Spring has finally sprung in Canberra! I'm wearing t-shirts again, we're eating lunch outside in the sun, and babies seem to be popping up all over the place. Last season's baby eastern grey kangaroos are just about ready to leave the pouch. They are super cute, looking like the under-sized second head of a two-headed roo.
They look even more awkward when they dive into their mother's pouch head first.
The roos aren't the only ones with babies. There's an adorable family of musk ducks living on Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin. Musk ducks are weird, unique animals. The males have a very strange, fleshy lobe hanging from their bills. Both sexes have spiky tail feathers that are unique amongst Australian ducks. Unfortunately we found the family just after sunset. The only pictures I have of the mother and duckings are silhouetted, and the uniqueness of the musk duck isn't really visible. However, I was able to get close enough to the father for the flash to be effective, and so both the fleshy lobe and the spiky tail are visible in the last picture.
While looking for the musk duck family I found a purple swamphen family on their massive nest of reeds. The purple swamphen is an extremely successful animal here in Australia, benefiting from human habitation and the creation of artificial waterways. They are a common sight around the creek that runs through the ANU campus and any Australian wetlands. Nonetheless they are a beautiful and charismatic bird and a pleasure to see.
Sunset may be an awkward time to photograph birds, but it is an excellent time to photograph sunsets: