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.



3 comments:

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

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.