Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birds in the Bush

Some weeks ago I drove up to Tanjil Bren in the mountains to the east of Melbourne - not exactly the Alps, but there is skiing at Mt Baw Baw in the winter (i.e. now!). There's even a wiki for Tanjil: although I think calling it a "town" is rather stretching things; I'm not even sure it would count as a village in the UK, as there's no pub!

Here's the view on the drive up. It takes a little over two hours to get there. It used to take longer. The last time I did the drive, the last section of the road was still unpaved.

And here's a mailbox that sits at the end of a long drive, where we stopped to pick Spanish chestnuts.

The birds are what I enjoy most about Tanjil. Here's a flock enjoying breakfast on the terrace of the forest cottage owned by my brother, where we stayed. The birds most commonly seen near the feeder are king parrots, crimson rosella, kookaburra, and currawong.

You can click on any photo to enlarge it. In this photo on the left you'll see three different birds sitting in a row on the fence - a rosella, a kookaburra, and a king parrot.

This was the view from my bedroom window - although I didn't actually sleep in the bedroom. It was too cold! I slept on the lumpy sofa in the main room with the wood heater, which we kept burning all night. At 838m above sea level (2,749ft) it was very cold, staying just above freezing at night while we were there (it will certainly be colder now). The elevation also had a direct impact on my body. When I stepped out of the car on arrival my legs turned to lead and I moved with difficulty, heart pounding. By the second day I was able to walk around a little, but taking it very, very slowly. In contrast, a few weeks later here in the city I can now sustain a good clip for ten minutes or so when I need to dash for the train, or a normal pace for an hour of walking around the shops. I couldn't do that a few months ago.