Catherine Hill Bay

January 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Australia, History, Nature, Tourism | 9 Comments
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Today, we went for a coffee. We bought take-aways and took them to Catho – Catherine Hill Bay – beach.  Catho is situated on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean coast and Lake Macquarie, south of Newcastle, NSW. The village at Catho is still fighting against development that will change the whole aspect of the community.

Catho used to have a coal mine, and a wharf for the colliers, called ’60-milers’,  that collected the coal and carried it up the coast to Newcastle.

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You can still see one of the soal seams that brought the miners to Catho.

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The wharf remains, although rumour has it that it will eventually taken down for safety reasons.

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My husband did contract work for the mine at one stage, and loved working in the office at the end of the wharf. He sometimes saw whales and dolphins swimming under and around the piers.

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Quite a few artefacts of the mining and transport operations remain.

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The beach is a popular place for swimming, snorkelling and surfing, and a tourist attraction.

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An excellent volunteer surf life-saving group ensures the safety of beach-goers.

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Catho beach is a favourite place for us to go – rain or shine. Another of Australia’s beautiful places.

Text and photos (c) Linda Visman 13th December 2013

Birds and Trees

October 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Gardens, Nature | 2 Comments
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You may wonder what kind of birds those are at the top of my blog page. You may also be wondering what country of the world they, and I, live in.

Rainbow lorikeets

Well, the birds are Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), and the photo was taken on my verandah a few months ago. The birds are on our feeder, eating the seeds that we occasionally stock the feed-tray with. We don’t do it too often because they need to be able to forage for themselves.

At present – spring and summer – the lorikeets feed on nectar from the native plants around the district. The main blossoms they feed on now, mid spring, are bottlebrush trees (various varieties of Callistemon), and we have about half a dozen in our yard. Thus, we get to see lots of Rainbow Lorikeets.

And where in the world are we? We are in Australia; in the state of New South Wales; near the east coast, about forty-five km south of Newcastle and a hundred km north of the state capital, Sydney. We are on the western side of the largest coastal lake in the country, beautiful Lake Macquarie.

Eastern rosella

We love trees and birds, and so we make every effort to provide a habitat that is friendly to both. That means mostly native species of trees and bushes that will attract native birds. The lorikeets are not the only brightly coloured birds we have around here. We also have the much shyer Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), a small parrot with a bright red head and breast and colourful wings and tail.

There are many song birds too, the main ones being the magpie (Cracticus tibicen) and the butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus), with their beautiful warbling songs. 

Kookaburra

It is the kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) that tells us, by its raucous laughing call, that the sun is about to rise in the early morning, and it also farewells the sun each evening.

These are just a sample of the great variety of birdlife that abounds in our area. We love our trees and our birds, and will continue planting those trees and shrubs that bring the birdlife into our yard – for their benefit and for ours.

© Linda Visman

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