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Showing posts from August, 2019


Threats to Tasmania's Raptors

Vulnerable - Tasmania's Masked Owl   Image - JJ Harrison ( ) per wiki under CC3 Since writing about raptors a couple of weeks ago, I have talked to wildlife expert and consultant Nick Mooney, who has had fifty years of experience with Tasmania’s native species focusing on birds of prey or raptors. The good news he said, was that the large raptors such as the Wedge – tailed Eagle and the White-bellied Sea-eagle do seem to be holding their own, possibly even increasing in areas where devils have drastically declined, thus freeing up much carrion. Changes in attitude and laws leading to decreased persecution have also helped. Sea-eagles may have also benefited from the many new artificial lakes and ponds.  However, he warns, this could change rapidly if the thirteen wind farms proposed for Tasmania go ahead, together with all the supporting power lines and infrastructure. As the Spanish example with regard to Bonelli’s Eagle has show

Tasmania's Raptors - How endangered are they

Since writing about Raptors a couple of weeks ago, I have spoken with Wildlife expert, conservationist and environmental consultant, Nick Mooney, about the status of Tasmania’s birds of prey. The good news he said, was that the large Raptors such as the Wedge – Tailed Eagle and the Sea Eagle do seem to be holding their own, with the Sea Eagles possibly seeing an increase in their numbers. However, he warns, this could change rapidly if the thirteen wind farms scheduled for Tasmania go ahead. As the Spanish example with regard to Bonelli’s Eagle has shown, detailed surveys, tracking routes and hunting ranges and subsequently siting and designing for least impact, will be of utmost importance. Sure, he says, cats kill more birds than windfarms do, but those numbers are highly misleading. In the first instance, because of their size, Raptors are over - represented in the kill statistics and their numbers are miniscule compared to the smaller birds. Small birds are pre -programmed for ra

Walking the Thumbs

View from the Picnic Ground - The Thumbs I felt thrice blessed this weekend. For a start I got out into the bush for the first time in ages and my walking buddy was able to come with me (his idea actually). Wattle bloomed along the roadsides together with the occasional flowering plum or cherry in a front garden. It was also a perfectly sunny day – no wind, no showers – I am sure there are children alive in Tasmania today, who have never seen this phenomenon. Lastly, I saw not one, but three Wedge- Tailed Eagles, riding the thermals above us. More about them shortly. One of three Wedge Tailed Eagles The Thumbs are a group of three small peaks about 2 Km off the Wiegelanta Road, just outside Orford, but the road to them is largely unsealed, so don’t take your hire car there. There’s a small picnic area there – no water or toilets, and a nice little walk which is supposed to take around two hours. It is mostly known for its excellent views of Maria Islan

Well –dressed Trees -2

Speaking of well - dressed trees, I saw some others down near the hospital recently – the hospital which has been in the process of being rebuilt forever. It didn't take long to discover that there was a whole street of these It seems that our guerrilla knitters have been hard at work. Again, I thought wouldn’t it be better to have used the yarn to make a couple of blanket squares or maybe some hats and scarves, but then, thinking of the poor sods trapped in hospital beds up above, maybe it was a good use for a bit of wool. It certainly brightened up a rather dull day and made me look at my surroundings more closely. Love those anonymous knitters. What a shame that their work is so ephemeral.   Look at the detail in these!

Well Dressed Trees - 1

Que? These coat -clad trees caught my eye as I was driving past a park the other day. What a waste in the name of Art I thought, especially at this time of year when many are cold and homeless. On closer inspection, this proved to be not such a bad idea after all, which just shows that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Natty! What the well - dressed tree wears - pure wool Here’s what the labels on the trees said: Free on a Tree is the initiative of an 11 year – old – Hobart boy, Oliver Edwards, who thought of it as part of a homework challenge at his school last year, after we had had lots of flooding.   Since then the idea has caught on in a number of places such as Redcliff and Toowoomba in Queensland, as well as other parts of Tasmania . This year he has branched out into blankets as well. Though you might be sweltering in the Northern Hemisphere just now,  it's a great idea worth remembering f or when the cooler weather roll