by North on May 13, 2017

Rescued camera launches career http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/wentworth-courier/news-story/dabbd3beb32ba06807eb8ef04c17a603

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by North on May 11, 2017

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Children of inspirational mum pledge to fundraise for her to get a prosthetic leg following life-saving amputation

Julie Cross
Manly Daily
January 27 2016
27116_Children of inspirational mum pledge to fundraise for her to get a prosthetic leg following life-saving amputation_P_1

To donate go to: www.mycause.com.au/page/116360/a-leg-for-mum

THE children of a Collaroy woman who had her leg amputated after doctors discovered she had a rare life-threatening cancer in her foot are appealing for help to buy her a prosthetic one so she can walk again.

Single mum Robyn Oakley, 58, was diagnosed with fibroblastic sarcoma just before Christmas and told she needed to have an immediate amputation or she would be dead within weeks.

Daughter Charlotte, 16, who is behind the $25,000 fundraising campaign, along with her brothers Chris, 23 and Zander, 24, said her mum was an “inspiration”.

27116_Children of inspirational mum pledge to fundraise for her to get a prosthetic leg following life-saving amputation_P_2

To donate go to: www.mycause.com.au/page/116360/a-leg-for-mum

Mum’s cancer and amputation was such a shock,” said Charlotte, who is a pupil at Narrabeen Sports High.

“She really deserves help, she’s always helping others.”

Ms Oakley, a life coach, suffered a number of issues with her leg before the amputation including contracting polio as a child, which severely weakened it.

Then six years ago she had a serious fall, breaking her leg in three places, resulting in a number of operations where she had a metal rod inserted and was in constant pain.

After both incidents she had to learn how to walk again.

She told the Manly Daily she was determined to do it for a third time.

And, not only that, she wants to swim again — and perhaps even run.

“I don’t want to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” she said.

“I need this new leg so I can get my life back.

“I’ve never run in my life because of the polio.

“It’s a big dream of mine. Perhaps a prosthetic leg will make this dream come true.”

27116_Children of inspirational mum pledge to fundraise for her to get a prosthetic leg following life-saving amputation_P_3

To donate go to: www.mycause.com.au/page/116360/a-leg-for-mum

Doctors have told her even walking may be an issue, because of her weakened polio leg.

But Ms Oakley said she was a very determined person.

To give her a chance she needs a specialised prosthetic limb, generally used by soldiers who have lost their legs above the knee. Her leg was taken off below the knee but she needs the extra support this prosthetic gives, because of her weakened polio leg.

Like all amputees, for the first year, she will need several legs, as her stump finishes healing and adjusts to a prosthetic limb.

Most of the money for the first two legs will be paid for by the government, although she will have a $2-3,000 gap for each one.

When she is ready to be fitted with her final leg, she will have to pay the full amount herself if it’s not a standard leg and any other legs she wants for use in the water are on top.

Her daughter Charlotte said her mum’s health issues had never affected her “amazing” positive attitude to life.

“I don’t doubt mum will walk again,” she said.

“Mum has never let these things defeat her, while also making sure her three kids are fed and loved.

“When she woke up after the amputation the first thing she said was, “Have you all eaten?”.

“She thinks about everyone else first. I really can’t put into words how amazing and inspiring she is.”

To donate go to: www.mycause.com.au/page/116360/a-leg-for-mum


Robyn Oakley


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One of the many great things about been born and bred in North Narrabeen and indeed living anywhere on Sydney’s Northern Beaches,is without doubt been surrounded by the varied flora and fauna that is found in the area, when out and about I never forget to look up,it is surprising what is looking straight back at you at times from a tree, a pole or rocky outcrop.Although no where near as abundant as it was in my childhood days, I consider myself lucky to be able to access,still with relative ease,such wonderfully unique flora and fauna.

One of the reasons I started northnarra.com was to have a place to post pictures,video’s and articles and information relevant to North Narrabeen and surrounding suburbs.
The Koala’s are gone but the Swamp Wallaby’s have increased in number,ten fold in the past fifteen years, due to the almost eradication of Foxes.I confess to been a little sad re the demise of the Fox population as it was not such bad experience coming across them as I made my way home,the juiced up smart arse staggering lad on foot in the early hours of the morning after a night on the idiot juice, anyway I knew that if I came across a Fox I was reasonably close to home. It must be said though the Fox is responsible for untold damage to Australian Native animals and has to at least be strictly controlled if not, eradicated.

I would welcome any input from readers,if there is a special place you think northnarra.com and our readers would be interested in, please let me know, happy to check it out,and post it here on video or still pictures, or if you have already captured something you want to share with other North Narra readers let me know and if you want to, I am happy to post it here at northnarra.com with full attribution and any information you would like to accompany the pictures.


The Royal Spoonbill ,Platelea regia.

The Royal Spoonbill is a large white waterbird with black, spatulate (spoon-shaped) bill, facial skin, legs and feet. During the breeding season, it has a distinctive nuchal (back of head or nape of neck) crest, which can be up to 20 cm long in male birds (usually shorter in females). The crest can be erected during mating displays to reveal bright pink skin underneath. Breeding adults also have a creamy-yellow wash across the lower neck and upper breast and a strip of bright pink skin along the edge of the underwings which is obvious when the bird opens its wings. The facial skin is black with a yellow patch above the eye and a red patch in the middle of the forehead, in front of the crest feathers. Females are slightly smaller with shorter legs and bill. Out of breeding season, the nuchal crests are reduced, the underwing is not bright pink and the plumage is less brilliant, often appearing ‘dirty’. Young birds are similar to non-breeding adults without a crest or coloured face patches, and are slightly smaler with a shorter, smoother bill. The Royal Spoonbill is most often seen wading in shallow waters, sweeping its submerged bill back and forth in a wide arc to find food. More information HERE















Today I got lucky with some shots of the (infamous ?) Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis).I have around 150 pictures of the Bittern, however, none of them until today could be considered as been all that good, and as such I have not published them, these are two of many I was fortunate enough to shoot today and over the past six months or so.


The pictures here are for illustrative purposes only and  are not published with any illusions on my part of them been examples of Hi Tech photographic excellence.

This Bird is very hard to capture with a DSLR or Video Camera due to it been very shy and skittish. Its habitat is very difficult to access without alerting it to your arrival, added to this the Bitterns appearance is perfect camouflage, rendering it almost invisible in its preferred environment of river, creek banks and Narrabeen Lake foreshores,also spotted at Dee Why Lagoon, it just looks like a piece of fallen tree branch or a log , for that matter it is able to look like anything it is standing in, on or next to.

The Black Bittern’s numbers are  diminishing  in NSW especially around the Sydney metropolitan area, so having at least two pairs resident in Narrabeen  is great.

We are lucky to have these birds in our area, and I do hope we continue to do so for many many years to come for we are always the better for having such unique creatures living with us and our children.

I spent many many hours paddling on Narrabeen Lake and would often see the Bittern and not give it a second thought, In fact I thought it was an unfortunate looking bird, not exactly good looking at all, not a patch on the White Faced Heron for instance, but the ones I used to see seemed to have their act together and looked like they were doing ok all things considered, living in a tree and on the waters edge eating raw fish eels, prawns and anything else they could get their beaks around.


White Faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)

Black Bittern

Black Bittern
Ixobrychus flavicollis


Like other species of Australian bitterns, the Black Bittern is particularly shy and secretive. Seldom recorded in the open, it inhabits the dense vegetation growing at the margins of various types of wetlands,
where it forages at the edge of the water. When a Black Bittern is flushed, it may briefly perch in a tree, which gives the observer a rare opportunity to view the bird. Because the species is so secretive,
relatively little is known about its social and breeding behaviour and other aspects of its ecology.



The Black Bittern is a sooty black or dark brown bittern with a yellow patch on the sides of the neck, extending from the throat to the wing. The feathers on the crown and lower neck are almost plumes.
The legs are dark. The Black Bittern is sometimes called the Yellow-necked Bittern.

Similar Species

Like Black Bitterns, Striated Herons, Butorides striatus, are found in mangroves, but Striated Herons are smaller (up to 49 cm) and are lighter grey with a black cap.


Black Bitterns are found in coastal south-western, northern and eastern Australia south to far eastern Victoria.


Black Bitterns roost and nest in trees, and are found in tree-lined wetlands and in mangroves. They forage in both daylight and darkness, mainly from shady trees over water, but may be seen during the day
in open areas of short marshy vegetation and along creeks in shrubby vegetation.


Black Bitterns feed on a wide range of small animals, but mainly fish and amphibians. They stalk prey slowly or stand and wait for prey to emerge, but may sometimes plunge at it from a perch, before
stabbing it with their sharp bills.


Black Bitterns nest in trees over water. The nest is a loose platform with a shallow depression in the centre.

