Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwings like to live dangerously they browse for food along the nature strips of urban streets, they will stand in the centre of roads oblivious to any vehicles traveling along them only running or taking flight at the last moment. They have been know to set up home of build a nest in the silliest places, in the centre of parks where foot balls and cricket balls roll and fly. At such times these plucky birds will stand their ground and scream at anyone who approaches. But in spite of this risky lifestyle its logical to think that like so many bird species their very existence might be under threat from human activity or climate change but the reality is that the population of these proud birds is actually increasing. Why? There is no obvious answer maybe its the decrease in the small mammal population who would normally force these ground dwellers off their nests and eat their eggs. Cats try but when they get close to a nest the males swoop in and aim to peck their eyes with a fearsome beak. Perhaps the human propensity to grow lawns and open golf courses has given the Masked Lapwing more places where they can breed. Whatever it is that is allowing greater numbers of them to flourish I personally glad because to see them in any open space is a delight especially when their chicks come along, but that’s another post and set of photos!

Sun and smog

A sunny but smoggy day One of the disadvantages of being close to forests is that people think it’s their god given right to cut trees down for heating in winter.
As a result Launceston is the smoggiest city in Australia in winter, has one of the highest instances of chronic asthma and a report from the WHO indicates that smog is now known to cause developmental problems in children sadly Launceston has those as well…

Governments have had programs to upgrade houses to electric heat and insulation but couple that with the high cost of power in Tasmania and the penetration of these programs is not universal so the smog continues.

The Esk in flood

The River Esk in flood

There are normally people walking across a bridge in the middle of this torrent of water but the river Esk is in flood due to melting snow on Tasmania’s central plateau. Shot late in the day with a digital Pen F ironically with a tiny Russian Industar 50mm ƒ5.6 @ ISO 1600. I say Ironically because my original PEN was smashed in the 70’s by a big Russian Army bloke who got nasty with a metal detector at the AeroFlot check in.

Night stroll

In these COVID times, even though Tasmania is supposed to be free of this most recent threat to our existence going for a walk at night has a whole new reason. The Basin walk is safe enough, there are lots of. harmless native animals around, a few cats out to hunt the natives and the odd and likely a very cold rough sleeper. One man who looks to be a very weathered thirty something chap who outwardly by his gestures would seem to have a mental disability, sleeps perhaps under a fir tree whose lower boughs touch the ground at their extremities forming a tent. I had a feeling someone was was in the vicinity when traces tobacco smoke tickled my nostrils I was not alone. But guessing it was the same man we had seen on our evening constitutional I was unperturbed by his presence, but I walked on.