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Sulphur Crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita Cacatuidae

A walk with my dogs on a grey wet Spring Saturday afternoon when a flock of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, (Cockies) flew into the trees about where we were. They did not stay in these for long. Taking off with much screeching and carry on as only cockatoos seem to do. I noticed some landed in a dead tree further along the river bank. The white of their shape defined clearly on the dark limbs against the rain filled sky. These raucous characters are very intelligent and have in suburban areas learnt to open wheely bin lids. They naturally bob their heads but will also enjoy moving as if dancing to other noises, including music.(more tame birds I imagine. though maybe the odd one in a tree near a BBQ or pool party. Some see them as jerks and pests, especially true as they can be very damaging to crops and when flocks can be as large as several hundred they can decimate a grain crop and damage it totally. In suburbia they have been known to land on a persons shoulder. They tend not to be fearful of humans out where I live in the bush this is not the same. I am also not sure that our Cockatoos have learnt to open our wheely bins when out for garbage day.

I felt I had missed any opportunity to catch this cheeky group again as I loaded up two wet dogs and a damp human into the car for the journey home.

I was delighted to see this fellow up in a tree and at first thought it may have been a nest. It certainly met the criteria for a nesting site for a cockie. Large hollow up high in a tree. It also would explain its flight away. Not wanting to show it was a nest. The comb of sulphur yellow (giving the name) is matched by the underside wings and tail feathers. How wonderful I was able to catch it taking flight.

If this is a nest the eggs are laid in our Spring until early Summer (so now) both parents prepare the nesting site, both will incubate the eggs and care for their chicks. Once the chicks are old enough to fly they will remain with their parents and their flock in definitely.

As I watched it fly away I heard more cockies, down the way a bit and noted that this single bird was flying towards the screaming and other loud squawks emanating in that very direction. Off I drove in pursuit.

I arrived just in time to capture our solo cockie landing near and rather intrusively it seems bye two others. The one already on the branch was attempting to stop it from landing it seems to me as it moved towards it wings akimbo and head up facing the intruder.

I watched the antics of these delightful if raucous screeching native birds considered by some to be clowns of the bird world in Australia. As they interacted in the tree tops. I am glad where I live we do not get the flocks of hundreds that they do in some areas of mainland Australia. The hullabaloo would be deafening and tiresome for too long.

I

nformation included here is from an article on the http://www.australiangeographic.com.au
Australian Geographic • August 19, 2021

So thankful for such a lovely afternoon and to be mask free again. Thankful that Tasmania fortunately seems to have been lucky and not had an Outbreak of the Delta variant. I am thankful that I am surrounded by incredible bird life.
blessings to You, Tazzie

my Tasmanian Life

On my way home from doing my grocery shopping on a glorious spring day

I was not alone enjoying the stunning spring day this Sea Eagle was sitting high in a tree and I had to wonder; if hoping to grab a

feed from…

salmon farms cages in the Huon River to keep birds, and seals out the nets have these huge barriers about them. Beats what used to happen to the seals and maybe eagles and sea birds in the past, they would be beaten and or shot (not so many years ago) so at least they are safer.

the salmon cages that abound in the river and waterways near of Tasmania

this is a platform where vessels dock and add feed and check on the cages and salmon. Apparently the feed is done automatically from on shore these days.

The supposed deep sea locations where the companies will advertise and say are actually often very close to shore, to houses and communities. Even the ones that are a bit further out residents are impacted by lights, noise and even voices as the employees do as required to attend to the salmon. We all know how sound travels over water.

For people such as myself who enjoy night shooting with my camera especially Aurora Australis. The lights from the farms and more so from the huge vessels create light pollutions along with the onshore lights from the facilities dotted along the land beside river and sea of the companies.

The Huon River is tidal at these locations. ( and a mix of fresh and salt water the tide was just beginning to go out as we were heading home.

a paddle and swim for the dogs

Tasmania has wonderful fishing in the rivers, lakes and sea. Though some local river fish in areas where acquaculture are very active with farms and other farm land and water activity along with climate change has seen a drop in some varieites. Our water is clear generally but often shell fish are deemed inedible for toxic issues from contaminats unkown in the water.

it is a pretty trip

I noticed a paddock with no home but many daffodils and jonquils and a pair of plovers made it their very picturesque home.

The golden colours of the bush here is not wattle but gorse. A weed that gets away and causes major issues here in Tasmania. As pretty as it looks it takes over.

So thankful fo the beauty around me, for the sunshine and the ability to be able to enjoy it. I am so thankful for some of the cleanest air in the world to breathe, and the least populated land. Though at times it does not feel like that to me and I have to laugh at myself.

blessings to you, Tazzie.

Who I saw today.

