Monday, December 24, 2012

More Critters and Flowers Shots in Melbourne

Continue from my previous write-up.

Again, thank you Brenda for bringing us to the Melbourne Zoo which is about 20 minutes tram-ride from the city at William Street (Tram number 55).

There were too many different flowers in the open area of the zoo.

I took some animal-in-captivity shots - I have never come so close to a real tiger.
We spent most of the time taking pictures in the butterfly enclosure. As far as I could see, only Australian butterflies (mostly from the north-eastern part) were kept in the enclosure. Among them, the Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion) is the most magnificent and pretty butterfly. This particular male kept "harassing" a female when I took an in-flight shot.
A perching shot of a male.
This is a female resting on a leaf.
This is a male Ulyssess Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses) whose brilliant iridescent blue uppersides were impressive and clearly visible when it was in flight.  
It was a great pity that we didn't spot any Yoma sabina in Langkawi in my recent trip. But we could see quite a few of them in Melbourne Zoo.
This is a male.
A kind of Shield bug, this mating pair was shot just before we left the zoo in the late afternoon.
I booked a day tour from Eco Platypus Tours to The Grampians National Park on 9 Dec. The driver-cum-guide, Steven  picked up tourists from a few locations in the city. After the morning tea and cookies at one of the suburb townships, we reached a scenic small town called Halls Gap where we could see  many kangaroos in the wild.
We could see many wild flowers along the footpaths leading us to where those wild kangaroos congregated.
Besides the Cabbage White butterfly which was rather common, there were many small Grass Blues fluttering non-stop near the ground.  
After a quick lunch at the Halls Gap, we visited a few scenic spots at the Grampians Mountain Range, including a few kilometers of bush-walking to view the famous Jaws of Death and the McKenzie Falls. Of course along the way there were just too many interesting and colourful wild flowers. 
I was very lucky to be able to snap a quick shot of this small skipper (perhaps a Trapezites species) puddling on the rock at the base of the waterfall.    
Though it was rather cold on  top of the mountain at the Reeds Lookout, we spent some time enjoying the amazing panoramic views surrounding us before we headed back to the city. It was almost 9 pm when I reached the hotel. 

Before I left for the airport on 11 Dec evening, I visited Royal Botanic Gardens again in the early morning and the Fitzroy Gardens in the afternoon. I must admit that I didn't pay much attention to dragonflies but this tiny blue damselfly attracted my attention.
Once again, there were quite a few Australian Painted Ladies (Vanessa kershawi) feeding on all sorts of flowers. 
I guess there were at least two different species of Grass Blues flitting around the lawns. Extremely alert  and active under the hot sun, they were just too shy for me to snap a better shot.
I took a tram back to the city centre to have a quick lunch at the  QV Village. After lunch, I had a short rest in the State Library at Swanston Street before visiting the Fitzroy Gardens which is about 10 to 15 minutes  walk from the library.

Two species of butterflies, Common Brown and the Cabbage White were rather abundant. In the late afternoon, a pair of Dainty Swallowtail came and  they kept teasing me by coming back to feed on the flowers. My perseverance paid off. 
Just before I was heading back to the hotel,  I spotted at least two Vanessa itea (Yellow Admiral) high up on the tree.
Once again, thanks Brenda for spending your precious time with us on a lovely Saturday (8 Dec).

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