Dull day, spectacular birds

Having missed yesterday’s dawn due to family commitments, I was keen to get out this morning. The forecast was good – sunny and 33oC. I set my alarm for 6:15 am and was at my favourite spot before the sun rose.

The sky did not look the way I had hoped. It was streaked with cloud, which became thicker and thicker. Soon the entire sky was white, but dull.

The poor conditions did not stop the birds. I saw several White-bellied Sea-Eagles, some Whistling Kites and a Swamp Harrier in the first half hour. I saw a falcon, which I could not identify, then later an Australian Hobby (a Little Falcon), which I could. I added to my list two Black Kites, all in all 5 species of BOP (possibly 6).

I had resigned myself to getting no good photos and was thinking about leaving when the most amazing thing happened – 5 juvenile and immature White-bellied Sea-Eagles flew right past me! I thought I got photos of each, but I can only tell 4 distinct birds. Here they are in the order I took the photos:

WBSE 1 – immature (white tail)

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WBSE 2 – juvenile (tail has brown tip)

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WBSE 3 – immature (white tail)

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WBSE 4 – juvenile (tail has brown tip)

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They were just magnificent in a group. Shortly after that, two Black Kites and a Whistling Kite flew in circles around me. All  these photos have only a small amount of cropping – the birds were really that close!

Black Kite

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Whistling Kite

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Although my photos were taken at ISO 3200, and are lacking in detail, like pencil drawings that have been smudged, the experience was incredible. I’ll still be watching birds of prey when I’m too old and frail to lift my camera.

Our fabulous fish

I’ve lived with fish for almost as long as I can remember. When I was a child, we had a goldfish pond outside, and a tank with tropical fish inside. Since then I’ve usually had at least two tanks in the house. Currently we have a 6′ marine tank and a small tropical tank.

In the marine tank, water quality is so important, and filtration is even more important than frequent water changes. Because of our high water quality, we have maroon anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus that are more than 20 years old,

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and two citron butterflyfish Chaetodon citrinellus that are 18 and 17 years old. One has had what looks like scar tissue for at least 10 years, but nothing has developed from it.

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I have two favourite groups of marine fishes: butterflyfishes and angelfishes. We have a threadfin butterflyfish Chaetodon auriga,

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a dusky butterflyfish Chaetodon flavirostris,

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a flame angelfish Centropyge loricula,

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and a keyhole angelfish Centropyge tibicen.

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Respect (Values) by Kimberley Jane Pryor – Like some of the other books mentioned, this is an educational book that gives definitions and clarity about respect and what that looks like played out in our world. It gives specifics and definitive answers, which are helpful to kids.




Attracting Mates by Kimberley Jane Pryor
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Attracting Mates
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Food and Feeding
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Having Young
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Homes
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Migration
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012
Pryor, Kimberley Jane Movement
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Smart Apple 2012

Animal Lives series. Though the emphasis here is on breadth rather than depth, these books are well organized and helpfully formatted to demonstrate a wide range in each of the behaviors they treat. In each, a brief introduction is followed by a sample flow chart of, say, a food web; double-page spreads of different methods of feeding follow. Colorful captioned photographs and boxed facts supplement the texts. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Natural History; Animal behavior; Food chains; Food; Animals; Animal babies; Animal homes; Migration; Animal locomotion

Attracting mates



The last time we went to the library, we got a couple of books on kindness and consideration.Kindness by Kimberley Jane Pryor and Consideration by Sarah L. Schuette. Both books talk about helping others and being thoughtful. Kindness by Kimberley Jane Pryor goes into even more detail and gives examples of how you can be kind to your family, your friends and people in your community. This was a great way to start the conversation about doing random acts of kindness during the year.


Book review – Integrity – Values 2 series




Author: Kimberley Jane Pryor

This straight forward book for kids, discusses and breaks down what integrity really means.
Starting with values, ‘which are the things you believe in’, kids are encouraged to understand that the word ‘values’ means, ideas that guide the way you think, speak and behave.

The key words are in bold, making it easier to connect with the key concepts.

Photographs of children acting out the scenarios help to role-model positive action and bring alive the reality of these core values in everyday life.

“Integrity is meaning what you say. It is making sure that your words and behaviour matches.”

Integrity is expanded to introduce ‘Courage’ to do what is right, share your opinions even if others disagree with them, being honest and not hiding how you are feeling.

Each page also has an example of a situation that children might be able to apply the concept to.

How can we best act with integrity within the family, with friends, with neighbours?

Showing integrity in the family may mean keeping a promise to play with a younger child even if it is something that you don’t enjoy that much.

Having integrity means admitting mistakes and apologising. Telling the truth, when lying might keep you out of trouble. Doing the right thing, even when the wrong thing might be quicker and easier.

People with integrity live by their values. What do you like and dislike? Personal integrity is choosing to do activities and wear clothes that you like, rather than following others just to fit in.

Some people stand up for what they believe in by marching to show they care about their neighbourhood or their environment.

Being tolerant and learning not to judge people before you get to know them are all aspects of living with integrity.

Listening to other people’s opinions shows respect. Encouraging a friend to do something they want to do, but that you might not like, supports them. You can still stay true to your own values.

Being a good friend shows integrity. Loyal friends do not gossip or say mean things to their friends or about their friends. A person with integrity will not steal or be talked into things by their friends that they know is not the right thing to do. Visiting unsuitable internet sites is given as an example.

This thought provoking book is great to encourage discussion and to work with issues that all children face. Developing a personal set of values and being supported to understand how to act on these is a healthy character building experience.
An excellent foundation for early learning about values and integrity.

Integrity (Values 2)