The Australian Hobby Falco Longipennis is uncommon in Tasmania. The eat small birds and insects, though this one has a field mouse. As seen in the silhouette shots. The quality of the photographs is not great and I apologise. I was driving noticed it and tried to get the best vantage I could it flew off twice, and this was the my best opportunity. It certainly was having some trouble with the managing on the electrical wires, it was a little windy.

Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus, is an uncommon visitor to the Huon Valley. It is found around the Coastal areas of the North and East coast of Tasmania as well as inland rivers, estuaries, lagoons and lakes. I have only seen single Pelicans in 20 years of living in the Huon Valley on the Huon River. They do breed on some small islands off the northern coast of Tasmania. On the mainland they are found in large colonies, and are pretty common. I love these birds especially when they are fishing, and to see them fly and land is quite good as they look such an awkward shape in the air.

Great Cormorant , Is a common resident in the Huon River and is found all over Tasmania. They swim on the surface and will dive for food. They can often been seen on branches and logs, with their wings spread wide as if drying them in the sunshine.

The photo is the same cormorant a bit later in the afternoon on the same limb.

Black swan Cygnus aratus, is common found all over Tasmania. If you see a few together they are usually a family group. Singles are also seen and are most likely unmated. They are also found in large flocks.

Eurasian Coot, Fulica Atra.is a common visitor to Tasmania, it seems not to breed here, but is migratory and nomadic.

Pacific Black Ducks Anas superciliosa. Abundant in Tasmania and mainland Australia. These guys were chasing each other and I swear they were smiling…

These were all taken today on my trip to and from my GP. 100km /62miles approx round trip.

I was really thrilled to see the Australian Hobby and to see it swoop down after some food. Then see it swoop back up with a field mouse in its talons. Nature is not always beautiful.

Such a wonderful group of varied birds to see and attempt to get shots of.

Thankful to be able to see the birds again. Thankful to have such amazing bird life about me. I did not have to sit for ages to get any shots, they were all seen either from my car and I pulled over to get some shots. The Hobby, and Pelican were sheer luck.

Or I went to a location I hoped would give me some bird life. The dam where the water birds were photographed I knew there would be some bird life there. I find taking photographs takes some of my anxiety away when I have to do things I am not so keen on or find difficult.

This week so far and it is only Tuesday, my plans for staying home have not happened. So I am feeling quite exhausted and a bit resentful. As I really want to get some things done in the garden. I did plant some of my new plants out this morning.

I also was able to pick up cardboard to use to put down to kill the grass and weeds in the veggie garden. I also took other photographs as I drove to my GPs, which I will share at a later date.

The doctors surgery we had to sit social distancing and if I had not needed my script refilled I would not have gone. My GP is on leave and because the Gp was a locum she wanted to see me. I was feeling anxious about it. Taking the photos and enjoying the scenery helped a lot. The traffic is getting heavier as restrictions are changing.

I hope to be able to be at home for the next few days, or week without having to go out again. My home is most certainly the place I enjoy being the most and I am so thankful to have it.

be safe, be kind

blessings to You Tazzie

Thankful for…

I was up very early this morning and watched the sky fill with a soft pink as the sun rose. It was warming up rapidly. I made myself a coffee and remembered I needed to check that the birdbath was full. I looked and noticed it needed a top up. I saw a movement over near my peach tree. AHHAHHAH! caught the culprit!

My peach trees lower branches had been stripped of the leaves, and in the process peaches have been knocked off. Here it was stretched up on its hind legs as high as it could reach! I slowly moved and went back in to grab my camera. Hoping the culprit would be still nibbling away upon my return. Sadly it moved (I had a bright blue t shirt on so Im not surprised I was noticed), I was able to capture this little guy. I do not begrudge he or her a nibble and know the tree is older and stronger, the branches are not as easily broken. There are enough peaches to share. The birds and possums eat the fallen ones.

the guilty party…

I was just getting ready to head in to town. I had to pick up a couple of things and I decided that I would take the dogs for a swim. I was inside and my dogs were out when I hear barking. The kind that says Hey we are protecting you from this very dangerous thing! There was something in the shrubbery on my driveway.

Busby

It was the echidna, baled up by both Busby and Miss Treacle. I moved them away, and watched as this wee guy left in quite a hurry. I do hope she/he had a trouble free day after we left.

I then noticed that this wee bird flew out of my car port light shade, there was a nest made in it last year. Though if they are nesting it seems very late. It is a sweet bird and I welcome it. I do find it hard when they are so nervous but understandable. Several neighbours in the area have cats that are allowed to roam and we also have an issue with feral cats. I am not happy about the fact the cats come over my way. When I see any or the dogs do, I happily let them chase them away.


A very full morning and it is not even 8:30 yet.

