Not an owl

Not an owl.
Not an owl.

The Tawny Frogmouth is often referred to as an owl because of their large owl-like eyes and and nocturnal habit, they also eat insects and have soft feathers,  however they are closely related to nightjars. Unlike owls, the Tawny Frogmouths almost exclusive eats insects and they lack the long talons and powerful feet of the owl.

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth

We rarely see these birds, Bundy and Maxi patrol the yard regularly and scare away any bird that dares to perch on our fence. Being nocturnal creatures, when we do see them it is for a brief period at night and they’re so quiet we don’t even notice them. Today I got lucky, as I was leaving the house I noticed an unusual stumpy branch on a nearby tree which, on closer inspection, turned out to be a Tawny Frogmouth. As I moved around him with my camera he barely moved, at any hint of a threat or disturbance these birds freeze, doing all they can to make themselves look like part of the tree.

Freeze!
Freeze!

Tawny Frogmouths generally like to inhabit open forests and bushland consisting of eucalypts and acacias. We are lucky to have such an environment close to home, it has given us so much joy especially over the last couple of years when we’ve had the privilege of seeing Koalas up close as well as a variety of native birds.

An extraordinary effort at camouflage.
An extraordinary effort at camouflage.

Big snake, full belly

With all of the bushland surrounding the local shelter it isn’t unusual to see a variety of creatures other than dogs, cats, birds and guinea pigs. Most days you can see a few wallabies, plenty of ibis, bush turkeys and magpies however, on occasion you do get to see green tree snakes or a python. I’m not sure what sort of python is residing at the shelter, it is possibly a carpet python or a diamond python, whatever the type it certainly has a full belly as you can see from these photos.

python in tree

python in tree

python in tree

It is moments like this when I wish I had my DSLR, the iphone digital zoom is really not great and there was no way on this earth that I was going to climb the tree to get a better view. If you think you know what sort of snake it is, please leave a comment and let me know.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

Travel theme: Details

This week’s batch of photos brought to you courtesy of Where’s my backpack Travel theme: details.

Federation Square Melbourne
Considered an eyesore by many, Federation Square’s architecture is unique in Melbourne and still draws the crowds.
Stained glass ceiling
Look up to see the stunning stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria
San Rufino Cathedral, Assisi
Close up of the carving on the San Rufino Cathedral, Assisi
artwork on tiles, Siena
Part of an piece of art decorating the walls of the series of escalators that take you from carpark to the old town of Siena.
sarcophagus carvings
Intricate carving on a sarcophagus housed in the Palazzo Massimo, Rome
Roman mosaic
Mosaics close up in the Palazzo Massimo, Rome

Wordless Wednesday: I’m not scared of you

magpie

Travel theme: Doorways

I’m a bit late in contributing to the latest theme from travel blog ‘Where’s my backpack?‘ but with so many photos of doors from our time in Italy I just couldn’t resist sharing :-)

For the dog lovers

dog paws

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.”
Charles de Gaulle (former President of the French Republic)

Happy Australia Day!

The Australian Flag

Today is Australia Day, a celebration of the day that saw the landing of the First Fleet of British ships in 1788 on our shores and the establishment of the first European ‘colony’ at Port Jackson (now Sydney). For many Australians it is the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family for a BBQ and a few cold ones (beers), especially when we all get the day off :-) After a couple of days of heavy rain the worst was expected for Australia Day but the weekend has been perfect for spending time outdoors, if not a little too hot. We had our celebration yesterday, a small gathering of our neighbours in a park at the end of our street, the obligatory game of street cricket and plenty of nibbles to eat and cold drinks filling the esky. In recognition of one of the most popular Australian public holidays I thought you might like to learn a little more about our vast and fascinating country so I’m sharing a few articles filled with interesting (or not) facts and stories.

42 surprising facts about Australia

26 odd things about Australia

88 Crazy things about Australia

Top 10 unusual facts about Australia

Happy Australia Day!