BIRDSCAPING YOUR BACKYARD

BIRDSCAPING YOUR BACKYARD

There is a constant battle during spring, when birds are competing for territory, water, and food to feed their chicks. Here in the Blue Mounains of NSW only the large cockatoos and kookburras rise above the fray. Size matters…..on the next level down currawongs will chase off

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SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

I was working on my book while lunching at Blackheath’s art deco New Ivanhoe Hotel recently, and also completing my survey of local pies. This one was beef, thankfully without kidneys! As I was gazing in bemusement at the giant side-serve of gravy (wot, no tomato sauce?),

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CURRAWONG V THE DESPERATE DUO OF BOB & THE WATTLEBIRD

CURRAWONG V THE DESPERATE DUO OF BOB & THE WATTLEBIRD

There is no one more upset when a bird is killed or injured than my partner Rob. He is known as Dr Bob, for his ministrations to all manner of feathered creatures in our Blackheath garden. He scrubs out the birdbaths far more often than me, and

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THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A BIG HEARTED SINGER

THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A  BIG HEARTED  SINGER

To mangle the words of Oscar Wilde, for an institution to lose a miniature portrait would be unfortunate, to lose a life-sized framed oil painting sounds more like carelessness. Catherine Hayes (1818-1861) was a celebrated, Irish born soprana who toured Australia extensively in the mid 1850s. At

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HOSTILE DESIGN

HOSTILE DESIGN

Recently, on the way home to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, I had to change trains at Springwood. It had been a long, tiring day, but were there any seats on the platform? No, just a bloomin’ rail to prop myself against! It made me think about

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BIRDS IN SILHOUETTE

BIRDS IN SILHOUETTE

We ‘twitchers’  often see birds at dawn or  late in the day, in silhouette against the sky. Here in the Blue Mountains of NSW they are balm to my soul. In a world that is increasingly full of stress and strife, chuckling kookaburras herald the new day

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A TRIBUTE TO TASMANIAN SCALLOPS

A TRIBUTE TO TASMANIAN SCALLOPS

There are many reasons to visit beautiful Tasmania, but perhaps the best one is to eat freshly caught scallops. Oh yes indeed. Even as far back as WWI locals complained that too many were shipped off to the mainland. However, it seems this was not the case

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COULD VALENTINE’S DAY SAVE A SAD WONGA?

COULD VALENTINE'S DAY  SAVE A SAD WONGA?

Recently I told the story of our dear Mr Wonga, an Aussie native pigeon who fell in love with four delightful ‘ladies’. Unfortunately they were all reflected in the shiny hubcaps of our house painter Rebekah’s restored, VW van. It just became too terrible to watch, as

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WONGA LOVE GOES WRONG!

WONGA LOVE GOES WRONG!

We are building a new house at Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. Our painter Rebecca arrives every morning in her beautifully restored VW van. Unfortunately it has led to confusion and frustration for our resident Wonga pigeon. Oh my word, what a divine creature. I feel a

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A SATIN BOWERBIRD AND THE BALANCE OF NATURE.

A SATIN BOWERBIRD AND THE BALANCE OF NATURE.

by Editor Des. Hello dear peeps. I’m on my way to photograph the satin bowerbird in Memorial Park at Blackheath. BTW, see how that fence pipe has been vandalized? It wasn’t me (just saying). So anyway, I’m conducting an important experiment. Here is Mr bowerbrird’s hedge surrounded

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