Smug Mug

Check out my Smug Mug photos. Birds of Australia, (A Cassowary is the photo featured from AU) Birds of US Butterflies. More photos coming.
April 2016,

Just added NZ, New Zealand

to my website, will add them to this Smug Mug site soon. Check out FordsFotos.net, or FordsFotos.com. I uploaded one of the NZ birds to give you a heads up.

Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia

Kukaburro

Kookaburro

Please enjoy viewing Kookaburras, Tawney frog mouth, black and white pelicans, pink Galahs, cockatoos (as pests) lorikeets, white ibis, penguins,and other interesting birds. The fairy Penguins are also called Blue Penguins, and they actually have a blue look to their fur. They are the smallest penguins in the World. The Kookaburras were very exciting for me to see and hear. I heard them first, and actually recognized the “laugh”,then later saw several pairs flying around quite close to where we were in Yanchep National Park. The pink Galahs were also a delight to see, but we did get a bit tired of them as they are very noisy. I had never seen nor heard of a bird called the tawney frogmouth, so another new Australian experience. It is often mistakenly thought to be a type of owl and is found throughout Australia mainland and Tasmania. Luckily we did not meet any cassowaries in the wild, but as we walked through the rainforest we kept a look out!

4 Galahs

Flying galah

Australian Wood Ducks

Banded Lapwing

Blue winged Kookaburra

Giant Penguin

Zebra finch

Zebra finch at Uluru

 

Orange-beak

Sea-Gull

Olive-Backed-Sunbirds

2-Fairy-Penguins

Myna-bird

Water buffalo and Australian duck

Australian Hawk

Cockatoo posing

Cockatoo posing

Lorikeet

Lorikeet

Cockatoos eating off picnic Table

Cockatoos eating off picnic Table

Emu in the Wild

Black & White Pelican

Black & White Pelican

White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

Cockatoo

Cockatoo

Flying Cockatoo

Flying Cockatoo

Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis

Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth

Whistler Ducks

Whistler Ducks

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassaway

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island; A descriptive name for an Island, with little question about the driving precautions: DDD Don’t drive Dawn or Dusk.

Yes there are kangaroos on the island, but other wildlife abounds, and remarkable rock formations to view to mention just a little to captivate one on a visit to the island.
We rented a car–no we didn’t drive at dawn, and returned the car before dusk. We did see a car /kangaroo accident on the road though, and a young women calmly calling the patrol, who waved saying she didn’t need our help.
We had a enjoyable time driving around the island with most of our time spent at Flinders Chase National Park hiking around it’s Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, a Lighthouse, and watching lots of New Zealand fur seals at play on the rocks and in the Tasman Sea. The Cape du Couedic Lighthouse built in 1909 is nearby, commanding an amazing view of a pair of coastlines – the western coastline extending from Cape Borda in the north and the southern coastline extending from Cape Willoughby in the east. It sits on a narrow promontory at the most south westerly point of the Kangaroo Island coast and had to be moved further inland years ago to keep it from being flooded.

Our partial wildlife citing included a wild Emu, numerous birds, an iguana identified as Rosenberg’s, the only species of goanna on Kangaroo Island, the island’s largest natural predator. Numerous fur seals in the rocky areas, and seals on the sand on Seal Beach as well as bones from a beached whale.


“Kangaroo Island is one of South Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting over 140,000 visitors each year, with international visitors, primarily from Europe, accounting for more than 25% of these visits.Some of the most popular tourist spots are:
Seal Bay with ranger guided walks among basking Australian sea lions.
Flinders Chase National Park which includes Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch, lighthouses at Cape Borda and Cape du Couedic, and multiple walking trails and camping areas.”

Kangaroo Island is a true wildlife sanctuary. Owing to its isolation from the mainland, the Island has suffered less from the impact of European settlement and retains more than half of its native ‘old-growth’ vegetation – a vast area of some 2,250 square kilometres. Similarly, the Island has been spared the damage done by foxes and rabbits, ensuring the integrity of native bushland. Result? Animal and bird populations have thrived. Today, more than one-third of the Island is declared Conservation or National Park and it has five significant Wilderness Protection Areas. So Kangaroo Island continues to be a special and protected place. Enter and be amazed…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_Island
http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/experiences

Adelaide

Cruising in the Great Australian Bight off the coast of Southern Australia to our next port of call, Adelaide.

