward to see more later on!

    • Thanks very much, Inger. Great to hear from you. Yes, the cormorants do have green eyes and they are actually more vibrant in real life than that picture. I’m glad you enjoyed the tree trunk textures. I don’t think I ever realised how much variation there can be on even a small walk until I set out to get as many different ones as I could that day. It just goes to show that there is still a great deal I haven’t properly noticed on my walks over all these years. I went walking again this morning and found more kinds which I may share in a couple of weeks. I’ve also been finding more fungi I’ve never see before despite living in this area for some time. I love how many discoveries can be made on a simple walk. Thanks for your encouraging words. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    • Thanks, Brittany! I’m enjoying your hikes and all your other fun activities. I just have to make sure I have eaten before reading your blog as the food pics give me cravings! Have a great week. 🙂

  23. You’ve got an excellent eye for detail Jane. I’ve tried getting shots of the Australiasian Darter’s down at Forest lake a few times but haven’t ended up with anything as good as yours. Without good light like you’ve captured here it is hard to get any detail out of the black feathers of the male’s.

    I love winter in SE Qld too.

    • Thanks very much, Cameron. I’ve never actually been to the those lakes even though I often have to drive through Forest Lakes! You’ve now reminded me to go and check it out for birds. It’s a lovely area for tall trees that’s for sure but I seem to get lost easily in some of the winding suburban streets that my car GPS doesn’t recognise. Yes, the light and how quiet the birds are really make a difference especially when you don’t have a long lens. I was able to get within a few metres of these birds as it was sunset and they were focused on preening and soaking up the last of the sun’s rays. They are also very used to students walking past. Yep, winter in Brisbane is really the best time of year in my opinion. Hoping to bump into you and Maree one of these days! Thanks Cameron. 🙂

    • Thank you, kindly for those words. I’m having a short break away from blogging at the moment due to needing to catch up on other things but I will be sure to check out your blog soon. Have a lovely week. 🙂

  24. The Darter is an impressive bird. The first picture looks like it has swivelled its head around through 360 degrees like a cartoon character. Hope you manage to get some decent walks in during your break 🙂

    • Hi Rob,
      Now that you have mentioned it, I can see what you mean about the swivelled head! It does look like it is twisted around. That was the first time I had seen a darter so when it actually stretched out I was very surprised.
      So far I’ve managed one new walk and revisited two old favourites. I was hoping for a new and long walk in the next couple of weeks. It’s a 9 hour job, a long drive to get there, camping is not allowed, and the sun sets early so it may not happen. We’ll see. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you’ve had a chance for another walk. I’ve not been on top of reading blogs lately. I’ll get to them soon though! 🙂

    • Thank you for those kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed them. I will always be fascinated by our varieties of tree bark I expect. Have a lovely week. Best wishes. 🙂

  25. Hi Jane. That ‘penguin’ is awesome. A master in disguise 🙂 And the laughing kookaburra is adorable sorry the expression but I think the adjective fits then again I haven’t heard the bird laughing 🙂
    Thanks for a terrific post,
    Hanna

    • Thank you, Hanna! I also thought the “penguin” was pretty awesome. Such a funny looking thing. I found it amazing that a bird can look so different!
      It’s perfectly ok to use the word adorable for kookaburras. Sometimes they do have a very cute, cheeky look. I try not to think about the fact that they eat other birds’ chicks. They are terrific at catching small snakes and lizards too. Many people I know regularly give them meat tidbits from their verandahs so the birds become quite tame. I’ve had a kookaburra steal potato chips from my plate at an outdoor cafe!
      Best wishes. 🙂

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