So we head off to do our walk. We got a bit waylaid(sadly I did not take my camera out of the car) our neighbour was throwing balls in their paddock for their two dogs to chase. Needless to say my guys had to join in. So we chatted as the dogs chased balls and played with each other. (Her dogs are a staffie kelpie, who is fixated on his own ball and his brother a boxer) Busby ran and got the ball and played with the boxer Miss Treacle said hello to everyone and then went and sat under the car in the shade. After about an hour I put Busby in the car (he was so hot he had drinks ) and Miss Treacle ran reluctantly ahead. Busby was whining to get out. So I gave in and they took off.

Dogs taken for their walk and a beautiful view from the hill.

Off too the beach! The folk festival has finished there are still lots of people and vehicles about. I discovered that an Aboriginal festival is happening for Monday and Tuesday Ballawinne Festival. Writer Bruce Pascoe book, Dark Emu Bruce was speaking tonight and tomorrow I am sure they will be very interesting event.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required. http://www.magabala.com/products/dark-emu


Not that I could afford to go to it, yet it would be a very interesting event. I am sure I will know someone who has been. Well now that explains why there are so many people and vehicle still around.

OK no Seriously we are off to the beach NOW,
It was such a glorious hot day 32dC there were people and dogs at the little beach I went to. So Busby and Miss Treacle had a lovely time. Though neither were that excited to go in for a swim.

These two came up and wanted to play Busby loved it Miss Treacle was quite her own dog and chose to watch from the shade.

The following selection of photos shows what a great day it was, and how clean the water is. It is also showing my reluctant boy attempting to fetch a stick. I was quite mortified at his reluctance.
I did have to apologise to him when I went in to swim a bit later as there were two areas of like quicksand in the shallows. I sank up to my knees and struggled to get out. So no wonder my big boy had problems.

Miss Treacle does the beach her way today.

Whilst Busby would like to run with this guy in the water, but his day has been full of play runs and sunshine, I was happy that he did not join in, that he just watched in awe.

The dog in the water was so funny to watch he must be some kind of water dog. He just ran up and down in the water for so long while we stood watching. He just raced up and down having the time of his life.
His owner was not about but up at a car. The dog did not even stop to come and say hi to my guys. He was just in heaven in his own world.

He was no problem and boy did he make me smile and chuckle.

There were kids playing on the fallen tree. Swinging is not so much fun when the tide is going out. How wonderful to see them without a phone, taking photos or selfies. In fact no one (apart from me had any mobiles or cameras. How rare is that . All were in the moment enjoying the here and now. Using their brains to retain the feelings, the fun and all that will stay with them. That is what living is about.

Even I put my camera down and sat in the water, the waves coming over my thighs. Looking all about me and knowing how fortunate am I and how rich.
I went for a swim, so refreshing. I expected that Busby would join me, but no they both just sat in the shade. Not even watching me.

So much fun about floating on inflatable rings with a beer in your hand, sailing, canoeing, fishing, sitting in the sun, swimming, chasing each other or just kicking your paws up and making your own kind of fun!

Miss Treacle at 12 lets the youngsters carry on. Preferring to get to know other folk and tell them how abused and neglected she is. Here she just plonked her wet body (I had sat in the water with her on my lap…shoulders as she did not want to be in the water it was very shallow and cooled her down as she was very hot). on this lovely ladies mat. Leaning right against her. Knowing there is a wee 11 week old puppy there. Treacle loves puppies.

Poor pup was very anxious so I retrieved my girl, and my boy and we headed home. All that time in the sunshine fresh air and playtime. Dinner was early and they have both crashed, and I can hear only heavy breathing and snoring.

I too feel weary and very relaxed. I know I need to do more for myself in the way of exercise and things I enjoy. I was glad there were very few people at the beach. As otherwise I probably would have not stopped. I usually do not venture to this beach while school holidays are on, and there is still another 2 weeks before school resumes. Then the chances are it will be just us at the beach.
I do like that at least now I really do know what is best for me. I am listening to my self, and I talk to myself. I talk to my inner child. (another topic for another day) It all helps me to reduce the potential for being caught out by something that might trigger me. So a truely awesome day. What more can you want but wild animals feeling at home in your garden. A beautiful hot clear sky day. Pristine water and beach to swim at and hardy anyone on it. I am so thankful and appreciative of all I have especially my two companions.

blessings to you all Tazzie

Its not just echidnas, what if

Bennets wallaby near my house (c)Echidna Home 2019

This little guy just looked so happy chewing away. It was almost as if it posed for me. It is a Pademelon (Paddy melon) They only grow to about 60cm and weigh about 5kg (enough of the lessons).

I am so privileged to have them visit my place. I used to get annoyed when they would pull the fruit tree branches down and nibble the leaves breaking them, but the trees grew taller, and they couldn’t reach any more.

Kookaburra in my garden (c) Echidna Home 2019

I know it seems a bit surreal to me too. I really live with these guys about too.