Adelaide;
A great city with lots of green parks and a enjoyable climate. We had two wonderful days here. One day we had a car and drove to Hahndorf, Bridgewater, the McClearn Wine district and ended the evening with a trip to Granite Island to see the Fairy Penguins come in from the sea.

Handorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement in the heart of the Adelaide Hills. This picturesque German village is just twenty minutes out of Adelaide and settled in 1839 by Lutherans fleeing religious persecution in Prussia. We had great fun strolling the streets, and admiring the many special articles for sale.

Bridgewater is a pleasant village nestled in the Adelaide Hills with beautiful scenery and a huge water wheel that was used as a flour mill.

Rolling hills with green fields of grape vines made for an enjoyable drive while visiting a few vineyards in the area.

The Fairy or Blue Penguins (Eudyptula minor) as they are often called, are the smallest penguins in the World. There is a colony on the Granite Island near Adeliade, and we visited the island in the evening to see the penguins come in from the sea to their nests in the nearby rocks. They come in at dusk to try to escape the sea lions and other predators who would kill them.

The second day we drove around the historic areas of Adelaide and North Adelaide, then turned in the car and walked the streets! All along a main street there are wonderful museums. The Governors House was open, and that happens only twice a year so we were honored and toured his house and gardens. We had a special treat at one of the venders on the grounds, Homemade Ice cream made with Native Plant flavoring. UmUm

We visited the South Australia Museum and what a great Museum it is. We could have spent much more time there, but we moved on to the Art Museum. We tried to focus on the Australian Art primarily the Aboriginal Art. We had learned some about this expressive art and quite like some of them. After the Art Museum we walked to the Botanical Gardens. A beautiful area in the city with of course a large variety of plants and bird life. Just watching the ducks and other birds was fun, and it was good to sit down for a bit. All birds seem to be different here in Australia, pelicans are a beautiful white and black, the magpie are also a beautiful white and black. I have seen no sparrows, the most common birds appear to be the cockatoos, galahs and the parrot types To the natives they are pests! One tree in the Botanical Gardens was full of the parrots and we stayed there for some time trying to get the perfect picture. These little parrots are so colorful and were very busy flying from one blossom to the next all in the same tree.

Walking down the street called Rundle Mall a piece of art caught our attention entitled “A Day Out” by Marguerite Derricourt. It includes four bronze pigs who look completely at home on the street; one of them is even rummaging in a trash can!
The artwork was commissioned as part of an upgrade to Rundle Mall in 1999. A public competition led to each of the pigs being named. Horatio is the sitting pig, Oliver is the one rooting in the trash and the other two are called Augusta and Truffles. They are quite cute, and I used a picture of them for a Birthday Card for a friend who collects pigs.

Beautiful art work was also noted on some walls of buildings around town, we did not find out the history behind those amazing pictures.

An interesting building nearing completion we called the pineapple building; later we found out it is The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

The ship was to leave Adelaide at 11:30 the second day, but we were tired so came “home” to the ship on the 6:15 train. We had kangaroo and crocodile on the dinner menu. and they tasted great! Kangaroo is the best meat, as it is low in fat. The crocodile was served in a curry.

www.australia.com/explore/cities/adelaide.aspx
https://www.adelaidesightseeing.com.au/must-see-and-do-adelaide-and-s…
www.southaustralia.com

Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park

The Port for Perth is Fremantle; Lots of interesting things to see in the both Fremantle and Perth as reported in the previous
Post. Perth has a very interesting Bell tower, and a beautiful Park on a hill. Our favorite place to visit was nearby
Yanchep National Park.

