Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


While we were at Redcliffe on Sunday we visited the markets on the edge of the bay.
There were a variety of stalls.

One stall was selling Bonsai trees, as I took the shot of the tree I noticed the amorous couple on the beach in the background. I thought it looked like they were under the tree.
Then we came upon these gorgeous dogs. They were not for sale just visiting. The little girl found someone with the same hair colour.

I didn't quite hear the name of the breed but they are a type of German mountain dog.

Monday, July 26, 2010


There is a saying about the great Queensland weather:  "Beautiful one day and perfect the next." Well it wasn't happening last weekend. It was grey and cold...well 18*C thats cold for us. We went to Redcliffe to have a look at the new bridge from the Brisbane suburb of Brighton to the Redcliffe suburb of Clontarf crossing Bramble Bay which is part of Moreton Bay.
There are now three bridges next to one another crossing the bay. To the left is the old wooden Hornibrook Bridge, to the right is the new  Ted Smout Bridge and we are on the Houghton Highway Bridge.
The old wooden Hornibrook Bridge was built in 1935 and named after the engineer in charge. It is the 2nd longest wooden bridge in the world. (2.8k) It will be demolished this year except for 100 metres, which will be kept for recreation and fishing. 
The Houghton Highway concrete viaduct in the middle will be renovated and will carry the northern bound traffic. This bridge was a disaster from the beginning. It was built in 1979 and was already too small for the volume of traffic when it opened. It dips in between every support and makes for a rough roller coaster ride. It was named after the local member of parliament who resigned before the bridge opened. For years there was dicussion on how to improve the bridge. Finally a new one was opened this month. 
The Ted Smout Bridge is named after Queensland's last surviving WW1 veteran who lived locally but died in 2004. It is strong enough to withstand cyclones and is the longest bridge in Australia at 2.74 k
While in Redcliffe we walked out onto the renowned Redcliffe Jetty.  The bathing pavilion was built at the entrance to the jetty in 1937.
The first jetty was built in 1885 where convicts were unloaded to build the Redcliffe settlement which was to become the main town but later the Brisbane River site was preferred. The jetty was renewed in 1922 and again in 1999.
It was a bit breezy and cold out here amongst the forest of blue light posts so we turned around, walked across the road into a sheltered coffee shop. 
Many still enjoy outdoor eating in winter.
The day didn't get any brighter so we headed for the car. I spotted this pelican preening on a light post but Bill wasn't too impressed as it was.......

....right above our car. It even provoked Bill into a run to move the car before it was bombed.
Then we travelled home on the brand new bridge which carries the south bound traffic. We made it before the rain which was only a light shower anyway.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


A Pale Headed Rosella visited my garden this morning. It has red under its tail.

Friday, July 23, 2010


The Gold Coast is a city located 57k/35m south of Brisbane. It has a sub-tropial climate with a Mean Max Temp of 25*C/77*F and a Mean Low Temp of 17*C/63*F, There is 57k/35m of coastline beaches. Sounds like paradise, in fact one of the beaches is called "Surfer's Paradise"
Looks like paradise.
However, the city is the 6th most populous city in Australia with over 450,000 people, not counting the millions of tourists. The beaches are surrounded by concrete towers.

Even more are being built.

They provide jobs for lots of people, can you see the little blobs on the 7th balcony up? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I am working for three weeks but I don't work on Thursdays. It was good to have the day off to go to the coast to visit friends who are on holiday there from Perth, Western Australia. We used to be neighbours 38 years ago and since then we have gone our different ways but have always kept in touch.
You always know when you have arrived at the Gold Coast you become surrounded by high rise apartments. It only takes an hour from our place. 
Our friends are staying here in a nice low set block only 100 metres to the beach.
We went to the Broadbeach Surf Club for lunch and had delicious fish and chips overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful warm winter's day.
A lovely day for a walk along the boardwalk with friends we haven't seen for many years. George, Laila, Bionic Bill, and Moi.
Bill taking photos for his blog.
This is the view he was looking at to the north.
Looking south.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Wompoo Fruit Dove 
Thanks to my SIL and his brother Jon, who is an environmental scientist, I have an ID for my window crash victim on the last story.
 I had another identification problem, which Titania has solved for me. I didn't know the name of this flower and she has provided the answer. 
Bill is home from Hospital and he is home again soaking up some Vitamin D from our winter sun. So now he is recharged for another 7-10 years. The flowers peeping into the corner of the photo are:

Zygo Cactus
a pink one
a red one, great winter flowers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crash,Thump! Its not in the Book

I was in the bathroom, getting ready for work this morning when I heard a crash and a thump. Bill called out, "What was that?" I thought for a moment it was him, he thought it was me but no It was a bird crashing into the window. It was in a heap on the floor of the balcony. I ran for my camera. When I returned it was in a dazed state trying to get away. It climbed onto the wires and teetered there for a a short time. Then it took on a take off pose and somehow managed to launch itself. It flew to the safety of the trees no doubt with a sore head.
The strange thing is I have never seen this type of bird before. It looks like a parrot but with a stubby tail and a pale blue/grey head. I think it had red on its belly as well as yellow. 
It is much bigger than a Lorikeet. I have checked in both my bird books and can't find one with a tail like that, a yellow stripe on its wings and a pale head. So if there are any birders out there who can help with identification it would be appreciated.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I've always liked birds but since I started blogging and seeing other blogs with lots of birds I thought I would give it a go. Except for cheeky tame parrots I have found it quite difficult to photograph birds in the wild. They either have the sun behind them and they turn out black or they fly away and and I end up with a picture of an empty branch. However, I'm trying to be more patient. I sat for a long time in the garden trying to capture this Eastern Spinebill. I'm sure it is hyper-active. It didn't sit still for longer than a second before flitting off to another flower for nectar. I don't know how it can eat so fast. I was soooo chuffed that out of the many blurred shots and empty branches, I finally got one right. It was in a thick Grevillea tree and up quite high. I used a telephoto lens and set it for fast moving objects.

Eastern Spinebill
 Grevillea banksii, this is the flower the Spinebill is enjoying.
Beach Stone-Curlew
This was taken at Bustard Bay but it isn't a Bustard it is a Beach Stone-Curlew. I was a long way off in a moving amphibious vehicle. I used a telephoto lens and cropped it heavily so it is not too sharp. Lots of room for improvement in my bird photography. According to my bird book it is uncommon, stands 56 cm high, and it has an unusually large beak for a wading bird.

Bustard Bay, Queensland.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


One of the advantages of living in the sub tropics is having flowers blooming in the garden in winter. It was a beautiful sunny day today. I read an article about Vitamin D is good for preventing dementia, so I went outside and worked played in the garden.


Friday, July 16, 2010


As  Brisbane is growing so fast more and more bridges are being built over the Brisbane River, which meanders through the middle of the city. The original Gateway Bridge was built in the 80's but now it is not wide enough, so a duplicate bridge has been built next to it.
When the first one was built it was the longest cantilevered, box, girder main span in the world.

It had to be lower than 80 metres because it is in the flight path to the nearby airport.
But it had to be taller than 55 metres for ships to pass underneath. However, it is still not tall enough for some of the huge liners. (from the net)
We travelled over the new one for the first time last weekend. They are still working on the approaches.
PS: Bill is okay but still in hospital for tonight.