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Thursday 6th of August, 2020

High winds in August are typical for New South Wales, Australia. We got a bout of them yesterday when I was at Shoalhaven Heads with Andrew Wood. The birds were there but the wind made photography difficult. I did manage to get a photo of a sea eagle with an eel. Sometimes one photo that tells a story can make your day. I saw a large tern dive into the water but that particular bird came away with nothing. Unfortunately not every go at fishing can be successful.

Getting back to the sea eagle’s eel, it may have been the one we came across later on in bad shape on the beach. It looked like it had been dead for some time. If so it could have been rejected by the sea eagle but was okay for the ravens to feast upon.

On the beach clustering together were double-banded plovers and red-caped plovers. Small, fast moving birds that could give Speedy Gonzales lessons in land speed. In bush land we came across the ever elusive Golden Whistler and I believe I later scored a photo of a Godwit. The sighting by Andrew of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo was good. It was singing its heart out until I decided to film it doing so. Still I did eventually get its song on camera which was great.

It seems that there will be an air show in November worth going to. Wings over the Illawarra were cancelled in May because of the coronavirus. That was so sad because I have enjoyed this air show. There is hope though that it can and will return Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th of November 2020, so make sure you put those dates in your diaries and join me for an aviation extravaganza!

Wings over the Illawarra have had the well-deserved reputation for being Australia’s largest and best annual demonstration of powered flight. It is held in the Illawarra on the NSW south coast just over an hour south of Sydney and not far from where I live. Get on a train and get off at Albion Station. From there it is but a short walk to the airfield and the action. Its program this year includes ground displays and flying demonstrations of historic, military, modern and aerobatic aircraft as well as vintage car and motorbike displays. In 2020 the event is expanding to include, the NSW Drone Expo, the Oz Flight Sim Expo and a General Aviation Precinct ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Hopefully this air show will happen this time and the coronavirus won’t get in the way. I have loved the air show of previous years held there at Albion and from those previous years have acquired great pictures of fighter aircraft, including Spitfires and Hurricanes, in flight. If you are an aircraft junky this one is for you.

Curiously, aircraft as well as birds are featured in my novel 50 Dragon as well as my up and coming novel Dragon Queen.

If you are into untamed art with a twist SCAR is for you. Weird Wild Art

SCAR has come up with a great cover for Dragon Queen. I know I have mentioned this before but I am still amazed by it. These most excellent artists and writers are based in Victoria nowadays and thankfully far enough away from the coronavirus outbreaks to be relatively safe from them. I remember when they were kicking around Sydney. I remain delighted with the cover they have created for Dragon Queen.

Here is more on SCAR:

As the creative team known as SCAR, Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr have been pushing the boundaries in art and comics in Australia for over 25 years. They create in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and satire, all injected with a liberal dose of surrealism and weirdness. Together they have produced graphic novels, award-winning screenplays, and esoteric electronic music with their band TeknoSadisT, which can be sampled on Bandcamp.

They have recently published a series of graphic novels including a collection of fantastic beasts and strange monsters titled Bestiary of Monstruum, a science-fiction fantasy anthology called Fantastique, the dystopian New World Disorder, the out-of-this-world anthology Weird Worlds – Subversive Science Fiction Stories and Australia’s most controversial comic book resurrected in the graphic novel Phantastique – Tales of Taboo Terror, among others.

Meanwhile the editing on Dragon Queen continues and must not be rushed. Barbara Custer, through her help with this part of the writing process, will give this book the recognition and the opportunities it will when published deserve.

I do miss the theatre and live entertainment. I most of all miss my connection with the little theatre at Cronulla, a southern suburb of Sydney. It was a place where I could write plays and have them staged. I like the people there and hope to get back with them next year where I hope to be more active. Yes, it will all come back when this social distancing ends and we are all safer than we are right now. CHEERS!

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