Yanchep National Park is home to western grey kangaroos which can be seen in abundance early and late in the day. At other times they shelter from the sun so you might be lucky enough to see them resting in shady areas. – See more at: http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/yanchep#sthash.XwLVgABD.dpuf

Stroll along the 240-metre koala boardwalk to view one of Australia’s favorite native animals in a natural environment and learn more about these fascinating creatures. – See more at: http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/yanchep#sthash.XwLVgABD.dpuf

More than 400 caves have been recorded in the park, and there are many ways you can enjoy them. Crystal Cave, Adventure Caving, Cabaret Cave each offer contrasting experiences. – See more at: http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/yanchep#sthash.XwLVgABD.dpuf
We visited Crystal Cave.
The flies were a constant presence in our faces and the fly netting masks were a great buy!


http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/yanchep
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Australia_and_Oceania/Australia/State_of_Western_Australia/Yanchep-1867496/Things_To_Do-Yanchep-TG-C-1.html
http://www.about-australia.com/attractions/yanchep-national-park-crystal-cave/

http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/TheAustralianMagpie.htm
http://www.anbg.gov.au/banksia/

Circumnavigation Australia; Fremantle



The next stop on the Circumnavigation of Australia;
Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829.
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.97 million living in Greater Perth. Wikipedia

We were able to spend three days in this area; first visit was to Fremantle and their UNESCO Prison.

Fremantle Prison is a former Australian prison in Western Australia. The 15-acre site includes the prison, gatehouse, perimeter walls, cottages, tunnels, and prisoner art. The prison was one of 11 former convict sites in Australia inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010 as the Australian Convict Sites.

The prison also called Fremantle Goal, was built by convict labour in the 1850s, and transferred to the colonial government in 1886 for use as a gaol for locally-sentenced prisoners. It closed as a prison in 1991 and reopened as a historic site, designated as UNESCO site in 2010. It is now a public museum, managed by the Government of Western Australia with daily and nightly tours being operated. Some tours include information about the possible existence of ghosts within the prison. There are also tours of the flooded tunnels and aqueducts under the prison.

Darwin Australia

Darwin Australia: the next stop on the Circumnavigation of Australia

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea. A very popular tour out of Darwin is on the Adelaide River to see the Jumping Saltwater Crocodiles. They really aren’t “salt” water crocs as they live in fresh water of the Adelaide River, but they do jump for their food, whether from the cruise boats or in nature. The Whistling Kites and Sea Eagles are often seen when the cruise boats are out to view and feed the crocs in hopes that they will also get some food that the crocs leave behind.

In some areas the crocs become a danger for people, and every year a few people are killed by them.

Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia
A few beautiful birds we saw in Australia. More will be added soon! It seemed to me that the birds in Australia were all more beautiful than in the US. One example is the Australian Pelican, it is a beautiful black and white, not the brown that are common here. Check out my Pelican pictures, one flying, and one swimming. The Kookaburra was an especially fun bird to see and hear in the wild. At Yanchap National Park I first heard a kookaburra and even identified the “laugh”. Later in the day I was delighted to see two pair flying, laughing and landing in trees near where we were watching the kangaroos and their joeys (in and out of the Pouch)come bounding out near us.
Another interesting aspect of our Australian bird watching were the birds that the natives viewed as “Pests” The Cockatoo on Hamilton Island was a big problem to the residents, as well as the lorikeet. I enjoyed watching them, but the residents don’t. The beautiful pink Galah is a pest in some areas of Australia, and can gather in large flocks an create quite a racket.

More information from Wikipedia; “Australia and its offshore islands and territories have 898 recorded bird species as of 2014. Of the recorded birds, 165 are considered vagrant or accidental visitors, of the remainder over 45% are classified as Australian endemics: found nowhere else on earth. It has been suggested that up to 10% of Australian bird species may go extinct by the year 2100 as a result of climate change.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birds_of_Australia
http://birdlife.org.au/all-about-birds/australias-birds/find-a-bird

Mushrooms and Tree Lizard

Mushrooms and Tree Lizard
Tree-Lizard

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Mushrooms and Tree Lizard
Near Cairns Australia we took a hike in a Rainforest. On the way to view the Josephine waterfall we spied these mushrooms, and the very interesting little tree lizard. This was the first time I had ever seen a blue mushroom. After I “Googled” blue mushroom I found out there are several blue mushrooms!

