Moments: Rub-a-dub-dub, a Pelican in the Tub

I have written many times before about what I consider to be the preplanned actions of some birds.
It’s easy to see a bird fly round, or past, go to a tree, roam over the grass, or maybe sit quietly in the water and conclude that they just react from one situation to another without much planning or forethought.

Now I have no scientific measure for any of this, nor have I assembled loads of peer-assessed data, so at best it becomes anecdotal, at worse, biased opinion.

We were sitting on a bench near one of the small ponds at the Balyang Sanctuary on the Barwon River. We had, truth be told, gone there looking for nesting Australasian Darters.  These birds have nested along the river near the road bridge for quite a number of years and have had very successful colonies. But when we arrived there was only a single bird sitting in the sunshine.  The nesting trees were empty. And by the look of it, hadn’t been used in the past season. Perhaps the trees no longer were suitable, or maybe the birds have moved up or down the river. Maybe.

So we sat in the sunshine, watched some Little Pied Cormorants at nest, and a White-faced Heron feeding its bold, noisy young’uns.

When out of the blue, literally, a huge white shape circled the pond and came into land quite near to where we were sitting.

An Australian Pelican.

It quickly turned about and moved to the middle of the pond and began its bathing routine.  A pelican can throw up a lot of water.
Then slowly it paddled and washed its way to the far side of the lake.  The light was starting to go backlight and the water drops were sparkling.  I was hugging the lens close keeping the bird in frame, when on a sudden, it reared up, took a couple of jumps and a wing flap or two that carried it the top of a nesting box, so it could preen in the sunshine.

You clever bird, I said as it landed. It had the nesting box in mind all the time I think, just needed to clean up and move that way. Then a quick hop-step and flap and it had achieved its plan.
Now perhaps I read to much into it, and it would have flown to a tree, pole or fence post, but the positioning of the final wash and turn, put it into a perfect position for an effortless leap to rest.








Blogging 101 Day 5

The journey continues.

Today we have been challenged with looking at the theme for the blog and trying out several other themes from the 100s that WordPress has to offer.
Well, I’m passing on this too.
Long term, suffering Bloggettes will know that I’ve tried a number over the past few months and not one has given me the options that the old “redundant” ithemes site Id been using to display the picture stories.

So straight to the story.

House Renovation.  Cormorant style.

We visited Balyang Sanctuary in Geelong, and found that the Cormorants and a few Darters were still at work on nesting.

One particular pair of enterprising Little Black Cormorants had taken over an abandoned nest and were in the process of adding a new floor, kitchen, dining room and baby room.  Well not really, but they were adding branches to the already large nest.

I guess she stays at home and straightens things out, while he goes out to Bunnings and shops for new additions.  Well it all worked well for him, until he secured a large branch, which he ended up with in the water, still clutching.  Simple, flap the wings, run a bit and take off.


The weight of the leaves and branches in the water was more than his lifting ability.  Time to rethink the strategy.

Run faster, flap more often and get the branch caught in your wing, and sink back into the water. But. Don’t let go of the branch.

Well, that didn’t work, and don’t think your average Cormorant isn’t on to this.  Next plan.  Run faster, flap faster and deeper, jump into the air and bounce like a springboard along the water.  That should do it.


Time to rethink the strategy.

Swim in circles a few times, just so everyone thinks you are in control.  Also think that during that time there was a bit of adjustment to the grasping of the branch.   Letting go of the branch is no longer an option. If he has to stay there till midnight, that branch is not going to get out of his possession. No siree Bob.

New plan.  Face into the wind. Wait for the strongest wind, run faster, jump up a lot, flap twice as hard, bounce on the water, spring into the air, get those branches out of the water to reduce drag…

You could almost see the smile on his face as he furiously flapped and jumped and gradually rose into the air.  Once airborne it was all a piece of cake to fly into the nest and proudly display his latest acquisition.
What about wide-screen TV in the corner, he chortled.


#2 Time to readjust the branch and head into the wind
#3 One flap, two jumps, the branch is almost clear of the water
#4 Another Jump, another flap, speed coming up
#5 One more jump and flap just about should do it
#6 All clear of the water and on the way.
#7 Banking it the wind, well up to speed.
#8 Won’t she be pleased with this. Wings working to wash off speed.




Blogging 101 Day 3

And You Thought Feeding Small Children was Difficult

Spare a thought for the average fishing birds.   Parent brings catches the food, part digests it, then the young one attempts to retrieve it from the parent’s throat!

We went to Balyang Sanctuary on the Barwon River at Geelong today.  Among other things were amused, excited, entertained and down right laughed at the feeding process of these Pied Cormorants.  If nothing else, came away with a greater respect for their devotion to duty.

Don't forget to include the squawking and the wing jostling and the general confusion when you view these.
Don’t forget to include the squawking and the wing jostling and the general confusion when you view these.

DWJ_8076 DWJ_8078 DWJ_8081 DWJ_8084

What ever it was, it certainly is a mouthful
What ever it was, it certainly is a mouthful


Blogging 101 3rd day.

Visit the neighbours was the assignment.  What a great world of bloggers it is.  Found some poetry makers, some Tai Chi students, some camera users, a great birding site and a dude who has some of the best cat quotes. So good I reblogged them here.
Love number 37.  To really know a cat, hold is paw for a long time.   Think Jon Young and “What the Robin Knows” and you’ll see why I’m drawn to it.

So between Facebook, Flickr and all my new sites to read, there may never be time to be out in the bush, nor the time to blog about it. (Or lack of it).  But, that I guess is how community is built.

Nikon released the latest D500 Camera today. This is … the one we’ve (Nikon folk that is) have been waiting for since we wanted a replacement for the D300s of some 7-8 years back.

I’ve been saving (myself, not my money!) for this update as the old D200 D300s were such wonderful, – now outdated- cameras. Much of my early work on this blog was shot with D200. Several of them in fact.

So what do I get for my new model.  Well.   What is interesting to me is will all those who have blogged, moaned, complained and threatened, now rush out and buy the new Camera?

guess what I reckon?

Because while it breaks some ground, its pretty much the same old stuff dressed up in a new label.  I’m tipping that by the time the fanboys get over their drooling and preening and the techheads get over putting up the latest blog for the pixel peepers that the hype will disappear, and everybody will be waiting for the D500s or D550.

Me.  Well, another D810 would suit me better.