Sunday, May 25, 2008

Random stuff and the camera thief

Have you ever got to a blog post and the person says they have nothing to say? Yeah, well... It ain't true! We've got loads to say. However the problem is that by the time we get to the computer to type it all in we've totally completely forgotten it all.

There could be several reasons for this. One being the fact that the best, most perfect blog post ever conceived of was thought up of in the middle of the night. Does anyone REALLY keep a notepad and pen next to their bed to jot down middle of the night thoughts? Ha, thought not.

Random food thought: Since most of my regulars (waving hi to ya!) are from North America, I thought I'd post a food recipe for you since I don't think you can get them at most places there. I'm talking about crumpets. They are very very easy to make, especially with the recipe I came up with. So if you are interested in crumpets and how to make them from scratch quickly and easily, then head on over to my other blog and check out the crumpet post. Ummmm, it won't be up till about 30 mins after I post this as I still have to write it.

How's abouts some birdie pics for you to look at before you head over to check out my crumpet recipe?

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of birds? The Shadow knows! Mwaaaahahahahaha!

This next one isn't my best , but what a great pose this guy has. Looks sorta dragonish.

Gotta love it when they let me get close. Notice how the crests form a heart shape? Awwwww, aren't they cute?

Who is that masked caped crusader swooping in out of the shadows to fight crime?

The other morning I was up on the balcony getting some shots of the rainbow lorikeets in the feeder. Above me were a few cockatoos (about 3 feet away) calling me dirty names for not putting out more of their favourite food. I got a few closeups of them, no worries.

As I went back to the lorikeets in the feeder, I spied out of the corner of my eye a cockatoo launch himself out of the big gum tree. It looked like he was heading for the feeder, but going very fast. He flew over the feeder and glided up to where I was and hovered for a fraction of a second before flying off. All I had time to do was crank the zoom ring back and press the shutter.

When the shutter clicked, he was 8 to 10 inches in front of the camera back-beating his wings to get ready to fly off. I do apologise for not getting all of him in the shot, but it all happened kinda quick like.

Anyways, here's the pic of the cockatoo attempting to steal my camera. He was less than a foot away. Keep in mind these birds weigh a kilo and have a 3 foot wingspan.

Pretty cool shot, eh?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Outside the Window at The Clan House

Whoopsie, something tells me that I need to talk just a "slight" amount about my use of the word "clan".

I've married into a family from the border country. That means the area around the Scottish/English border. Since I'm using the word "clan", you may guess which side my inlaws are on :)

Anywho, did you know that my mum-in-law is descended from the McGregor Clan. In fact she can trace her ancestery from Rob Roy himself. Shortly after Rob Roy's "rebellion" against the English, the clan name of McGregor was made illegal by the English. So she (me mum-in-law) is a Callandar (as that was the name of the town).

About five generations later, some of the original McGregor descendants started to use the McGregor clan name. However, my mum-in-laws forebears weren't some of them; they kept the name Callandar.

Ewan McGregor is (I think) tenth generation descended from the Rob Roy clan, good on 'im! That also means that my MIL is nine generations related to him. Yo, Obi-Wan! Gimme some force, bro!

What does this have to do with the word "clan" in US connotation? Well, kinda lots... See I never even thought that referring to this house as a clan house would be problematical. Yes, I do have long blond hair (and a goatee now).

I've worked with, and for, black blokes. I've worked with hispanics. I'm great friends with many Inuits, Athabascans, and Yupiks. Heck, I dated a Cherokee girl for a year. At my wedding were blacks, whites, hispanics, natives, and a few others that you just weren't sure about.

Before I moved down to Oz, my wife took pity on my bicycling for transport in Alaska and bought me a nice sports car (I think she was tired of being picked up at the airport in a freight truck). When I moved down unda, I sold the car to a bloke I worked with; he's black with a white wife. SO WHAT!

Why does this matter to me, you might ask. Then again, you might not. It matters to me cus I was reading about ole huckabee and his "joke" (yeah, right) at an nra rally. Someone in attendance wrote that it looked like a clan rally (the veep of the US was there and laughed harder than anyone else, BTW).

