April 10, 2015 … magic on the Murray

Celebrations for the cure were premature, but the ankle is better than it was, as long as I don’t push it.

Wagtail

Willie wagtail defeats a very large insect and flies away to consume it

Yesterday we began on the Murray River on an eco-cruise run by the wonderful Kingfisher Cruises. Paddle steamers at Echuca are fun, but for the sheer joy of nature, add the Kingfisher cruise at Barmah to your bucket list.  This edition will be heavy on the pictures, light on the words.

Cockatoos

Cockatoos practice formation flying

As we waited for the scheduled start time of the cruise, we were entertained by the antics of a Willie Wagtail (that’s really its name) defeating a ferocious large insect, and then a flock of cockatoos … probably corella again.

Pelicans

Pelican perch

 

We had scarcely left the start when we encountered two large pelicans. They are exceedingly rare in New Zealand so I was happy to see them.

bush

Magnificent bush

I need to observe that the bush on either side of the river at the Barmah narrows is amazingly lush and a delight to the eye.

IMG_7704

A pair of tawny frogmouth. They are nocturnal birds and look comical in the daylight

Our next  bird encounter was a pair of tawny frogmouth. Though they look superficially like owls they belong to the nightjar family. When found in the daylight they do their best to look like trees.

Snake

Red-bellied black snake swimming in the Murray. I was glad it was out there and I was in the boat

Birds were my main hope, but it was exciting to get close to a real live venomous snake in the wild. This is a red-bellied black snake, perhaps a metre and a half long.

Kingfisher

Where does he keep his batteries. That luminous blue is unaided by any Photoshop tricks – Azure kingfisher

The prize of the trip was to see the stunning Azure kingfisher. Our “Sacred kingfisher” at home is reasonably coloured, but this seemed to have extra batteries … it positively glowed.

Sea eagle

Lord of all he surveys … white-bellied sea eagle

When I thought nothing could top that, our young skipper excelled herself by spotting a white-bellied sea-eagle atop a large red gum tree.

Swallows

Welcome swallows

As we tied up at the landing, a pair of Welcome Swallows saw us off. In reality I think they were waiting for the insects that our departure would stir up. As I said, this trip with Kingfisher tours is highly recommended.

Exhausted … goodnight!

 

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About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Animals, Birds, Echuca, Landscapes, Rivers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to April 10, 2015 … magic on the Murray

  1. nzphotog says:

    Great set of images, looks like you had a great time there. Have put it on my list of places to go one day!

  2. Wonderful blog Brian and wonderful photos. I can thank you enough for your support it is greatly appreciated. We certainly need more people like you. Thanks once again for cruising with me and I’m so happy that the birds cooperated for you all on the day 😊. It was a pleasure showing you around my ‘office’. Keep up the great work!

    Benita Cox
    Kingfisher Cruises

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