Conservation Status
Federal : Secure

NSW : Vulnerable

NT :  Secure

QLD : Secure

SA : Not present

TAS : Not present

VIC : Critically endangered

WA : Secure


***** Information from BirdLife *******


Tatiana Weston-Webb

by North on May 29, 2015


Sea Eagles Incredible Journey

by North on May 28, 2015

Reprinted below from http://www.seaeagles.com.au/news/2015/05/27/an_incredible_journe.html

From 1947 to today, what a journey

Sea Eagles

Wed 27th May, 01:45PM

From humble beginnings to becoming one of the most successful rugby league clubs, the journey of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles is an incredible story.

Granted entry into the then NSWRL competition in 1947, the Sea Eagles have won eight premierships and will this Saturday night play their 1500th first grade premiership match.

As part of our celebrations, we look back at our first season and the incredible history that followed through historian Sean Fagan.

Manly immediately adopted the maroon and white colours they had used for their Presidents Cup team since its inception. They chose for an emblem the sea eagle – the native bird of prey of the Sydney coastline.

Manly’s first premiership game was against Wests at Brookvale Oval on Saturday April 12, 1947.



The first grade team – as seen in this photo – was back row (l-r) C ‘Kelly’ McMahon, Merv Gillmer, Keith Kirkwood, Harry Grew, Johnny Bliss (middle row l-r) Jim Hall, A ‘Bert’ Collins, Max Whitehead (captain), Mackie Campbell, Jim Walsh; front row (l-r) Ern Cannon, Gary Maddrell, Pat Hines.

Despite scoring three tries to one, the Magpies beat Manly 15-13 as Wests’ Bill Keato kicked six goals on the back of a multitude of scrum penalties awarded by referee Aub Oxford.

By the end of May, Manly had failed to notch a win from its first six matches.

Former Souths player Harold Johnson was dumped as coach after just five matches, replaced by Kangaroo and Eastern Suburbs prop Ray Stehr.

By the time fellow new-starters Parramatta arrived at Brookvale Oval for the round seven game, Manly fans were wondering if they would ever register a win. But it did come as Manly delivered five unconverted tries to dispose of the Eels by 15-7.

The season highlight was the 33-0 smacking of the high-flying Newtown Bluebags at Brookvale Oval.

Though Manly only won four games in 1947, it was one more than Parramatta and that was enough to avoid the wooden spoon.

Read more about our great, proud history here:

Jimmy Walsh and Johnny Bliss were members of North Narrabeen’s famous Beach Sprint Relay Team that re wrote the record books.


Jim Walsh, Jim Campbell, Johnny Bliss and Frank Slater.

Australian Open Beach Relay Team
1958 – 59
Mooloolaba QLD.

These were all great Guys, I knew all of these men in the above photo, Australian Men,who all grew up the hard way through the Great Depression and World War Two. They, along with so many like them were like a compass, a reference point to refer to when, as smart arsed know all’s growing up in Paradise, you more than once “got lost” because you did not listen to your father, just some of the many good men of North Narrabeen of days gone past.


Vivid 2015

by North on May 28, 2015

For the third year in a row I have not been able to get my sorry arse to the Sydney Vivid Light Show, so I will post a video of a Peter Rattrays‘ here for the enjoyment of those like me could not make it. Peter is a Newport based Photographer with a long and outstanding Australian and International career in Photography and Visual Arts.


The Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) – also known as Variable Goshawk – is a solitary hawk that occurs naturally in eastern, southeastern and northern parts of Australia.
The white morph (genetic mutation) is known as the White Goshawk. The white form is the only pure white bird of prey in the world.
 Grey Goshawk  moved along.
Distribution and habitatThe Grey Goshawk inhabits tall, wet forests in eastern and southeastern Australia and riverine forests in northern parts of Australia.
In Australia, its range stretches along the coastal areas (including coastal islands) from the Kimberley Mountains in northwestern Australia, across the entire northernmost parts of Australia, south to the most southern tip of Australia to Adelaide, the capital of Victoria. They also occur in western Tasmania.
The white morph is mostly found in the open forests of northwestern Australia as well as coastal Victoria. It is the only form found in Tasmania.
The grey morph is more common along the Australian eastern coast, where it lives in thicker, sub-tropical forests.
It is also found in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
In New Guinea and the islands, they mostly live in dense jungle, both in mountains and near the coast. They may also be found in villages and gardens.
The Grey Goshawks are non-migratory; however, young birds may disperse widely into new territories.
They are often observed making short flights and gliding between trees or soaring with shallow wing beats over the canopy (Olsen 1995).DescriptionThe Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized bird of prey that measures 15 – 22 inches (38 – 55 cm) in length, and has a wingspan of 28 – 43 inches (70 – 110 cm).
The average weight is 19 oz (545 g); the much larger female weighs about 24 oz (680 g) and the male 12 oz (350 g).
This Goshawk comes in so many racial variations in terms of size and color that some refer to it as the “Variable Goshawk.”
There are two color forms, or “phases”:The white phase Grey Goshawk has a pure white plumage, reddish orange eyes, and yellow cere and feet.White Goshawks mostly occur in southeastern and in northwestern Australia. In Tasmania, all Grey Goshawks are white-phase.
The grey morph Grey Goshhawk has a pale grey head and upper plumage and white under plumage, barred grey on the chest and tail. The “chin” is white, and the sides of the face and the neck are pale grey. The rounded wings and the medium-length tail are white below and grey above. The eyes are red, and the cere (skin above the bill) and the legs are yellow.
Grey-phase females are darker plumaged and more heavily barred than males.
Grey-phase Goshawks are mostly found in the center portion of Australia, and along the eastern coast.

