Thredbo Blues Festival 2020

Thredbo Blues Festival 2020 took place over three days and nights on a weekend at the end of January. Here is a selection of images, and links at the bottom to more….

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(Next I will resume with the Cuba & the Caribbean trip, with still a post or two to go on Santo Domingo.)

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Psycho Zydeco.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tony Boyd (Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers).\

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Shane Pacey (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paul Blasi (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

George Washingmachine (Blue Rinse).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ron King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jeff King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Grace Hickey (Grace and Hugh).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Ohlback (Liza Ohlback Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Lloyd Gyi and C J Raggatt (CJ Raggatt).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Syd Green (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Kane Dennelly (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ray Beadle (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jack Purdon (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Mike Raper (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel
Corey Legge (Swamp Stompers).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Steve Edmonds (Steve Edmonds Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Sam Boyd (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Carger and Jason Bruer (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Evelyn Duprai (and Franchesca Appolis) (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Franchesca Appolis and Kimi Tupaea (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paula Baxter (Aretha Franklin Tribute).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Aretha Franklin Tribute.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

8 Ball Aitken.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Nik Downing (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James and 8 Ball Aitken (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Darren Jack (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Rick Melick (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band.

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A few technical notes for those who may be interested.  I was using some new equipment, a Nikon D850 (70% of shots) and a Sigma 135mm f1.8 (40% of images).  This combination allowed me to replace a 180mm f2.8 and a 105mm f2 with improved resolution and bokeh and greater capacity to crop.  I also have a Fuji system which is more portable but the Nikon system has advantages for resolution, autofocus and low light sensitivity.  I also processed all the images under stage light in Capture One for the first time, for greater control of colour and greater ease with masking and layers.

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There are many more images. On the Thredbo Blues Festival Page you will find links to images from the 2020 Festival, as well as thirteen previous festivals . Links for 2020 include top 100 images, top 30 images, selected monochromes and the 23 performers or bands. Others not mentioned above include Phil & Trudy Edgeley, Charlie Bedford Trio, Claude Hay, Harry Ashton Band, Jordan Thomas Band, Mike Elrington and Richard Perso.

Alternatively, there is also a direct overall link to all Thredbo 2020 images in JAlbum (with overview images and images by band organised by folder). There are 367 images in all (excluding monochrome conversions).

For other images of a particular band I may have taken since 2006, see the Musicians and Bands Page.

Montague Island Monochromes

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican in Narooma Harbour.

Montague Island Day One..

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whale disappearing.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whales, mother and calf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seals off a headland.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

A seal launching into the sea.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

At the lighthouse cottages when the storm hits.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested terns courting.

Montague Island Day Two.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull chicks.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines (the whale, the shark and the tortoise) and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View of lighthouse cottages from the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The old wharf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sea eagle.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tiny ground flowers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Old banksia setrrata cone.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Little penguins coming ashore.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Great cormorants on rock.

Montague Island Day Three (Morning).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seal interactions.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Shell on rock.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sooty oystercatchers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Created tern coming in to land.

Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull and nesting material.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern with fish.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull coming in to land.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern and chick.

Montague Island Day Four.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Contention.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Competing for space.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Welcome swallows.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The lighthouse receding.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican confused by sign.

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I’m due to go down to Thredbo for the Thredbo Blues Festival next weekend but because of bushfires in the area I won’t know whether the festival is on until later today or tomorrow.  There may or may not be a post on that in a few weeks.  Next week though, I expect to resume the account of my travels to Cuba and the Caribbean at Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic.

Australia Burning

12 September 2019 to 5 January 2020, Canberra, ACT

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The first part of this post is images taken out the back of where I live in Canberra. The second part is images taken this morning in a very smoky Canberra.  (If you are on a computer, click any image to see it larger).

