Sunday 27 November 2011

More Puzzling Gully Wildlife


Yesterday My Aunty and I did a bit of bird watching together.  We managed to find and identify quite a few birds.  I haven’t had time so much just to stand around and watch birds and take photos lately so it was good to go out and find these interesting birds. 


This is obviously not a bird. It is a shot i got a few weeks ago when it was really hot.  Its a red necked wallaby hiding in the shade of the peppercorn trees, right next to our house.


A white faced heron down at our dam, these guys are at the dam all the time, eating yabbies i think.


An Australasian grebe.  A very little water bird that spend a lot of time under water.  They are tiny, about a 3rd of the size of a mallard duck.


This is a Striped Honeyeater


This is a gecko that eats all the bugs on our veranda at night


The superb wren male, looking good on the fence.


A newly identified star.  This is a golden headed cisticola.  An unusual name for a happy singing little bird.


A female common Koel.


Another new bird we saw is this broad billed flycatcher.




This is actually a very striking green bird, a Green Oriole.  This is not the right angle but you can see some green.  He would only sit against the bright white of the sky so it was hard to get the colour and exposure right.


A black faced cuckoo shrike, quite common.


A willy wagtail nest we found while looking in the peppercorn trees.


This one is a little friar bird.  I have only ever seen noisy friar birds before.


Wednesday 2 November 2011


Our farm and business finally have a website of their own.  Today I started  The website is currently just for our free range poultry selection, our Christmas turkeys.  We expect the website to evolve and improve over the next few months/years into various other products that we will produce on farm. 

Have a look at the new website and maybe like it on facebook if you are impressed


Ben and Corinne



Friday 7 October 2011

More Birdlife


Yesterday i was cleaning up and painting our new/old kitchen buffet.  It was a rainy, dreary day so i was under cover ion the old  car port.  The birds were going nuts in the weather and really put on a great show.

I had little flocks of Red Browed Firetails dancing about just metres from me, eating the seeding couch grass.  Then i had a rainbow bee eater settle for a while on a fence across the yard, flying up into the air every now and again to catch an insect.  The black shouldered kite was also about again, sitting over near the dairy where i got the pictures of him previously.

A great day for bird watching.


Red browed firetail, a type of finch.






A little flock of red brows, eating the very small grass seeds that are about at the moment.


Rainbow bee eater, they really do like to eat bees and other flying insects.






Tuesday 4 October 2011

18 Week Mo Update


Here are a few photos of Mo at 18 weeks to compare to his earlier puppy photos.  He is doing pretty well so far, no paralysis ticks or snake bites yet.  He is growing up and becoming better behaved but every now and then he reminds us that he is a puppy by destroying something or digging an enormous hole.

He is in love with the turkeys and likes to make sure they don’t fall out of there brooder, giving them a good lick to keep them inside.


Mo guarding the door step, he likes to wait here for us to come and feed or amuse him.


Mo, what a man.


Mo checking the temperature and turbidity of the dam.


A new cow bone Mo found down in a gully. He nearly got it all the way home then forgot about it and found something else to play with. 


Monday 3 October 2011

Puzzling Gully Wildlife


We have a lot of wildlife on and around our farm.  We see so many different birds and they even change with the seasons.  We have kangaroos and wallabies, hundreds of bandicoots, rats and mice, brown antechinus, hares, brown snakes, also echidnas and many different types of birds. 

I have not taken that many photos yet but I got a few on the weekend of some of the birdlife and an unfortunate brown antechinus that found our mouse trap.  I have also seen two large brown snakes in the last week which is not brilliant, being the second most venomous snake worldwide.

A list of birds that i have seen so far and can remember are:

Superb fairy wrens – they keep our vegie garden bug free

Red backed fairy wrens, red browed firetails, double bar finches, pheasant coucals, galahs, sulfur crested cockatoos, pale headed rosellas, king parrots, spotted pardalotes, pied currawongs, grey crowned babblers, willie wagtails, magpie larks, magpies, crows, grey butcher birds, brown falcons, wedge tail eagles, black shouldered kites, nankeen kestrels, kookaburras, crested pigeons, peaceful doves, quail, wood ducks, white spoonbill, cormorants, plumed whistling ducks, hoary headed grebes, mallards, herons.  This is just some of them and the ones i know.  We have some honey eaters which i have not identified yet and also maybe some emu wrens too.