We Americans on the hike were very interested in the tree lizard, but our guide seemed surprised that we were so interested.Blue-Mushroom

Townsville 2


Townsville 2

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More pictures from Townsville. After we left the Billabong Sanctuary we drove back to Townsville and went to the top of Mt Spec. The views of Townsville and the surrounding area including Magnetic Island, were wonderful. Beautiful flowers abound, as well as great beaches and cute children.

Townsville


Townsville

Townsville our fourth Australian town on the Circumnavigation.We did a little exploration of the town, then we were off to the Billabong Sanctuary. Great fun, learning about the Koalas, wombats, snakes and salt water crocodiles. There were kangaroos and whistling ducks everywhere. A Tawney Frogmouth bird and several different colored cockatoos were also residents of the Sanctuary. Look carefully at the kangaroos, do you see the leg of the joey in the photos and other pictures you can see the head of the joey?

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island a Tender Port. Latitude 21′ South.

Hamilton Island is a very interesting Island one of the Whit Sundays. Cockatoos, Lorikeets and Fruit bats live wild all over the island, but are not welcome by the natives, because of their mess and noise. We as tourists, had fun viewing them and taking their pictures. This was our third stop on the Circumnavigation of Australia.

What a special day! After tendering to land we took a cruise in the Denison Star (max 60 passengers) around the Whitsunday Islands. The Denison Star is a beautiful part of Australian Maritime history, made of Huon Pine, a tree only found in wilderness areas of Tasmania. This pine is the slowest growing tree in the world.

Why the name Whitsunday you ask?– that is the day Cap Cook discovered the islands. For those of you who don’t remember your Religious calendar –Whit Sunday is the seventh Sunday after Easter Sunday.

We are still a bit south of the Great Barrier Reef but in places there was a scum on the water that is from the coral, called sea saw dust. Wild Cockatoos, lorikeets and fruit bats are all over this island. We heard noise from all three of those, plus the swack from sea gulls and ravens.The cockatoos are just like pigeons any where else and become pests around the outside eating areas–Like the Ibis type bird we saw in Brisbane at the Museum.

A beautiful sunny day with just a slight breeze to keep us almost cool. There are 74 islands and more and more resorts being built on the islands. Oprah did a show in Australia and stayed in one of the new resorts.

As a beside, food here is a little over twice as expensive as in NM! For example a BLT Australian costs 12$ Aus.The exchange rate is about the same $1 for $1.

Talking to the locals;

Cockatoos will come in the house-open the screen door, or tear a hole in it, go in house and make a mess.

The bats are especially noticeable at sundown but they were flying all over when we were there as there was road work going on in the hill near their main nest. I have no idea of the numbers of bats,but I’m sure they must be in the hundreds.
The fruit bats appear to have a wing span of about 3 feet, The locals said if you are in the right place at the wrong time you might get scratched. A child died a while back on Cook Island because of a bat. Their scratch results in Lysse a virus similar to rabies. The locals would like to get rid of them, but the environmental groups won’t let the govt do anything.

Another wonderful day in an Australian Paradise

Brisbane

Brisbane

When we sailed up the Brisbane River into Brisbane we were met by this little group of Musicians. So nice to be welcomed!

Brisbane is a beautiful city. We journeyed by water taxi from our ship up the Brisbane River beyond the South Bank Museum area and viewed downtown, beautiful homes, recreation areas, and other interesting sites along the River. The exit from the river at the South Bank area featured a beautiful array of multicolored Bougainvillea and walk- way of tropical plants. The South Bank Park area is a beautiful in which to stroll. We visited the Aboriginal Museum and walked through the library. The buildings are open air, and very inviting. All over the city the bougainvillea were proudly displaying their many colors and in the Park they are growing in a beautiful archway. Beautiful birds could be see and heard all around. One interesting bird that we saw all over South Bank and at the Brisbane Museum trying to eat food off picnic tables is a type of Australian White Ibis, a large pest to shoo away from your picnic table.