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

We live backing on to a reserve and often take a half hour walk out the back in the mornings.  On our walk four months ago in early spring, this is an acacia baileyana coming out in flower,

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Kangaroo and joey.  You can see there is very little grass for them to eat.  We have had a very long drought.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Kangaroo and joey in late afternoon light.  Both kangaroo images are in early spring.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Crimson rosella at a nesting hole.  This and the next three images are in late spring.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Cunningham’s skink in their fallen-tree home.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Callistemon phoenicius in the back yard.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Shingleback in the back yard.  An ancient-looking lizard.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Echidna in the back yard on New Year’s Eve.  They are one of only two monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, the other being the platypus.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

If you are living outside Australia, your have probably heard of the massive fires here at present.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

On New Year’s Day, Canberra had the worst air quality of any city in the world, worse than Delhi and Beijing, due to bushfire smoke drifting in from the south coast of New South Wales.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

This followed a peak fire day.  We had another one yesterday and the smoke was as bad today, so I got up early to take some photographs.  This is the Australian War Memorial.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Carillon, on Aspen Island, Lake Burley Griffin, and ducks.

Yesterday, the day before I took these i9mages, we had record temperatures in Canberra at 44ºC or 111ºF.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

The fires are unprecedented.  Simple equation really.  Take unprecedented drought, add unprecedented heat, and you get unprecedented fires.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Small island in Lake Burley Griffin near the Carillon.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

 

There are hundreds of fires currently in Australia, many out of control.  The number doesn’t mean much because they combine to form larger and more dangerous fires.  The fires have burned 105,000 square kilometres so far (40,000 square miles), about the size of South Korea or Iceland (updated 7 Jan) and they will continue for weeks or months, flaring up sporadically to peak intensity.  In recent days there has been an unprecedented evacuation of thousands of people from the south coast of New South Wales and north east Victoria.  This continues as different towns and hamlets come under threat.  In a week or two the fires might reach Canberra. So far dozens of people have died and thousands of buildings have been burnt, including well over one thousand homes.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Reconciliation Place and National Library.

The toll on wildlife has also been alarming.  I recall an estimate of 500,000 animals dead and koalas are in danger of extinction.  Fires have also razed through rainforests, normally too wet to be affected and not equi8pped to recover.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Old Parliament House.

Although there are weather patterns and variations that have always affected Australia, these fires are unprecedented and a major cause is the Climate Crisis, primarily caused by human activity..

Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

 

Old Parliament House and a flock of straw-necked ibis.  The white ibis has adapted to urban life and is colloqually known as “bin chickens” but the straw necked ibis is not as urbanised.

The situation with these bushfires is not a one-off event, however drawn out, and it is not relevant only to Australia though different places may see change in different ways.  The extent of global warming that is already with us is causing an uncomfortable new “normal” and long lags mean even the most concerted action will be slow to arrest this.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

New Parliament House.

Of course there is much we can do and the first step is to reduce our dependence as much as possible on petroleum and coal.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

In front of the Parliament House, I encountered a group of Climate Refugees from the South Coast Fires, there for an impromptu cricket match.

The worst approach to the Climate Crisis is to pretend it isn’t happening, in defiance of all the scientific evidence, and do nothing.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Government of Australia has been doing.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

And the cricket match is under way.

The Liberal-National coalition government is sometimes known as the COALition and it is in the grip of a climate-denying fringe.  Prime Minister Morrison notoriously brandished a lump of coal with glee in Parliament and won the last election with an astonishing lack of policies including no policy at all on energy.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

It’s a heavily grassed pitch.

Not long before the fires hit, Morrison refused to meet forty-two former Bushfire Chiefs who wanted to talk to him about the Climate Crisis and preparations for the oncoming fire season.  He had also greatly reduced bushfire budgets and requests for better water-dropping planes had sat with the Government for several years.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Some balls are there to be hit.

In Mallacouta last weekend, four or five thousand people sat on the beach while the fires invaded the town.  The sky was black after 9am, then red, then orange.  Falling ash made breathing difficult and the temperature reached 49°C.  Just as people were about to get into the water, the wind changed and the town was saved, at least for a few more days.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

Others are very tempting.

