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Sunday, 14 January

10:19

ARTS OPEN 2018 Lot19 Arts

lot19 is proud to host the opening ceremony and closing party of this glorious institution, encouraging the public to visit artists studios and immerse themselves in artists lives and work.

there will be music, wise and wonderful words, and all the sustenance required at the opening ceremony.

CASTLEMAINE IDYLL, the closing celebration, is the saturday after arts open, so the artists can attend! it will be more fun than you have ever had before

there will be artists studios open at lot19 as well!

09:20

Three raptors Natural Newstead

Not a great deal on offer today three raptors captured on a brief wander across the plains on Friday evening. The Black-shouldered Kite is one of a pair with an active nest.

Brown Falcon, Moolort Plains, 12th January 2018

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Saturday, 13 January

08:27

Historical marker Natural Newstead

Calm evenings are a wonderful time to visit Cairn Curran. This set was observed as I sat above the reservoir at Joyces Creek earlier in the week. The site is traced by a ragged line of dead River Red-gums that mark the original course of the creek a reminder of a past landscape.

Looking north-east along the original course of Joyces Creek, 10th January 2018.

Friday, 12 January

14:10

Funds, Funding, Fundraising in the garden

Fundraising is a perpetual issue for volunteer community groups and the garden is no exception.  The water bill is our major annual outlay, and then theres the rent for the land, maintenance and upkeep, and inputs mulch, etc. Not small change. In the past weve done dinners, workshops, open gardens, etc.  as well as Continue reading Funds, Funding, Fundraising

07:00

The importance of a good technique Natural Newstead

The highlight of a short excursion this morning to the Rise and Shine was observing a flock of Varied Sittellas foraging for insects.

These small, bark feeding specialists are handsome birds, especially when you see the splash of orange across their extended wings. Ive watched them feeding many times but was fascinated to see a couple of the birds repeatedly flicking both wings simultaneously to disturb insects. This technique is commonly used by a number of insectivorous species the Grey Fantail and Willie Wagtail come immediately to mind, but is not commonly seen with sittellas.

According to Joseph and Olsen (2011) The birds zig-zag actively up and down the trunk and along branches with a rocking horse motion, probing and levering the bark with their upturned bills and occasionally flickering one wing, probably to flush cryptic prey.

It worked very effectively  this morning as the birds were having some success in dislodging insects. Id be interested to hear from any folks who have observed this behaviour in Varied Sittellas.

Varied Sittella, Rise and Shine, 11th January 2018

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