Readers’s wildlife photos

Reader Tim Anderson from Australia sent three diverse photos. His notes are indented, but I have to say that I especially like the first one because of its artistry. It also came with a poem:

This is a picture of an Australian raven (Corvus coronoides taken on a gloomy day.

Australian corvids are difficult to differentiate from photographs alone (there are a number of endemic species that look very much alike, but have different behaviours). This one could be a Torresian Crow, but it is unlikely to be so this far south and so far inland.

In any case, it reminded me of an archaic Scots ballad that my parents taught me as a child. We used to sing it mournfully while driving home at night from Mum’s university classes. You sing it in the minor key, and in an impenetrable Scots accent.

“Twa Corbies”

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies makin a mane;
The tane unto the ither say,
“Whar sall we gang and dine the-day?”

“In ahint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And nane do ken that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound an his lady fair.”

“His hound is tae the huntin gane,
His hawk tae fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady’s tain anither mate,
So we may mak oor dinner swate.”

“Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I’ll pike oot his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We’ll theek oor nest whan it grows bare.”

“Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken whar he is gane;
Oer his white banes, whan they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.”

If anyone needs a translation, I can provide it, but it is pretty obvious what the two ravens are intending to do.

This is an Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata), an agamid lizard common throughout eastern Australia. The genus includes the rather more spectacular Frill-necked Lizard, which reached its peak of fame during the Tudor monarchy.

This was taken in unusually still conditions using a monochrome camera and a 9.25-inch telescope.


  1. Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Oh no! The moon has loads of dents!

  2. rickflick
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Nice set Tim. The zoology is exotic to me from here – stateside, but the moon looks familiar.

    • Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but its upside down!

      • rickflick
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I hadn’t even noticed. At least not consciously. 😎

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        No it’s not! Looks just right to me!

        Great pics Tim, and I love the poem.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          It’s upside down, just like poor Orion who’s dangling by his legs.

  3. Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Very good pictures! I like the bearded dragon, which is a species I had not seen before.

  4. grasshopper
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Steeleye Span recorded a great version of Twa Corbies. They do sing it in the minor key, and in an almost impenetrable Scots accent.

    I have it on vinyl, stored somewhere in my shed. One day soon, real soon, I will buy one of those new-fangled vinyl-to-mp3-converter doo-dads, but I get too busy telling kids to keep off my lawn.

    • grasshopper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the link being embedded!!

  5. kateydandelion
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures, all. What a gorgeous shot of the raven!

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