In this fire crisis, Morrison has displayed startling insensitivity and alienated a significant part of the population, some of whom might have voted for him.  He went on holiday in Hawaii as the main crisis broke out and didn’t significantly change his return date.  The he tried to pretend it was just a normal situation in order to avoid any mention of the Climate Crisis.  He was heckled by locals when he turned up unannounced in the burnt out town of Cobargo.  While he was there he grabbed the hand of a young woman to shake it, quite uninvited.  She was pregnant, had just lost her house and asked him for help.  He turned his back on her and walked away.  He later denied doing this but it was recorded on video.  There are other stories.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

And some just get away from you.

The scale of the fires and their ongoing nature is forcing Morrison to act but he is most unlikely to address underlying problems.  For that we can only hope for a different and better government and for that we are likely to have to wait another two years.

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Australia, Birds, Canberra, Crimson Rosella, Cunningham's Skink, Echidna, Fires, Kangaroos, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Shingleback, Smoke, Travel, Wildlife

This is back at the Old Parliament House.  The Aboriginal Tent Embassy has been there since 1973 and it is off to the left.  This is a display they have set up to proclaim Aboriginal sovereignty over land.

One common refrain is that there should be more preventative burning in the appropriate season, as the Aborigines used to do.  While there is some truth in this, it is not as easy as it sounds.  For one thing, the cool damp winter window for this is much reduced on what it was and last year the fire season started in winter.  For another, the ecology is not what it was.  In many places, Aborigines farmed the land and lived in houses and even towns.  This was recorded by the first settlers but quickly wiped out and then hidden lest it be a basis for claims on land.  Sheep and cattle grazed the perennial native grasslands to the roots, then trampled and compacted the thin soil.  Fire managed grasslands became scrub so it’s all very different now.

We also have other problems in our modern world of supposedly perpetual growth and prosperity, even apart from the Climate Crisis.  Sustainable development is a wider problem.  You may have heard of the “insect armeggedon” whereby 80% of insects have died in the last forty years, thereby threatening the viability of flowering plants and other species.  This may be partly due to Climate Change but likely more due to unnecessary agricultural poisons.  There is also the perplexing problems of micro-plastics, invading the food chain and our lungs with unknown effects.  And then there is the problem that there are simply too many humans and they are increasing too rapidly.

There are solutions for all these problems but they will require wisdom, coordination and determination.  Things are certain to get worse before they can get better.

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I can suggest a couple of books you may be interested in reading.

One is “Dark Emu” by Bruce Pascoe which outlines the extent of Aboriginal civilisation (yes!) prior to European arrival.

The other is “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells which outlines the problems we face in the Climate Crisis and what we might do to ameliorate them.

Montague Island Day Four

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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This was the last morning and the boat was due to leave around midday.  The previous afternoon I had photographed crested terns flying in to the colony.  I decided to spend some of my remaining time photographing their interactions on the ground.

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There were many eggs but only a few hatched chicks.  Parents kept them close to protect them not merely from silver gulls but also from other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

On the edge of the colony there is danger from silver terns so this mother tried to move with her chick into the colony.

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The terns pack in much closer than silver gulls but they still defend territory so contention arises.

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Making a point…

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is where she wants to be but there is a certain amount of opposition.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

… including some pinching of the tail….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

At least the chick is not being attacked which can happen.

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And the mother, though under siege, does her best to protect the chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby there was a silver gull hidden under a bush on an egg in the middle of the tern colony.  It must have been there before the terns arrived.  I didn’t photograph it because the shadow was too deep to show it in context.  What was going to happen when it tried to leave was an interesting question.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while, she pulled out of the area of contention back more to the edge of the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Her mate is with her here.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

She is now protecting the chick from silver gulls as well as other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby, a pair of welcome swallows had made their nest in walls of one of the cottage’s toilets, entering the wall through the ventilation holes.

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Just outside the colony, a bit of mating display was going on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two’s company….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

A last view of the terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now we’re on the boat and the lighthouse and cottages are receding away.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wharf is down below the lighthouse.

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Back in Narooma harbour, this pelican seemed confused by the direction instructions of the sign.

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Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Having returned and after lunch, I settled down at a tern colony near the lighthouse to photograph them in flight.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I was mounting my long lens on a gimbal (the mechanical type, not the electronic variety for video) which attaches to your tripod and allows your lens to sit at a point of balance, for easier and quicker responses.

