Our first stop on the Indian Pacific was at Broken Hill (also known as the Silver City) where lead and silver deposits were discovered in 1883.  The Barrier Industrial Council, which is an amalgamation of the labour unions here, remains a strong force in the city.  We visited the Trades Hall, where we were treated to, and participated in, a rousing union meeting.



We have just returned from Australia today, and so much to do…  However, I couldn’t resist sharing these photos of the wonderful splendid fairywren (Malurus splendens) which is my favourite Australian bird.  The little bright blue bird is a male in breeding plumage.  Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour, and this makes it difficult to be sure which are the females.  I did get one photo of that grey-brown plumage, unfortunately not a good one, but it does show the difference…

This is an extremely darting little bird, rather like our fantails, so I feel lucky to have managed these shots.


Tried to capture some Tui shots down at Virginia Lake today, but they proved as elusive as usual, plus I still cannot walk very far.  But I loved the peeling bark and beautiful shapes of the eucalyptus with little glimpses of glossy feathers in between.

TUIS (with apologies to Joyce Kilmer ‘Trees’)

I think that I shall never see
a Tui clearly in a tree….

a tree with bark so loosely pressed
that hides a secret feather-dressed

a bird with plumage blue and green
with sculpted branches in between

poems are made by fools like me
but only Tuis hide in trees

© Maureen Sudlow