Had some meaningful eye contact with this pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus) perched on a jetty post at the ferry crossing at the Narrows, Poltalloch on the Narrung Peninsula in South Australia’s Coorong country.
Had a great day being guided around the Coorong by Tracey Strugnell back in May.

The Australasian darter, Anhinga Novaehollandiae is a handsome hunter of fish found through Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.
This one was photographed from the boat on Gagadju Yellow Waters Cruise in Kakadu National Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The boat takes visitors up close to a huge range of birds, water buffalo and saltwater crocodiles.
Our trip was made all the better by the terrific informed commentary by traditional landowner Mandy Muir.
Yellow Waters Cruise is owned by the local Aboriginal people and won the Qantas award for best major tour in 2012. A well-deserved award.

Stunning bird pictures set into leadlight windows at the Fairfield Boathouse and Tea Garden on the Yarra River in Melbourne.
From the top: Welcome Swallow, below left is the Song Thrush imported from England in the 1860s and to the right the Azure Kingfisher. Bottom row left is the Superb Fairy Wren and at right a rather oddly coloured painting of the Eastern Yellow Robin.
The Tea House is a gorgeous old building built in 1908 and restored in 1985.

The striated heron (Butorides striatus) is a bird of the mangroves, mud flats, wetlands and river margins distributed widely in suitable habitat throughout Australia. Found this handsome grey morph down beside the Rapid Creek Bridge in Darwin. The SH is a most varied species, having four very distinct morphs and a distinct juvenile appearance.

The striated heron (Butorides striatus) is a bird of the mangroves, mud flats, wetlands and river margins distributed widely in suitable habitat throughout Australia. Found this handsome grey morph down beside the Rapid Creek Bridge in Darwin. The SH is a most varied species, having four very distinct morphs and a distinct juvenile appearance.

You won’t find Yilingkirrkkirr anywhere other than in the rugged sandstone massif of Kakadu and Western Arnhem Land. Yilingkirrkirr is the name for this handsome and elusive bird in the languages of Kundedjnjenghmi and Gundjeihmi. The scientific name is Amytornis woodwardi and the common name is the White Throated Grasswren.
Yiilingkirrkkirr is listed as a vulnerable species by the Northern Territory Government. It’s not travelling as well as its close relative the Black Grasswren from Western Australia but much better than the Carpentarian Grasswren, to the south-east. The Carpentarian Grasswren is listed as endangered with less than 2000 breeding pairs.
The fall of Yilingkirrkkirr to vulnerable status is believed to be associated with a decline in Aboriginal customary fire management practices brought on as Aboriginal people were drawn off their rugged homelands from the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century. Since about 1970 Aboriginal people have been returning to re-establish themselves on the remote Arnhem Land Plateau. They began re-instituting customary burning patterns from the late 1990s and have been very successful in reducing the huge late dry season wildfires that impacted so badly on Yilingkirrkkirr.
The Aboriginal rangers of Warddeken Land Management are delivering the recommendations for conservation of Yilingkirrkkirr: implementing a fire management program that maintains or enhances habitat quality across the range of this species and establishing a monitoring program for at least representative populations.
The return to customary indigenous fire management means longer intervals between fires in critical habitat and smaller, patchier fires which provide habitat with variations from recently burned to long unburned.
Yilingkirrkkirr seems to be surviving the effects of predation by feral cats on the plateau. Feral cats are believed to be a major cause of a catastrophic decline in the population of small native mammals across North Australia. Yilingkirrkkirr nests in the midst of thick and spiky spinifex tussocks and cats probably find it easier to hunt small native mice, lizards and insects.
photo by petercookedarwin