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This is the wing of a silver gull.  This shot wasn’t intended and it isn’t entirely in focus but I still like it.

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A tern coming in to land.

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Some distance away, over the sea.

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They are small and fast5, making it a challenging exercise.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Head on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull with nesting material.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull coming in to land at a silver gull colony.

 

Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gulls were patrolling around the edge of the tern colony.  Just below me, a mother tern stood up and left her egg exposed.  A silver gull hopped in and took the egg.  The mother is protesting and the egg is in the middle here but you may have to click on the image to make it larger to see the egg.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chicks can also be in danger, so here parents are protecting a chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back to the terns coming in to the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This was the most successful flying tern image.  Coming in with fish and completely sharp.  Well exposed to retain detail in the black head and eyes white while not losing detail in essential white areas caught by the sun.  There is an element of luck in this as there is no room for error and the image on the histogram on the back of the camera shows less than the RAW file captures.

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Montague Island Day Three (Morning)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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In the morning I went down to the south end of the island again.  In the last post, the time exposure of the old jetty included a white rock in the distance with great cormorants sitting on it.  This is that rock, through a long telephoto.

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They are all facing in the same direction, probably scanning for signs of fish.

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I was at the old jetty and this is maybe a post they tied up to.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A bit further south, a fur seal climbs up out of the water.

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He is eyeing a place by one of the females but the master of the harem notices him.

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… So he backs out and soon slips away into the sea, discretion being the better part of valour.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a silver gull on the rocks.

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Also a pair of sooty oystercatchers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I had mainly come to this end of the island to make some more focus bracketing studies.  This involves taking many exposures at different points of focus and combining them later to get a greater depth of focus that would be possible in a single exposure.  First a landscape exposure from macro to infinity.  You may prefer to click on some of these to see the greater detail of a larger version.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now a few macro images at the same location.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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This image is macro in the foreground and the background is the cliffs at the other side of the small bay.

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Montague Island Day Two

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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The lighthouse in the early morning with the sun behind it.

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Crested terns.

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Crested terns courting.

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Silver gull.

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Silver gull chicks.

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View from the lighthouse, looking over the cottages (where we stayed).

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View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

There are two children and a keeper buried there.  The children got sick but there was no access to the lighthouse, apart from trying to hail a passing ship.  The children died before medical assistance could be occurred.  More on the keeper later.

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Looking west to an islet of great cormorants.

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Looking north.  There are two parts to the island, joined by a narrow neck.  The northern part is out of bounds due to breeding birds.  An artist from our group is sitting at a table at the bottom and there is a colony of terns to his left.

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Looking down more closely on the colony of terns.

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A view of the lighthouse from the back gate of the cottage we stayed in.

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The same tree from the stormy images of the previous post, this time n the calm of daylight.

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The cottage we stayed in, behind the tree.

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The old wharf, a long exposure of 15 seconds.

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Tiny flowers on the ground near the south end of the island.

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Banksia cone, banksia serrata or old man banksia.

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Banksia serrata cone.

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Sea eagle.  I only had my macro lens with me; I could have got closer wit my long telephoto.

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View of  lighthouse and cottages from the south.

There was a time when supplies were unloaded at the old wharf and taken up to the lighthouse using a horse and cart.  Part of the route was up the rock below the cottages.  The horse didn’t like this and used to run away and hide when the time came.

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One day it all went wrong.  The horse slipped on the rock incline and the cart came careering down the slope on top of the keeper.  His spleen was ruptured and he died some days later, ending up in the lighthouse cemetery..

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The path back went through a silver gull rookery.  This is at the edge of it.

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A silver gull incubating an egg on a rudimentary nest on the ground.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

Later, we went down to the new wharf to see the little penguins coming in at night.  These are silver gull chicks in the fading light.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Terns against the sunset.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The little penguins are coming ashore.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

They climb up surprisingly high to nest.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Then red lights were turned on around the platform where we were standing, to provide light without disturbing the penguins.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Little Penguins, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, Sea Eagle, Seal, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was a stiff wind above us and silver gulls were hanging motionless in the air.

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