Thursday, December 30, 2010

Australian Black Swan

Bruny Island is one of the natural habitats that provides a home for the Australian Black Swan. Black swans make their homes in coastal areas, nesting in swamps, estuaries & enclosed lakes. However it is fairly rare to see swans gliding through the oceans & tends only to happen near Islands such as Bruny.
Swans feed on plants that grow in the shallows. Black Swans are frequently seen floating gracefully in the shallow salty waters of Isthmus Bay situated on the Bruny Neck. Locals say that when the Swans are out you can be guaranteed to catch flounder in the bay - most likely because the flounder feed on similar food to the Swans so local mythology goes.

During times of excessive rain Swans will inhabit flooded fields & riverbanks.
Swans build their nests from pieces of coarse reed, which makes swamps, lakes & even small water dams on farms appealing places for these graceful birds.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Birds of Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a mecca for serious bird watchers & casual visitors alike.
Whether you like to feed chips to the seagulls on the beach or get out the binoculars & do some serious bird watching Bruny Island is the place to visit.
The above pictured Wren is a female bird, photographed in close up by local photographer Warwick Berry.

Take flight in the early morning light

There are many Eagles & Hawks seen soaring in the blue sky above Bruny Island. They are majestic & a little predatory.

This sneaky kookaburra hangs out in my mums orchard in Simpsons Bay. He ate mums favourite goldfish.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Childhood Memories of Bruny Island

Home made cray pots

Waiting for a friend
Isthmus Bay
A handmade garland
The Lighthouse

Little tin Boats

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pets of Bruny Island

The residents of Bruny Island love their pets. These three hens roam free around the orchard & garden of their owner in Simpsons Bay. They are constantly finding new places to lay their eggs, under bushes, under the house & in the vegetable garden. On several occasion's the pet cat has been found nesting on the chook eggs keeping them warm.

This local dog is famous for swimming with the dolphins & he loves to go boating & fishing as well.

Pets really do enrich our lives on Bruny Island

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Albatross

The Albatross is a sea bird, who spends his days diving for fish.

This candid photo of an Albatross with a fresh caught fish in it's beak was taken off the coast of Bruny Island.

Local shutterbug Warwick Berry provided this great action shot. Taking a photograph like this takes knowledge of the local waters where these birds congregate. It can take hours or even days of observing these birds to get just the right photograph. Warwick a seasoned photographer of seventeen plus years will wait as long as it takes to get that perfect picture. However obviously when his target makes it's move he has to move fast with his zoom lens.

Albatross can live up to 60 years primarily out at sea, diving & following fishing vessels. Albatross are attracted to the fish scraps that are regularly discarded in the water by fishing boats. Unfortunately their habit of following these boats can be lethal as they are regularly caught in trawl fishing lines & drowned.

It is a marvelous thing that these beautiful birds can be seen off our Bruny Island coastline.

Monday, December 13, 2010


This pizza oven was built from a mixture of clay & recycled materials including old bricks, fencing wire & parts from old wood stoves.
The clay was dug from the same hillside that it is built on in Simpsons Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania.
All the recycled parts were sourced from the owners property. As the house is quite old there are several sheds on the property filled with discarded items that have been used & forgotten over several generations.
The oven runs on wood & is used to make pizza & for smoking oysters collected in Simpsons Bay at low tide.
These photographs are subject to copyright.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fur Seals on South Bruny Island

There is a large colony of Australian Fur Seals living on a cluster of remote rocky outcrops & craggy islands off the coast of south Bruny Island. It has been estimated that at any given time there are up to 1000 seals in residence.

These seals are adept at moving on land as they use their front & back flippers to propel themselves across the rocks. They are particularly drawn to the rocks during mating season.

Seals are mammals who fish the seas for food, they eat bony fish, squid & octopus. Seals have been known to poach their meals from fishing nets & fish farms.
The Australian Fur Seal is known for it's large eyes & excellent vision as they can see in the dark. Fur Seals can dive up to 200metres in dark waters. Fur seals can grow to be quite large their length range is approx 135cm-227cm. Males weigh between 218 kg- 360 kg; Females weigh in at 41 kg-113kg.

Fur seals have sharp teeth & long whiskers. They are covered with thick layers of hair that cover the majority of their bodies excepting their front & back flippers. They have 2 front & 2 back flippers. Fur Seals are the only seal that can articulate all four limbs. They really are fascinating cratures.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse was the third Lighthouse to be erected in Tasmania in 1838.
The Lighthouse was built by convict labour using locally quarried rock.
The original light source for the light tower consisted of fifteen lamps burning nearly a pint of oil per hour. Originally run on sperm whale oil the lamp eventually changed to colza oil a better quality oil. The quality of the oil was paramount as the better the oil the less consumables such as wicks & glass chimneys were used. The wicks & chimneys had to be imported from London, a very long journey indeed especially as all lighthouse provisions were brought across the ocean by ship to nearby jetty beach a small inlet several kilometres away, then brought on horse & Dre from there.
In 1903 the original Wilkins lantern was replaced by a Chance Brothers lantern. In 1912 & 1913 several upgrades were made to improve the lanterns efficiency. The cut glass lantern once housed the oil lamps which have since been replaced by electric light. The lantern is hand cut from the same high quality glass as crystal chandeliers.

The original staircase was replaced in 1903 by this still sturdy cast iron spiral staircase.
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse once gave shelter & work to Australia's longest serving lighthouse keeper, Captain William Hawkins who served as Superintendent at Cape Bruny for 37 years & 232 days between 1877
& 1914. It must have been a solitary life as the first wireless telephone was installed in 1930.
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse is accessible by road & takes an hour to get to from the Barnes Bay ferry terminal & about half that time from Adventure Bay. The roads are bumpy in places but the Cape Bruny Lighthouse is worth a visit & I believe guided tours are available by appointment.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Bruny Island at Dusk is an amazing place to be. The White Wallaby's come out to play at dusk as do the
Fairy Penguins.
The Old Lighthouse is a stunning place to be at any time of day. The Lighthouse still stands but it has been replaced by solar powered lights on a nearby hill. At dusk the lights power up & still play a crucial role in seeing ships safely through the channel.
In the old days the lighthouse was lit by a huge light refracting oil lamp, which had to be lit by hand & tended by the lighthouse keeper. When the Lighthouse was first built it was inaccessible by land & the Lighthouse keeper lived a solitary existence. Food & other important rations were delivered by boat to a nearby cove.
Today there is a road called Lighthouse road which bumps & winds its way through the bush & along a stunning coastline with many lookouts & beaches. If you carefully drive this dirt road to the Lighthouse you won't be disappointed!
Nothing beats walking along the beach at dusk, with a cool breeze at you're back.
Cheers Island Girl