Jun.28

The Grey-headed Fish Eagle

Grey-headed Fish Eagle at Singapore Botanic Gardens

We’re in Singapore right now for a 4-day break from Perth’s winter and I’m suitably impressed to have seen a Grey-headed Fish Eagle perched right on top of a high tree overlooking the Swan Lake at the Botanic Gardens. He’ll be spoilt for choice, what with all the carp and koi in that body of water!

I’ve also spotted a beautiful and sociable Crimson Sunbird, which as most twitchers would know are usually the rarer sunbirds to appear in the Gardens.

Travel,Photography

Jun.27

Thoughts on Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, Queensland

For a while I’m been wanting to see Airlie Beach, a coastal resort town just across the Whitsunday Islands. So now hat we’ve been there and done that, what do I think? Here’re just a few tips and thoughts!

  1. It’s a great base for those on a budget and wishing to explore the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. For one, accommodation is certainly more affordable than those at Hamilton Island, where a decent room can cost as much $400.00/night (looking at you, Reef View Hotel).
  2. It somewhat less “dignified” or “classy” than Daintree or Noosa. Don’t be surprised to find bogans camped in their cars or caravans at the carparks around Airlie Bay. In short, it’s rather backpackery.
  3. Stay in an elevated location where you’ll have a panoramic view of the bay. It’s for this very reason we stayed at Peppers Airlie Beach. Book early and you might just get a room with one of the best views. We did!
  4. For the best of view of Airlie Bay, do the 7km return hike of Conway National Park starting from the steps at the end of Kara Crescent.
  5. Head up to Peter Faust Dam/Lake Proserpine if you really need to get away from the crowds. It’s utterly scenic and quiet there.

This region is home to the Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, as well as the Superb Fruit Dove. Beautiful creatures they are! I was also able to score a photo of the Wompoo Fruit Dove, and so went home a very happy man (in addition to celebrating our 17th anniversary!).

Travel,Photography

Jun.08

Vivid!

Vivid, Sydney Opera House

It’s great to be visiting Sydney again. I can’t quite recall exactly when we last stepped foot in New South Wales, but it was definitely a trip up in the Blue Mountains, and staying at the SLH-branded Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa. Lovely memories!

This is a precusory trip to Airlie Beach, as Gill needs to work at the exhibition booth at EduTECH. Naturally, I would be roaming the city during the day! More...

Travel,Photography

Mar.20

When it’s time to let go…

Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport

3 years on and it’s time to let another car go…this time it’s our beloved Mercedes-Benz A250.

It is a hoot to drive, but only if you’re not rattled by it’s firm AMG-tuned suspension. There’s heaps of power with 211bhp @ 5,500rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1,200rpm and 4,000rpm.

It pulls very quickly with those rather nice pops and crackles, but be very careful with flooring it as cold tyres and slippery surfaces are perfect recipes for front wheelspin. This, I think, is its primary weakness and could be the downfall of this redesigned, first generation A Class.

It has been a great and reliable workhorse and it’ll be pretty emotional to let her go.

We’re keeping our eyes peeled for a worthy replacement…

Automobiles

Mar.02

The Magical Dandenong Ranges

Moonrise on the Dandenong Ranges

The Dandenong Ranges is a sublime destination in Victoria. When we toured the state years ago, we missed this forested region, simply due to time constraints.

This week I’m glad to have finally set foot on the Ranges, thanks to Gill’s business trip! Best of all, it’s only 25 minutes away from Glen Waverley where we are stationed. More...

Travel,Photography

Jan.09

Skyline is complete!

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.

A quote like that was enough to set me on a course to complete the final track for my third album, Skyline, before the year closes.

Saving The Day is written in E Lydian mode and contains repeating phrases. Have a listen! More...

Music

Nov.07

A worthy upgrade

Brown Honeyeater

Took the plunge a week ago and ordered the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM. The 20% discount on eBay was simply too good to pass up, bringing the price down to approximately AU$2,200 – just $200 more than US prices.

Quite relieved to have disposed the v1 rather easily – a colleague paid me $1,000.00 for it. It’s a good copy and has served me well for the last 4½ years.

The mojo arrived a few days ago and I’ve had a quick test with it. The rotating ring on this thing is a welcome change from the push-pull mechanism of the v1. It also focuses quicker, has improved image stabilisation, and being able to lock a subject at the 400mm long end, just 0.9 metres away, is quite unheard of. Time to ditch the 100mm macro lens, perhaps?

I’m really looking forward to putting this new toy to good use.

Photography

Nov.05

The butterflies on Coney Island

Common Rose Butterfly at Coney Island, Singapore

We’re back in Singapore for a week this time, thanks to Gill’s work commitments. It’s also the week of my birthday so how convenient and timely is that…?!

When we were living in Punggol several years ago, Coney Island, a.k.a. Pulau Serangoon remained inaccessible to the public. That changed in October 2015; today there’re two linkages on the eastern and western ends of the island. More...

Travel,Photography

Sep.12

Goodbye rain, hello wildflowers!

In a twinkling of an eye, Winter has come and gone. Spring has arrived, and it looks like time for another wildflower hunt!

Lechenaultia Macrantha Wreath Flower

Having made a trip last week to John Forrest National Park to assess the metropolitan wildflower scene, we decided to take it really far this time, driving up all the way Geraldton over a weekend to search for the Lechenaultia Macrantha Wreath Flower (pictured above). More...

Travel,Photography

Sep.05

Back in a flash

Central Business District, Singapore

We’re back in Singapore, in a flash! As always, it’s a much needed break after you’ve settled down in a laid back place like Perth!

Errrr, that didn’t sound quite correct, did it? Anyway… More...

Travel,Photography