Friday, October 29, 2010

Wonderful weather!

After so much rain we're enjoying a beautiful spell of magnificent weather - have just about caught up with all the mowing and garden-tidying again although now everything's growing so FAST it'll all need doing again soon.

This is the view from the gardens between Cassowary Castle and Birdwing Bungalow, looking down to the very full dam - such an unusual sight for this time of the year.  Just after this I spotted one of our many Saw-shelled Turtles sunning itself on a semi-submerged branch in the water - next thing a Black Bittern flew overhead so they must, as usual, be nesting here again.

The valley's alive with birds now - the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers are everywhere and their calls echo from dawn till dusk.  We're keeping an eye on all the known termite-mounds for the first signs of nest-excavating.  Still trying to get a clear shot - I took this a few minutes ago from the verandah outside the office.

Sunbirds have built another nest in the shed, right near the barbeque table so if all goes well guests will have a birds-eye view of the growing family.  As long as the terrible Butcher Birds don't interfere - I know it's nature but we hate to see how they attack and kill our smaller birds.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Return of the Kingfishers

Cheating a little with this earlier photo.  But yesterday we heard the first Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher of the season and this morning caught a glimpse of a distinctive white tail flashing past the window.  This is about the time of year they return from wintering in Asia.   From now we'll keep an eye on all our termite mounds for signs of excavations for nest-building - for the past couple of years we've had several of them 'occupied'.

We're still looking for the Papuan Frogmouth nest which recent birding guests reported seeing just near their bungalow - hard to spot unless you know roughly where to look amongst all the rainforest foliage.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Home again

Slowly getting back to normal again after our fantastic holiday and the camera is still full of people and places rather than wildlife.  Here are the intrepid tourists in Santa Eulalia, one of the quieter areas on the Spanish 'party' island of Ibiza where we were meeting up with far-flung family for our nephew's wedding.
Then we were off to stay with friends in N. Wales and a whirlwind few days in a hire car zooming round England visiting places we had both lived at various times - sadly no time to see all the old friends and family we would have loved to - then Eurostar to Paris where we stayed for a week in a lovely little apartment in a 16th century building in the heart of the Marais district - back to London by train again, two days with dear friends and then the long flight home.

Arrived to full-house of guests (being ably cared-for by Chuck, our relieving manager) and the wettest September on record!  Now enjoying a reasonably fine few days so hope the ground will dry enough so that the mower doesn't keep getting bogged.  The big plus for our guests is that, soooo unusually for this normally dry time of year, the dam is brim-full so everyone is enjoying lovely water-views.