Bandicoot in our cage trap.  We have the trap to catch rats and foxes etc but the bandicoots are always in there.  They are everywhere and eat anything.  They are marsupials and i think carnivorous. 


Dead brown antechinus, in our house and caught by a mouse trap.  Looks quite mousey but is large, longer nose and has little sharp carnivore teeth, not big incisors like rodents.


Antechinus teeth


Black shouldered kite






Male superb fairy wren, beautiful little guy that hangs around with a bunch of little brown and white girls.  These guys are very numerous, always busy and eat a lot of bugs.



Tuesday 27 September 2011

More House Improvements

So our house is quite old and run down.  It has survived many years though, so it must be tough.  Like trying to hammer the nails into the floor to sand and polish the floors.  We had to use a small sledge hammer and there was a lot of swearing and bruised fingers, the wood is all very old hardwood and almost impossible in some places to hammer a nail into. 

We have also been cleaning up some old furniture we have bought or found at the farm.  We want to have older more unique furniture to suit our house which is definitely unique in a bent, old sort of a way.  We have been sanding, paint stripping, reinforcing and nailing and painting.  The old furniture is coming up great though and is really starting to add to the feeling in the house.

The polishing of the wooden floors was a great success and we are really happy with them.  We would not, however, polish wooden floors again ourselves, we would pay someone else to do it.  It is a disgusting dusty hard job and is quite difficult to get right.


The old wooden floors, sanded smooth and painted with Cabot’s water based gloss floor paint.  We used a lambs wool mop to apply it.  I cut in around the edges and Corinne mopped, she is the one with the painting skills.  The improvement is amazing.


Corinne mopping on the floor paint, the end of a hard dusty week.  We actually went to a wedding up in Palm cove, NQLD at the end of this week which was a nice break.


The dining and kitchen with new white walls and polished floors.  The dust from the sanding though was very difficult to get off the new white walls.


Someone put bare copper pipes on the wall in our shower.  A few coats of special metal rust kill paint and the pipes now look more elegant.


A simple wooden frame around our toilet window adds to the room and makes it feel less like a jail cell.  Yet to be painted


This is an old home made wooden cabinet we found in a shed.  We sandined, cleaned and repaired the cabinet and then painted it with the floor polish.  The cabinet is huge and adds a great amount of storage.


polished floors, joins in the floor where there are holes and a lot mess.


This is a little stool we found at an Op shop.  Sanded and cleaned with a new coat of paint, a great $5 bargain.


Half a cow

When we first got to the farm we had the idea that we really wanted to start buying basic food items in bulk.  We wanted to save time and fuel driving into Toowoomba and be able to put a meal together without having to go to the shops all the time.  Part of this is stuff like rice, flour, muesli, cans of tomatoes etc.  We also bought ourselves a second hand deep freezer, a 350 litre one.  With that in mind we rang a local butcher and ordered ourselves a half a beast or half a cow.  This is a lot of meat, the half cow weighs about 130 kgs and once it was all trimmed and cut up we got about 85 kgs of actual meat and a lot of dog bones for Mo.  So we have a freezer full of beef and all for about $10 a kg rather than the usual exorbitant price of meat. 

The meat quality and taste has been great and we have all the cuts including a lot of mince and sausages.  We have also been buying other meat too so we don’t have to have beef every night.


20 kgs of mince, all the rough cuts are turned into mince or sausages.


setting up our table to bag up all the meat into meal sized portions, you need a lot of plastic bags for that much meat.


Mince portions


Roasts, we have been turning some of these into billtong.


Big bag of T-bone steaks


Roasts, sausages, meat, meat, meat.


Bones for Mo, so exciting


A freezer full of meat