The love birds

We’ve had a flock of 35 yellow-tailed black cockatoos around for a week or so. They feed on pine cone seeds and the like, and they are big birds.

They have a loud, distinctive call, ascending and descending, which could be heard as a cry of delight. Hear it on the Birds in Backyards website here.

For some reason, a few decided to alight on the statue of Aphrodite/Venus in the front yard. Hence the title of the post (geddit?).

Sorry that the images are a bit fuzzy but I had to take them through a flyscreen. Plus they move fast!

Yellow-tailed black cockatoos_1 Yellow-tailed black cockatoos_2 Yellow-tailed black cockatoos_3 Yellow-tailed black cockatoos_4 Yellow-tailed black cockatoos_5


So much for those small parrots in pet shops laughingly called ‘lovebirds’ – I’d rather have these!

A pot of gold in the front yard?

It’s not often you see a rainbow in your own front yard. We were sitting on the front porch appreciating a thunderstorm the other day, and noticed this one as the sun started to break through.

The rainbow connection

Red-necked pademelons live in the forest and come out to feed just there – maybe they are really leprechauns in disguise, guarding their pot of gold.

Miscellaneous moths and mushrooms

Wandering and/or bashing along bush tracks, we often saw life forms of various persuasions.

Moths, for example …

Granny Moth (or Old Lady Moth) Dasypodia selenophora, Arthur River, Tasmania

Granny moth (or old lady moth) Dasypodia selenophora, Arthur River, Tasmania


Moth_Arthur River

Unidentified moth, Arthur River

… and mushrooms. I took most of the following photos in the Tarkine, a cool temperate rainforest. The others were in the heathland near the coast. Both environments were very dry – Tasmania has had record low rainfall lately. A dry rainforest is a sad sight indeed. I won’t attempt to identify them as it’s hard from a photo unless you already know your mushrooms; sometimes you need a microscope to differentiate the spores.

Tarkine fungus_2

An agaric fungus

Tarkine fungus_1

A polypore (left)

Arthur River fungus_4



Arthur River fungus_1


Arthur River fungus_2

Arthur River fungus_3

A bolete fungus (no gills but tubes that open at pores on the underside of the cap)




Not wombat poo (which is cubic)


Arthur river fungus_6

Arthur river fungus_7 Arthur river fungus_8

I can see why people are fascinated by the different forms and colours.

Tasmanian devil trip – some things I missed out on …

… because I was in a different group when they happened, but Betty and Di kindly shared their photos with me. Thanks, you two!

I went with a group spotlighting and petroglyphing with Sebastien, but chose to go looking for fossils and seeing the damage done by the January/February fires instead of my scheduled morning with him. I’d twisted my ankle the previous day and knew that I would not be up to walking much and that a morning in the bus would rest it a bit.

Seb’s group found some little buddies.

Seb with juvenile devil

Seb with a devil – does it look like Taz? (photo by Betty Jacobs)

Note the ticks on the ears, ever-present on devils …

Juvenile Tasmanian devil; photo Di Bennett

Juvenile Tasmanian devil; photo Di Bennett

The next generation … more young are born than can cling to the four teats …

Baby devils in the pouch - one for each of four teets; phot by Di Bennett

Tiny baby devils in the pouch – one for each of four teats; photo by Di Bennett

Outa there … note the pink, hairless ears.

Running back into what some of the the early settlers thought of as hell

Running back into what some of the early settlers no doubt thought of as hell; photo by Di Bennett

They also caught a southern brown bandicoot; it was the only one for the trip.

Southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus)

Southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus); photo by Betty Jacobs

And some spotted-tailed quolls … I was surprised at how big they are, like large cats.

Spotted-tail quoll

Adult spotted-tail quoll; photo by Betty Jacobs