31 May 2006

Aussie birdies

Now for some observations of the Australian fauna particularly the feathered creatures.

The birds here in Oz are certainly more colourful than back home in Denmark. And it's not only the visual impression that is quite different than back home because on the audio side these Aussie birds must belong to the most noise in the world. Not seldom does one walk past a tree where a Cockatoo is making a sound as if someone was strangling it to death. If I can get around to it I will make a nice Aussie-bird soundtrack which will hopefully rival my office mate Andy's CD of Kiwi birds (I know, that will be tough!). Okay, here are some of the snappies of the birds.

These grey and pink cockatoos are called Galahs, and they like to hang out in large flocks where there is delicious food for them. Here you can hear their "song".

And here's the bird that confused the first Europeans to arrive down-under - the black swan. At night they're really tough to spot:) We encountered these specimens as we were strolling alon Lake Burley-Griffin.

In the afternoons it is possible to observe a large get-together of Sulfur-Crested Cockatoos in and around a cluster of trees which apparently shed some sort of Cockatoo delicacy. The noise level in such a situation is rather high!

More Cockatoo! When one Saturday moring we heard a deafening noise from the trees around our appartment, we immediately knew that we had a flock of Cockatoos visiting our neighbourhood. So we quickly put some seeds for them on the feeding tray and soon after the white parrots started to descend to the feeding place. The top pictures shows the Cockatoo just after it has landed when it has its crest fully unfurled. Below is a pair sharing the small space. It's quite amazing that they can grow as old as 80 years when they are kept in captivity!

Come on, you've gotta love this fella!

Walking on the paths in uni one might stumble across one of these fellas. A nice assortment of colourful parrots. There is such a range of different parrots that it is virtually impossible to identify exactly what species they are, but the two chaps to the right are probably Rainbow Lorikeets, which sing like this.

Here's one clinging to a bush, while contemplating whether in light of the imminent danger posed by the man with a shiny box it should make a run or stay put. Luckily it stayed long enough for it to be imortalised in bits!

Even the pigeons look funny, well at least these ones. They are actually called Crested Pigeons after their head decoration.

The botanical gardens in Sydney are full of fowl. Here's a funny looking Masked Lapwing, which was feasting on yummy worms in the lawn. It makes this sound.

Another inhabitant of the botanical gardens in Sydney is the Autralian White Ibis. It's a rather scary looking thing.

Little cute running bird that, unfortunately, is not very destinguishable from other birds. Thus, I have not yet found its name.

Also in the park are these Common Mynas. These are common not only in Australia, but also in Southeastasia. Their song is here.

This fish-hunter we saw on the shore of Lake Burley-Griffin one afternoon. It's called a Darter, and here it was just relaxing in the sunshine.

One of the very Australian birds, the Laughing
Kookaburra. There are a couple of birds that like to hang out near our appartment. This onw is carefully observing the photographer. Unfortunately, we have yet to experience its hilarious song as you may verify from this sound clip of its song

Grasing on the slopes of the parliament was this flock of ibises, more acurately Straw Chested Ibises.

Some of the bushes that carry berries are saturated with this little cure bird called a Silvereye after the feathered ring around its eye. Unfortunately, they move from branch to branch like lightning, making it nearly impossible to catch them on photograph.

This is our so far best pic of the Crimson Rosella, which is a very common parrot. Most of them are blue and red, but a few of them also have some green plumage.

The trained eye will quickly recognise that this suburban scene features three different Cockatoos. First there are 4 of the always present Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. However, the second bird to the left which has some red patches is a Long Billed Corella. It is not so obvious on this picture, but the bill indeed has a thin exptension. Then there are 2 of the birds that are distinguishably smaller than the rest and appear to be all white. They are in fact Little Correllas, and they have a reddish tint around their eyes and bill.

In between all the black swans a couple of Australian pelicans were taking thier share of the bread being fed to the birds. Pelicans ar really huge birds!

To be continued...

ANU campus pics

When we arrive in Australia it was just in time for the autumn. Although the prospect of another winter seemed quite gloomy, there was one good thing about arriving in autumn. The pics should give you an idea why?

A look down University Avenue, which crosses the campus from one side to the other. What a bewdie!

Trees lining the small stream called Sullivans Creek. Mind you, there's not that much water flowing in it, but they sure have made the most out of it in terms of landscape architecture.

A fairly early morning scenario around Sullivans Creek.

The Physics Link Building that houses the physics admin and the Australian Research Counsil's (ARC's) Australian Centre for Quantum Atom-Optics (ACQAO) where I'm working.

Lucky me! I was fortunate to get a desk next to the window and here's the view I have. To the left is the large physics lecture-theatre while to the right is the building that houses the Institute of Psychology. I wonder why they placed psychology nect to physics... Could it be because of "alphabetic considerations"?

Canberra here we come

We arrived in Canberra the capital of Australia on the 24th of April, 2006 on a bequtiful sunny day. Our first impressions of the town are both of positive and negative natured. It's clean, quiet and there's heaps of nature, with many parks and an astounding variety of wildlife. On the other hand the town almost completelly lacks any atmosphere. Canberra was built from scratch in the 1940's, and everything in the town is laid out according to a carufully designed plan. The good part is as mentioned that there's a lot more recreational areas than one would find in most town. The donside, however, is that the town is very spread out with wide roads and all buildings are no more than about 60 years old - most of them significantly younger.

The campus of the Australian National University (ANU) is, however, very charming. Sure, the buldings are also fairly new, but that is not so bad for a university. The ANU campus is basically on huge park with lots of trees, lawns, creeks and in between lie scattered the variuos university buildings. In the comming posts there will be some pics from the campus.

14 May 2006

Intro entry

Since you've come to this page I presume you know who I am already, but just in case you forgot my name is Daniel Oblak and though I spend most of my time in the tiny country of Denmark I have many occasions to venture out and explore this crazy world! In this blog you can catch up with my movements and see a range of snapshots from the locations I visit.