Last week I was in the living room when a loud, buzzing insect flew past me. I’d left a door open so I wasn’t too surprised. From the flash of blue I thought it might be a big blow-fly. I followed it into the kitchen and was able to get a close view as it buzzed against the window. It was clearly no fly but looked more like a big, dark native bee and had distinctive blue spots on its abdomen. I took a few photos, to help with identification, and then opened the kitchen window to let him go on his way.
The photos are not very good – he was keen to escape and not at all interested in posing nicely for me. But they are good enough for identification.
It turns out he was a Cuckoo Bee.
The first two weeks of July were school holidays. I also took off the first week but I had a head-cold so we decided to mostly hang around at home. The weather was clear but cool and very windy. We are fairly close to Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, about 7kms as the crow flies, so we sometimes have planes taking off over us. They aren’t unpleasantly loud and the take-off paths are spread over all the compass directions so we don’t mind at all. But during that week at home I noticed that many planes were taking off directly above us. It seemed that the wind was blowing very strongly from the south west so most planes were taking off straight into it and over us. The rear of our house faces north east, directly towards the airport so I decided to spend time on our timber deck and photograph some planes.
A few years ago we bought a camera to take photos of the boys playing cricket, a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3. It is not a great camera for all situations, in low light it is pretty poor, but it has a 12x optical zoom and in good light is a decent sport camera. I soon realised I could photograph the underside of each plane then google its registation number to find out all about it. The web is full of sites devoted to plane-spotting, plane photography, aeronautics, national airlines and so on.
I’ve selected some pics and put them in our album.