Welcome to Brisbane Welcome to Brisbane

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A few photographs from Brisbane
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Sydney Australia

Early Morning on Opera House

Early morning light on the Opera House

Sunrise in Sydney

Sydney at Sunrise

Moon over the Harbor Bridge

Moon over the Harbor Bridge

Sydney Opera House at Sunrise

Opera House at Sunrise

 

Sydney Harbor Bridge at Sunrise

Sydney Harbor Bridge at Sunrise

Sydney Fort Denison

Fort Denison

 

Sunrise on the Ship

Sunrise on the Ship

Sydney in Spring

Sydney in Spring

On Observatory Hill

On Observatory Hill looking toward the Bridge

Harbor Bridge

Harbor Bridge from Observatory Hill

ship between opera and bridge

Our ship Between the Opera House and Bridge

 

$8 cup of Coffee

$8 Cup of Coffee

Sydney Australia
The Holland American Circumnavigation of Australia started in Sydney, followed by Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville then Cairns, and that is just one side of Australia! The Great Barrier Reef is the next wonderful area to visit and view.

Cruising into Sydney as the sun rose brought out all the cameras on board ship and we watched and recorded the sun rise on the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet.

It was October which is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The beautiful purple Jacaranda mimosifolia blooming in great profusion all along the walkway in the Rocks area of Sydney add more color to this historic area. We wondered around the Rocks area and climbed up to observatory hill after having an $8 cup of coffee. Yes everything is very expensive in Australia, especially in Sydney!
Click on the pictures to enlarge them

Known as the Harbor City, Sydney is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and livable cities in the word, Brimming with history nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, and design, it is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. Recent immigration trends have led to the city’s reputation as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Australia and the world.

The history of Sydney and the convicts.

The settlement of Sydney began its life as a penal colony, with a total of 568 male and 191 female prisoner convicts with 13 children, 206 marines with 26 wives and 13 children, and 20 officials having made the voyage.
Their earliest huts were composed of cabbage-tree palm, while the convicts were housed in huts made of boards wattled with slender twigs and plastered with clay. By 1790, however, there were 40 convicts employed making bricks and tiles, 50 brickie labourers, and 4 stonemasons.
The total convict population that year was 730 persons, with 413 under medical treatment. In fact free settlers did not begin arriving until 1793. See The Rocks, for more history on these early colonial days.

Transportation of convicts to New South Wales (NSW) was finally abolished in 1840 and shortly afterwards, in 1842, Sydney was declared a city. The population grew rapidly during this period, helped by the discovery of gold and the gold rush of 1850 – one year after the Californian gold rush of 1849. Australia received many American and Chinese immigrants at the same time.
In 1901 the six British colonies in Australia formed a federation to become the Commonwealth of Australia. This marks the period of the modern country. Sydney continued to grow and by 1925 became a metropolis of 1 million people. This grew to 2 million by 1963.
Today Sydney has diverse demographics with people from over one hundred countries contributing to its population of over 4 million.

http://www.sydney-australia.biz/history/convict.php

Trip around Australia

A trip around Australia;

Yes one could drive around Australia, but it is a very large country, about as large as the Continental US, and much of it is desert with long endless roads except for the ever-present Road Trains. Holland America to the rescue– Circumnavigation of the country in a Cruise ship!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_69-Sk4wN5Q/Ufn9f0ivdMI/AAAAAAAADm8/QbgfaQdm70w/s1600/australia-north-america.jpg

Check out the above website to see the size of Australia compared to the US, and you will see why one can’t see much of the country if planning to drive unless one plans many weeks of driving.

The Holland American Circumnavigation started in Sydney, followed by Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville then Cairns, and that is just one side of Australia! The Great Barrier Reef is the next wonderful area to visit and view. For the next few months I hope to share my photos and experiences while on this amazing trip around Australia. Please join me!

nCircumavigation Map of Australia

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