I also have Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Quolls, and Tasmanian Devils around. Much harder to obtain photos of these guys I keep trying.

This Echidna was moving along the roadside near my home. (c)Echidna Home 2019
shuffling about under the watttles, looking for food. (c)Echidna Home 2019

My favourite remains the Echidna.

The echidna on the right was across the road from my driveway. They can actually move surprisingly fast.








A shuffling snuffling echidna on the hunt for food crossing through my wattle grove.

Close up of the quills. (c)Echinda Home 2019

Easy access to the next paddock. Through the fence. I am sure it is because it has smelt me or heard me as I try to capture its photo. sigh. I never want to frighten it. I was using a telephoto lens, I reckon it heard me moving about. It decided that heading through the fence was its only option.

Through the fence (c)Echidna Home 2019
If you look you can just make out this guys foot, it looks strange as it faces backwards. (c)Echidna Home 2019
Hiding (c)Echidna Home 2019

As I have written before Echidnas are just amazing and unique mammals. I love th above photo as it shows how well their camouflage is. It looks like sunshine is hitting the grass but its the quills, and you can see its eye.

As I write this the horrific Mainland Bush Fires on the mainland of Australia and Kangaroo Island have cost so many Australian animals, insects bugs, it breaks my heart. I look at the wonderful wildlife that abounds my home and I cant imagine them all gone. The overwhelming knowledge that some may be gone forever. There are so many wonderful people who are out there working to find and help, the wild life carers, the firepeople and vets, farmers, those who are ensuring food and water are left and hoping to capture injured animals to help. The generosity of people all around the world, those that are making pouches and wraps..donated items food and are out gathering leaves and shoots for animals that have none in their locations. The baby wombats who have come out of burrows starving as mum has most likely been killed and not been back to the burrow. It is so so tragic. Of course my heart reaches out to all the people and communities impacted.

Tazzie

A little Cocky heading into 2020

Sulpher Crested Cockatoo (c) Echidna Home (2019)

Cockatoos or Cockys/Cockies (coll) are intelligent, cheeky, loud, destructive to trees (some folk feel) and so funny to watch at times, they have a very funny walk. They are a bit similar to humans who have a preferred hand; they have a preferred’ footness’, but it seems from research most are more left footed. Adaptable birds they survive in both cities and the bush. They dine on berries, nuts, seeds and roots.

My Poppy(grandfather) had a pet Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). It had a large cage but only went in it to eat or when it was a bit nervous, say if my cousins bought their dog over with them. He was called Cocky and my Poppy had taught him to speak. He could say all the usual “Hello Cocky” and “who is a pretty bird”. He would scream “feed me, feed me” when anyone was near by with food. He loved a scratch on his head, and would say oh “darl give us a scratch”. My Pop used to ask my Grandma for a scratch of his back every evening in this manner. As I said he was never in his cage and his wings were not clipped. My Poppy did not do that with any of his birds.

Poppy had been a rabbiter as a job in the bush, and my Dad and his four siblings and their Mum (Grandma) all lived in a tent. Summer and winter. They were very poor. My Pop just was wild about Australian native animals and birds, he loved the bush . He taught me so much.

Back to Cocky he would sit about on the furniture, and go outside whenever Pop did. Cocky would go flying and return home, he would not be gone long usually he would get frightened by other birds.

My Pop had found him when he was a chick. Most likely fell out of the nest in a hollow in the tree. My Pop could not climb trees he had scurvy when he was little. You could drive a bus through his legs. He also knew that a cat would get the chick pretty quick in the area he found it. If he had left the chick on the ground. No parent was in sight nor squawking about the chick. So he took him home and hand rared him. Cocky adored Pop.

Male Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo (c) Echidna Home 2019 (male because black ring around his eye females are reddish pink)

The black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) about here love the pine cones. You can see sap all over this ones beak. It is not uncommon for people to park their cars under pine trees to keep them cool and have pine cones that the cockys are finished with drop onto the car, damaging them or smashing the windscreen. Both birds have an amazing scrreeeech I have thought it was someone hurt.

A perfect landing Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (c)Echidna Home 2019

They are stunning looking in flight.

Cockatoos live a similar life span to humans, and when my Poppy had to go into a nursing home my Uncle adopted Cocky, and would take him in to visit Poppy. (Cocky would sit in the front seat of the car and jump on the arm rest and look out the window on the trip. When they got to the Nursing home he would cry out “Poppy where here, Poppy where here” ( Which is what all his grandchildren used to call out when any of us visited them at home), until he found Pop. He would fly to him, sit on his shoulder rubbing his head on Poppys cheek and give him gentle little pecks like kisses. He loved my Uncle and learnt some more words that I will not share.

I do hope your Have a Good New Years Eve

Tazzie.

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