Thursday, 14 June 2007

Winter draws on

Winter is here. One day the weather was mild with cloudless skies, the next it was toe-numbingly cold with grey clouds. No subtle transformation, no gentle transition. It changed faster than a university policy. (Although, it's now been like this for a fortnight, so it's certainly more consistent.)

I had planned to go for an early morning stroll along the waterfront at Williamstown but it was too cold. Instead, I went for a pre-lunch amble when the temperature had crawled into double figures.

Most of the seabirds remained a little too far from shore for decent pictures with the digital camera. Even the silver gulls were a bit flighty. They might have been stirred up by the presence of three juvenile Pacific gulls. After a concerted effort, they managed to persuade one of the juvies to move on. The other two held fast. (I always hope that I'll see a kelp gull at Williamstown, but I think they prefer a shoreline a tad more kelpy.)

The little pied cormorants were out in numbers, as were the masked lapwings but there were no pelicans and only one black swan (which was dozing on a rock despite the racket from the lapwings). Most of the cormorants were chasing bait fish under the hulls of moored vessels.

On the southbound part of my walk, I spotted some small birds among the yachts but I couldn't quite see what they were. They were too far out. But when I headed back, they had come closer inshore. Still not near enough to get a good photo, of course, but at least they didn't dive. More grebes than you could poke a stick at. It fair made my day.



Winter? What are you talking about? Oh, wait, you are down there.

amegilla said...

Yay, grebes! At last.


Snail said...

Aydin, we had such a warm autumn that winter took us quite by surprise. From 20C to 11C, just about overnight.

Amegilla, you're back! Yes, a mob of hoary-headed grebes to go with the Australasian grebes on the pond at work. Now all I need is to see the great crested grebes up at Lake Eacham in July and I'll have the set.