There is a report in my German newspaper of the greater horseshoe-nose bat that had made a comeback in the Hohenburg area in Germany – albeit only through sustained efforts of conservationists. They made sure the bats had suitable roosting places, and that enough cows were around to produce the dung favored by dung beetles that the bats like to catch in flight !
We are back in Perth.
My late-afternoon walk through the little green space here (the Ron Carroll reserve), was rewarded with a sighting of a black-faced cuckooshrike. (They are actually a fairly common sight in Australian cities).
Our time is running short here at the resort by Geographe Bay.
There is a nice walk & bike track that runs along the beach. For me, it’s hard to just walk, though, and not stop and investigate the sounds and glimpses of the exotic birds in the bushes.
The big pink monster living inside the vacation villa, almost stepped on the little brown monster basking outside on the brick paving.
On Monday we went to the beach for a bit, and then stopped at a viewpoint in Boranup forest.
We walked out to the very end of the long Busselton jetty today. There is a little train and an undersea viewing area as well, but maybe we will do that next time.
I found this spectacular rainbow lorikeet in a little green space in my brother’s neighborhood (Ron Carroll Park) while walking through there on Saturday morning.
Here’s a little black and white bird that is a long-time favorite here in Perth: the willy wagtail. They are very active (and wag their tails, of course), and voracious insect eaters – said to be able to consume their own body weight in insects in a day. The wagtails were known to the Noongar Aboriginal people as chitty chitty, because of their trademark chattering sound.
Man! I was spending way too much time scrolling through my Twitter feed today. Trump’s ‘I’m a tariff man’ tweet inflicted heavy losses on the stock market. And it’s official: Seattle is getting a new NHL (National Hockey League) franchise team.
But the tweet of the day for me, was of this cute echidna puggle, born in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. They are very unusual mammals: the young hatch out of a leathery egg in their mother’s pouch, and stay there for 45 to 55 days.
I was sadly mistaken, assuming that the summer wildfires in California had been under control.
The Camp Fire is now the most destructive fire in the state’s history. 23 people have died with 100 more still reported missing. The fire has destroyed nearly 6,500 structures.
Further south, the Woolsey Fire has scorched 70,000 acres (130 sq mi), and forced 250,000 people to evacuate in the Malibu area.
These little birds like to hop around in my backyard sometimes, looking for fallen seeds.
This morning, one was finally ready to pose for his close-up. (It’s time to get a 500 mm telephoto lens, if I’m going to be serious about shooting pictures of little birdies like these!).
It took a little searching to find it online, but now I know: it’s a dark-eyed junco.
It was sunny today, but we only got up to 52°F/ 11°C.
The sunlight we got, was gone by 4.41 pm – the time the sun now sets in the Pacific Northwest. Yikes. (On Saturday night, across the United States, we set our clocks back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time*).
*California voters approved Prop. 7 on Tuesday, a proposal to permanently stay on Daylight Saving Time. The measure still requires a two-thirds vote from the California legislature and a change in federal law before it can take effect, though.
This is the time of year for some mushrooms to sprout in urban gardens here in the Pacific Northwest, and I discovered a new type under my laurel fence this year. Maybe they’ve been coming out every year, and I just haven’t noticed before!
I don’t have a Halloween pumpkin on my porch – but found a crow sitting there today (on the post by steps to my front door).
I like Mr Crow’s sharp, inquisitive look, checking me out, as I was snapping his picture.
We had morning fog around the Puget Sound the last few days, delaying air traffic at Seattle-Tacoma airport at times.
Fog is really a low-lying cloud with tiny droplets of water suspended in the air. And the difference between mist and fog? If visibility is reduced to less than 1,000 m (0.62 mi), it’s fog.
I made my way down to the Amazon biospheres today to catch a glimpse of Morticia*, the name given to the giant corpse flower that is blooming there. (Report by local TV station King5 here).
I had to be content to just check the flower out from the sidewalk. It was too late to book a time slot (all were taken), and I don’t have a friend employed by Amazon that could take me in as a guest! Aw.
*I suspect this is a reference to Morticia Addams, a fictional character from The Addams Family television and film series. A memorable quote (Morticia to her husband): ‘Don’t torture yourself Gomez, that’s my job.’
I love this picture of an octopus, the ‘chameleon of the seafloor’. The skin of an octopus is like that of a pointillistic work of art: it has millions of chromatophores (cells with pigments). Octopuses have yellow, orange, reds, browns or even black pigments, and can camouflage itself against its background when an enemy approaches. There is a complex connection between its brain, its nervous system, and the nerve cells that control the color of its skin.
There was a beautiful ‘60 Minutes‘ segment on TV tonight, about wildlife photographer Joel Sartore’s quest to photograph all the creatures in zoos, for the National Geographic Photo Ark project (natgeophotoark.org).
The project’s goal is to increase awareness of Earth’s biodiversity and the efforts by zoos to save threatened species. He has visited 40 countries and has completed intimate portraits of more than 8,485 species so far.
This little bird hopped around in my backyard this afternoon, and I had to wait a little bit for it to come out in the clear, so that I could snap a picture.
I believe it is a hermit thrush. They like to hop around and forage in fallen leaves, and they can sing in beautiful notes.