Anyways, I just wanted to let all my loyal readers (I'm up to 19!!!!!) know that when I refer to this household as "The Clan House", it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what some folks in the US might think it does. BTW, I refuse to type those three k's in a row.

The Clan House Down Unda is an extension (albeit a very oblique one) of the McGregor Clan. So there. Think tartans, not bed sheets.

Ok, on with the pic that I took while looking out the window the other morning at the clan house:

When you got it, flaunt it baby!

Bonus Edit!
Overheard at the Clan House:

Wifeypoo: "Yaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnnn"
Yours truly: " I suppose that means you'll be sleeping during the movie tonight?"
WP: "Well, we're watching Seven Years In Tibet, right?"
YT: "Yup."
WP: "I figure I'll make it through the first three weeks."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Up Close and Personal

No, this isn't anything about me. Besides if'n y'all wanna know about me then just go trawling through the archives. You should, I was funnier back then. Go on, you know you want to...

I figured I'd put up some closeup shots of the birds. After all, I've got loads of other shots, so how about some close ups.

Watch out Fred Astaire, you've got competition!

"I'm a dancin' fool!"

Remember in the movie Godzilla (the one with Matthew Broderick) how the streets rumble and buildings shake when ole Goddie is walking nearby? This kinda reminds me of that. Either that or she's the sasquatch of the birds.

It's pretty cool when the cockies let me get close.

Yes, I still have all my fingers. There's about 4 or 5 that'll sneak a seed from my hand when I'm putting a handful into the feeder. I was hoping to get a pic of it, but I think the camera kinda freaked her out.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Warning! Lots of bird pics today!

Danger, danger Will Robinson... my arms are flailing wildly about...

Whoops, there I go showing my age.

This post may take a bit to load, I've got like 8 cool birdie pics to share with y'all today. I've also got a whole buncha other stuff to share with you, but since that requires me actually typing at the keyboard instead of processing photos then it'll just have to wait.

In the meantime: Does anyone remember the song from Kiss called Strutter? Does anyone remember the rock band Kiss from their heyday? I think this particular song came out in 1974, but I could be mistaken (very likely).

Anyways, these first two pics reminded me of that song:

There are times the galahs actually do walk (strut) around with their wings open like that. Maybe they think they are playing at being batman?

We'll call this next one THUD. Actually, I'll call it THUD, you can call it anything you'd like. Why THUD? Well, why not? But there's a better reason. The big ole cockies (that's short for Sulphur (Sulfur) Crested Cockatoo) aren't as, ummmm, shall we say, perhaps, as graceful or as aerodynamically inclined as other birds are. The reason why is their tail is kinda squared-off instead of fan shaped. When they land on a tree branch the whole tree can sway. Their usual method of "hitting" a branch is to fly from low, swoop upwards, and let gravity apply the brakes. Works fine for tree branches, but it doesn't work too well for a feeder that's only 7 feet off the ground. Hence, they can hit it (at times) with a wee bit of velocity (speed). Even when they "jump" from the brick wall to the feeder there's a good solid thwacking sound.

This guy (or gal) came straight down out of a gum tree from about 30 feet up and hit the feeder rather noisely. I guess the wings outspread was either to steady herself or an attempt to make herself look cool. Since she didn't fall and looked cool, then it worked! Fortunately, I happened to have a camera handy.

These next five are a whole buncha lories. Lorie being short for Rainbow Lorikeet Parrot, NOT the Lorie that I dated for a few weeks a couple of decades ago, ahem.

This next one I've run twice so far. But it's just SOOOOO cool. At least I think it's cool and since this is my blog I can put up whatever I want.

It's just amazing the things you see in your back yard:

Monday, May 12, 2008


I think I may have mentioned this before, but there really is a reason they are called RAINBOW Lorikeets. Do you think this might be it?

There are getting to be more galahs around and they aren't as skittish as they used to be. Still can't get close though.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cool Birdie Pics

Isn't all that action in the upper right just so cool?

I've now got a better shot than this with the talons out and better focus. I'll get it up fairly soon (fingers crossed).