Juveniles:Immature birds have brown eyes that turn reddish when they are about two months old. The cere and feet are yellow. Grey-phase juveniles have a greyer plumage and are more heavily barred below. The white-phase juvenile looks like the adult.Similar Species:The White Goshawks could not be confused with any other bird, except maybe the white cockatoo (from a distance). The Grey Goshawk looks similar to the Collared Sparrow-hawk and the lighter northern form of the Brown Goshawk, with which they share a range, but it has a rounder tail and more uniform brown coloration below and less clearly defined chest barrings. The Grey Goshawk resembles the Grey Falcon – however, this species has pointed, dark-tipped wings.Feeding / DietWhat they eat …

Grey Goshawks feed on birds (up to the size of herons), reptiles (including snakes), small mammals – such as bats, possums and rabbits; as well as insects, including grasshoppers, beetles and cicadas. Rarely, they may accept carrion.
The larger females can catch larger prey than males. Males tend to take more birds, while the females feed more on mammals and reptiles.


The main picture is shot using  a 527 mm. lens with a 1.5x converter bumping it up to 790 mm, the pictures on each corner are PShop crops of frame captures,I wish I could get physically closer so as I could get clearer and higher quality images, but so far this is as close as I can get bar one instance where despite been half this distance I had my still camera with the fungus filled 450mm lens and really bad light, I will get him or her one day, persistence.

At a distance the Grey Goshawk resembles a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo , the feet and beak colouring, yellow, immediately distinguish the two from each other as well as the longer length from head to tail tip.

The Goshawks appearance and the disappearance of many of the local Ducklings ,Swamp Hens and Eurasian Coot chicks is no coincidence,I observed 4 chicks disappear in three days of going public, they are no match for the Hawks and indeed their own parents and species who also snack on the young when the mood takes them, along with Turtles, Eels and Owls.

How they eat …

Grey Goshawks rely heavily on the element of surprise to catch their prey. They will hide in the canopy or bushes and attack prey in the open or inside the cover.
These bold hunters will also pursue their prey before catching them with their long, powerful claws (talons).
Birds and bats are caught mid-air or on the ground.
Mammals, reptiles and insects are usually picked off the ground or from tree branches.

Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) Breeding

The breeding season varies depending on the location. In the south, most breeding occurs between July and December; and in the north usually between January and May.
Grey and White Goshawks interbreed freely; on rare occasions, they may also hybridize with Brown Goshawks.
Grey Goshawks mate for life and together defend their home territory year round. They are solitary nesters.
The pair constructs the nest together out of sticks and twigs with a central depression lined with leaves. The nest is usually situated high in a tree fork up to 60 feet (18 m) above the ground. They usually reuse the same nest, and repair the nest as necessary. The construction or repair of the nest may take six weeks up to two months.
The average clutch consists of 2 -3 eggs, occasionally 4. The female does most of the incubation – although the male will relieve her as necessary. The young hatch after about 30 – 35 days. Most hatchlings are covered in white down; although in Australia, the down may be grey.
The male does most of the hunting and brings the prey to the nest. The female breaks the prey up into smaller pieces before feeding it to the chicks.
The chicks fledge when they are about 30 – 40 days old, and are independent about six weeks later.

Calls / Vocalizations   HEAR THE CALL

Male Grey Goshawks emit high, piercing ‘kieek-kieek’ calls, which they repeat 10 to 20 times.
The females’ calls are described as slower and mellower.
Most vocalizations made during the breeding season.

Conservation Status

The Grey Goshawk is common in the central portions of its range in Australia.
In the State of Victoria, the Grey Goshawk is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not been prepared. On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, this species is listed as vulnerable.
It is considered Endangered in Tasmania
The population is suspected to be in decline due to habitat destruction and human persecution.

More Information available HERE