Congratulations and Happy 10th Birthday to Trevor’s Birding
A companion site that I also write for is called Trevor’s Birding. You can access the site here. I started that site just a few days over 10 years ago and it has proved to be one of the more popular birding sites worldwide. The site attracts readers from over 200 countries and comments from many of them.
Over the last ten years I have posted over 1660 articles, almost all of them about Australian birds – with a small offering from a few other countries as well, including Thailand, Nepal, Ethiopia and Morocco – with Spain still to come. In many cases I have included photos of the birds I have seen, and write about.
A good proportion of the photos shown on the site include birds I have seen in our own garden. We live on five acres of partly mallee scrub on the outskirts of Murray Bridge, an hour’s drive south east of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. This small rural city straddles the Murray River, Australia’s longest and largest waterway, so we occasionally get the odd water-bird landing on our roof, in the garden – or even in the swimming pool.
Later this year Trevor’s Travels will also be celebrating its 10th birthday, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, to celebrate, I thought that I would share some of my best bird photos with my readers.
Why not leave a comment as well?
Earlier this we paid a visit to the Monarto Zoo in South Australia. It was a special treat for my wife on her birthday. Friends Rose and Keith picked us up and drove us to the zoo. We are fortunate that it is a quick ten minute drive from home. We try to visit several times a year, partly because it is so close and partly because we enjoy our visits. We also like to get value out of my zoo membership. I am a life member of the Adelaide Zoo and this allows me free access to this and other zoos around Australia. I can also bring one other person free, and that is usually my dear wife.
Monarto Zoo is run by Adelaide Zoo and is an open range zoo. While there are exhibits one can walk to, most of the animals are observed from one of the regular bus tours of the large zoo. These tours are included in the entry fee and leave the information centre every twenty minutes or so, depending on demand. Walking tracks also criss-cross the park for the able and the energetic.
A number of exhibits are accessible by foot from the information centre, including the meerkat display. Today I am showing a series of photos taken on this special occasion. As usual, one of these endearing critters posed beautifully for me. I love how photogenic and cooperative they are.
Over recent days I have been sharing some photos of various aspects of Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. We often go there to visit family. My wife grew up and went to school in the local school, and her sister and brother-in-law still live there.
One of the more prominent buildings in the main street is the Town Hall, featured in today’s photos. According to the date on the top of the façade it was completed in 1926, but the fact sheet put out by the council says 1927.
Marvel at one of the largest heritage listed Town Halls in country South Australia.
Commissioned by a very proud outgoing council in 1926, the Town Hall was
completed in 1927. The original five shop fronts are now converted into council
offices and the Mayoral chambers are situated up the ornate stair-cases. The
left hand foyer is known as the Federation Foyer and is where you can see and
hear about the magnificent Federation quilt, donated to the community from the
Peterborough Patchworkers. The right hand foyer is the Memorial Foyer where you
will find Keith Payne’s Victoria Cross display and the Citizen of the Year honour roll.
Please pop your head in to witness the grandeur of the beautiful building.
The town hall is used for many functions throughout the year. Every Easter we attempt to visit Peterborough for the annual Art and Cultural Festival, held around Easter time. Included in the festival is a huge art and photographic exhibition and competition. Every time I go I comment that I must enter some of my photos; the family is still waiting.
On our recent visit to Peterborough, South Australia to visit family I spent an hour or so taking photos around town, something I had not done much of over the last 40 years on our regular visits to the town. I had three purposes in taking a few photos. First, a friend who had visited the town last year had taken many photos but her camera failed to download them. Second, I had precious few photos of the town in my own collection, and third, I wanted to share them here on this site.
Peterborough, in the mid-north of South Australia, was for many years a railway town. Major lines intersect or run through the town. Rail lines from Adelaide to Sydney, Perth to Sydney, and Broken Hill to Port Pirie are the main ones. In years gone by another line ran from there through to Quorn further north in the state. At one time the town boasted three different operating rail gauges: narrow, standard and broad gauge. This made Peterborough unique, possibly in the only place in the world where this happened. Standardisation, and the closing of some lines, has brought this to an end.
Today most trains just go straight through the town. At each of the four main road entrances to the town locals have placed magnificent modal trains on display at the welcome signs to the town. I will feature each of these over coming days.
The model train shown in today’s photos can be found on the south-western approach to the town on the road leading from Clare and Jamestown. The S.A.R. on the tender stands for South Australian Railways.
As a part of the Taplan Railway Centenary celebrations in 2013 there was special mention made of the new murals painted on the telephone exchange building. This small structure, shown in today’s series of photos taken on the day, replaced the old manual telephone exchange in the nearby post office many years ago. This building also doubles as a mail centre, the letters being sorted regularly into a handful of post office boxes in the side of it.
When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s I would walk past this spot twice every day on my way to and from school a few hundred metres away. Behind this modern structure is the old post office where I would stop every day on my way home to collect the mail from a window, behind which the post master sat. His job every day would be to sort the few dozen letters addressed to residents in the area. He also manned the manual telephone exchange, connecting incoming calls to the number being called.
The phones in the homes of the district were typical of many used throughout rural Australia of that era. A bulky wooden cabinet hung on the wall in our dining room, with a large mouthpiece and a cord attached to an earpiece. When there was an incoming call, the phone would ring loudly and to answer one picked up the ear piece from its cradle and spoke into the mouthpiece. The person manning the exchange then connected the caller. To make a call one would pick up the earpiece and turn a handle, alerting the person in the exchange that you wanted to make a call, which they then connected for you. My parents would be astounded by the modern mobile phone and the many things one can do on one.
In the photos below I have show the new murals from different angles. One photo shows the artist and the Mayor of Loxton Waikerie who declared the murals open. The paintings, based on local scenes and local farming equipment down through the years, show typical scenarios of life in the Taplan region.