Thursday, January 26, 2012

Osprey in Caloundra

We visited Caloundra last November, and I spent much of my time stalking osprey, which seems to have become a bit of an obsession for me.  See my blog of osprey in Caloundra in March 2011 at


Here are some of the shots I took of these beautiful birds, beginning at Bulcock Beach: 

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Calling osprey.

The sound they make is a very high pitched whistle – a much smaller sound than you would expect from such an imposing bird.

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Our friends Nev and Di, who live in Caloundra, had told us where to find an osprey nest at the top of a Norfolk Island pine tree.



Osprey and nest.


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Osprey with fish in pandanus tree, Moffat Beach.


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Osprey with fish on cliff, Moffat Beach.


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When I was photographing osprey on Bulcock Beach in the early morning, a council worker watering the gardens there told me that at the swimming pool on King’s Beach, a little further north, there was an abstract sculpture of some sea birds (not sure if they were based on osprey or seagulls), where the osprey often used to perch.  So of course, off I went.


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It appeared that someone places fish on these sculptures for the osprey, which provided an excellent opportunity for more pictures:.  


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The tail can be a bit tricky……


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Almost finished….


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Just a bit of a paddle in the sea to cool down…..



A stretch of the wings in the afternoon sun…..


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This breeze does ruffle a bird’s feathers…..


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Really must take off this time…..


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….. and fly home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Woodford Folk Festival 2011-12

Here are some random shots from the latest Folk Festival.  There’s always something new to see or do … or to see or do in a new way.

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The sign on the top of the hill.



Setting up camp.

We were lucky to be able to set up a couple of weeks before the festival,  When we came back, this site was packed out, including a small tent between our annex and the tent being set up in this picture.  The site was delightful – in the mornings, we woke to the sound of bellbirds, whipbirds and kookaburras.



Space in the camping ground was very tight, so this was useful information. 

The sign on the next pole said “OR THIS ONE”.


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If it’s too crowded in the campground, you could always go and sleep on the top of the hill…..


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…. and watch the sunrise.



Hilltop sculptures – later in the day.



More hilltop sculptures.



For six days of the year, the festival transforms the site from quiet bushland to a town the size of Nambour. The festival site and camping grounds are laid out in a pattern of “streets” with quirky names. There are the “ways”, such as Notfara Way, Looktheother Way, and Cara Way. There are “closes” such as Embarrassingly Close and Atad Close. This year, my camp was in one of the “courts” – not Tennis Court or Igot Court, but Seeyouin Court (someone had written under it “Not bloody likely!”)  But my favourites are the “drives”, which include Hard Drive, Floppy Drive and Lamington Drive.


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Helen and Bernie.


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Making music.






Evening fire ceremony around the pond.



Helen with a floating candle.


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Launching the candles.



Candles floating on the pond.


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The Bushwackers are Australia’s best-known bush band, celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2011.  There have been 75 members over the years, but Dobe Newton (in red) has been with the band almost from its beginning.  Dobe co-wrote the iconic "I am Australian" with Bruce Woodley from the Seekers.


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Martin Pearson


Dougie MacLean, watched by Prof. Ian Lowe.

Dougie is “one of Scotland's most successful, respected and popular musicians” and wrote Caledonia, which would be in my 100 favourite songs of all time.  Caledonia was the theme song of the Homecoming Scotland 2009 TV advertising campaign.  (See 

Ian Lowe is President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Queensland Climate Change Council, the Australian Environmental Health Council and the Australian Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council – among other organisations and groups.  Ian Lowe advocates renewable energy which is "quicker, less expensive and less dangerous than nuclear" (from Wikipedia). 

Ian Lowe is also on a committee which will establish a policy for the festival for accepting sponsorship, following public concern that the Dreaming festival had accepted sponsorship from the mining company Santos, three years ago, when many of the the implications of coal seam gas mining were not apparent. 



Ken and Noah at the festival.  Ken (90) had always wanted to go to the festival, and this year achieved his goal, driven up by Noah, who had never been either.



Ken in The Mango Shack.


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Noah and an elephant.


Here comes the lantern parade:







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These "Social Butterflies" fluttered around the festival, dazzling patrons with their beauty and raising awareness about the habits, host plants and endangered status of these butterflies, and what people can do to encourage them to survive and increase in number. Their costumes have been meticulously constructed to represent particular butterflies - on the left a Chequered Swallowtail, and on the right a Bordered Rustic.


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Each "butterfly" carries an informative poster about itself, including how to grow its host plant.


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Woodford wildlife:  Caterpillar of the Tailed Emperor butterfly, on display in Helen’s butterfly tent.



Tailed Emperor butterfly (Polyura pyrrhus). 

Picture from



Woodford wildlife:  Caterpillar of the Australian Leafwing butterfly, on display in Helen’s butterfly tent.



Australian Leafwing butterfly (Doleschallia bisaltide).

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 Love Flower on the Butterfly Walk by jemasmith

Love Flower (Pseuderanthemum variabile), planted on the Butterfly Walk at the Woodford Folk Festival site, is the host plant for the Leafwing butterfly.  I took this picture in May 2009, during a Planting Festival.


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Woodford wildlife:  Not in my tent please.  This goanna was about a metre long.



Woodford wildlife:  Wallabies could be seen in the early morning.



Woodford wildlife: Helen explained that this stick insect was just a juvenile, as its wings were only just starting to grow.


Street theatre:

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Traditionally, festival patrons make their mark at this intersection.  This structure changes from day to day.

Look at the ground in the above pictures – you do not see one shred of rubbish.  Through an unwritten law of mutual respect, festival patrons just do not litter.



Tibetan monks create a mandala.



In the Folklorica tent.



Sourdough bread.



Wood fired pizza.



“Reclaimed” instruments – violin, guitar, cell and double bass.

Charles is playing a couch guitar, with a guitar neck attached to a cushion for comfort.



“Reclaimed” 2 string violin and bow.


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In a single workshop, a group of people learned to play music on “reclaimed” instruments together.



“Reclaimers’ were all ages.



“My bunya” has been planted in its spot on the side of the hill for nearly three years now.  I took it home as a seedling from the May 2007 Planting Festival, kept it at home for two years, then planted it in this spot during the May 2009 festival.

It is now about 30cm taller than me.



“Signology” is the group who create all the quirky signs for the festival, and as the festival draws to a close, they hold a celebratory procession around the site (in red).



Our own group, Forest Woodford, also holds a parade at the end of the festival.  The parade is led by Des Ritchie, President of the QFF, and our fearless leader Carol, holding a sign to display how many $5 trees our volunteers have encouraged festival patrons to sponsor.  This number will then be matched tree for tree by Barung Land Care.

Volunteers, dressed in white, carry trees festooned with ribbons for each tree sponsored, and we are joined by the lovely “Social Butterflies” and an ethnic Australian band.



Jack dressed for the parade.


Forest Woodford parade: