Centennial Parklands Volunteers Dominic and Daphne Gonzalvez have put together this wonderful photographic journal to farewell the month of May! Our great thanks to Dominic and Daphne for capturing the Parklands so beautifully and sharing this with everyone.
Elegant and magnificent!
The weather today, 23 May 2012, was clear with a temperature of 21°C; Wind N at 10 km/h; Humidity 28%; in short, a perfect Sydney blue day.
We set out to photograph Yellow-cheeked Black Cockatoos that visit Centennial Park at this time of year to feast on pine cones. But, as often happens with birds, they were hiding today. So we did a walk around two ponds, and were amply rewarded by other magnificent birds.
First up, thanks to a tip from a couple of bird watchers, we saw an adult swan with four chicks sitting on a nest on the banks of Fly Casting pond. We had never seen swans in a nest before so we watched them as they preened and fluffed out their feathers.
Adult swan with four chicks
Next we walked around Busby’s pond and spied a White-faced Heron walking elegantly on its long yellow legs along the edge of the water. Light bluish-grey in colour, it has a characteristic white face which gives it its name. Pale yellow eyes enhance the white face. The heron stretched and twisted its long neck, snapping up little gourmet delights with its pointed grey-black bill.
White-faced Heron near Busby's Pond
In the next picture you’ll notice the bird has a tinge of reddish-brown colour on its chest.
Notice the reddish-brown colour on its chest?
On the other side of Busby’s pond we saw three small, slim, Little Black Cormorants soaking up the warm sun after a morning of diving for breakfast. Their slender grey hooked bills which they use to catch fish were easily visible as we were so close to them.
Little Black Cormorants
In the next picture you’ll notice that green eyes match the greenish sheen of shiny black plumage. White flecks on the head indicate breeding season.
Notice the green eyes?
In stark contrast to these black birds, a white Great Egret was pacing the edge of the pond. It walked slowly on elegant black legs, looking for tasty tidbits. Every now and then it would stop and snap up something with its long yellow beak.
A great White Egret
It was the most wary of the birds and kept flying to safer spots on the banks as people came too close.
The Egret kept flying away to safer spots
To complete the joy of the day, we saw long necked flowers in addition to long necked birds! The long necks of Gymea Lilies were reaching for the sky, holding up clusters of red flowers for the clouds to admire! The Education Precinct and several other locations have fine examples of Gymea Lilies, their stems sprouting upward from bases of sword-like leaves.
Long necked flowers in addition to long necked birds!
Gymea Lilies are supposed to flower in spring and summer, but here they are in late autumn displaying their large clusters of bright red flowers, each at least 10 cm across.
The bright red Gymea Lilies
Oh, the magic of May, in this Centennial Park day!
By Dominic and Daphne Gonzalvez, May 2012