Coolangatta Estate Fundraiser for A Taste of Paradise

Image of Shane Howard Trio playing guitars

Shane Howard Trio (photo courtesy of Shane Howard)

“Legendary Australian singer-songwriter Shane Howard has performed for former South African President Nelson Mandela and appeared as a guest artist with international stars including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Carole King.

Now the former frontman of iconic Australian band Goanna is coming to Coolangatta Estate at Shoalhaven Heads to help raise much-needed funds for a local farm that is dedicated to helping disadvantaged and at-risk young people.

The Shane Howard Trio will be playing at Coolangatta Estate on Friday, 10 May to support A Taste of Paradise – Tim and Andy Francis’ permaculture and organic farm between Berry and Gerringong that has helped hundreds of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 Fundraising Shoalhaven Logo

Fundraising Shoalhaven is staging the charity night to help A Taste of Paradise continue its great work with children aged five to 18, who are referred to its day programs by government child welfare workers and welfare agencies. The children spend time on the farm with the animals and the environment, being introduced to new skills while they are mentored and assisted to overcome the difficulties they are encountering in their lives.” (Media Release from Fundraising Shoalhaven)

I am donating one of my limited edition framed images to the fundraiser:

 A Rainbow Lorikeet among rich red flowers

 ‘Rainbow Blossoms’

 Almost overlooked amongst the bright red flowering gum blossoms, the presence of this Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) in Wollongong Botanic Gardens was betrayed only by its bright blue head and belly [Nikon D300, 135mm, F6.7, 1/180] | © Peter Rowland 

Show tickets are now all sold out!

Illawarra Birders  – Talk

On Tuesday 2nd April I gave a talk to the Illawarra Birders birdwatching group at the meeting hall in Coniston, NSW. Here is the blurb that this great birding group put up on their site’s calendar: “Speaker Peter Rowland – “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots”. Peter Rowland discusses his research and travels around Australia over the past 25+ years, and how this has they culminated in his latest bird book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots, written in partnership with Chris Farrell and with the invaluable assistance of other field researchers, photographers and designers. The talk will be accompanied by some of the images used in the book, and a short video.

There was a good crowd on the night and it was wonderful to chat to several of the members in attendance. The group does regular outings and meets once a month in the hall, and they are always happy to welcome new members. I am looking forward to talking again soon. Thank you so much for asking me to attend.

I will post a couple of short videos from the night on my YouTube channel soon…

 

Walter Boles (Former ‘Bird Guy’ at the Australian Museum) – Interview

Walter Boles, former curator and scientific officer of the ornithology department at the Australian Museum, chats with me about his involvement in the re-discovery of the long lost Night Parrot (Australia’s most elusive parrot), which had not been recorded for almost 80 years. Walter also talks about the identification and naming of one of Australia’s last new bird species, the Eungella Honeyeater, in 1983, and also gives some insights into Australian bird taxonomy and his illustrious career at the Australian Museum. I have known Walter since 1983, when I was placed at the museum by my school for work experience, and we have been friends ever since.

Australian Geographic Magazine Shorebirds Article

My first of (hopefully) many regular articles for my ‘Bird Nerd’ column in the awesome Australian Geographic Magazine is now available. This article is called ‘A Shore Thing’ and is about shorebird and human interactions on our beaches and the shores of our wetlands. It talks about Australia’s resident breeding species and the many migratory species that visit Australia each year. The article highlights some of the dangers that these amazing birds face and gives some advice about how we can protect them.

Cover of Australian Geographic Magazine with a dog picture on the front

Interview with Australian Music Icon – Shane Howard

After the (official) book launch of Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots at BLARNEY BOOKS & ART in Port Fairy, I took a few minutes to interview our very special guest Shane Howard, one of Australia’s true music icons and passionate social and environmental advocate. Shane and his band Goanna rose to international prominence in 1982 with their legendary song ‘Solid Rock’ from the incredible album ‘Spirit of Place’.

Shane has had a long and illustrious career, with 3 albums with Goanna, prior to his 13 albums as a solo artist since the mid 1980s. He is constantly working, touring throughout Australia (as well as overseas) and writing great songs!

In this 15 minute chat Shane shares his passion for the country, its wildlife, the Aboriginal people who have lived here for some 60,000 years, and his home of Killarney, Victoria.

 

Interview with Wildlife & Landscape Photographer Brian Dean

In this video I chat with fellow wildlife and landscape photographer Brian Dean, who dropped in to spend an evening with me during his travels around Australia. Brian contributed several images to the Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots book that I wrote with fellow author Chris Farrell.

Megaspots Book Launch Eaglesnest Gallery

Following the launch of the Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots book, I held a book signing and photography fundraiser with my co-author, Chris Farrell, at Eagles Nest Gallery, Airey’s Inlet, Victoria. The fundraiser was aimed at raising money for WWF Australia and Birdlife Australia, both of whom kindly endorsed the book and do such great work for Australia’s Wildlife and the habitats in which they live.

Naturalist’s Guide to Frogs of Australia (Book Release – September 2018)

This “easy-to-use identification guide to Australia’s 247 frog species and subspecies” is now out! I had the pleasure of working on this guide with Scott Eipper of Nature 4 You Wildlife Demonstrations. I had worked with Scott on one of my previous titles, A Naturalist’s Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia, and I was delighted to be able to assist Scott with this publication. You can read more about this title on my books page and copies of this and other titles I have worked on in the Naturalist’s Guide series are available from my online store.

A Naturalist's Guide to the Frogs of Australia front cover

Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots (Book Release – August 2018)

After many years of research and a fast-paced 18 months of compiling information, fact checking and tracking down missing images, this labour of love has now hit the shelves. Well, it was supposed to hit the shelves in August, but Australian copies were delayed by a month and did not arrive until late September! Regardless, it was an absolute thrill to get my hands on a copy of this book at the Britain Bird Fair in the United Kingdom in August – personally handed to me by my publisher John Beaufoy (thanks John)!

It was an absolute pleasure to work on this title with Chris Farrell of Chris Farrell Nature Photography and fellow member of the Australia’s Wildlife Group. The third member of Australia’s Wildlife, Aniket Sardana of Focus Nature, was instrumental in the inception of the idea for this book back in 2014 when Aniket and I were travelling around New South Wales on a wildlife photography trip. But the deal was cemented when fellow author Ding Li Yong and I met on a pelagic birdwatching/photography trip off of Kiama, NSW in 2016. Ding Li was finishing his book on the 100 Best Birdwatching Sites in South-east Asia, which was to be published by John Beaufoy and he introduced me to John a short time later and the rest, as they say, is history!

You can read more about this title on my books page and copies of this are available from my online store.

Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

Naturalist’s Guide to Dangerous Creatures of Australia (Book Release – August 2018)

I have had the great pleasure of working on this guide with Scott Eipper of Nature 4 You Wildlife Demonstrations. Scott has been a great help on some of my previous books, donating some of his wonderful images and reviewing sections of text for accuracy, so I was delighted when Scott agreed to work with me on this publication.

Overall this was a very interesting and exciting book to work on. I was asked to consider doing this title by my publisher John Beaufoy and jumped at the chance. Australia has a reputation of having more than its fair share of dangerous creatures, but how dangerous are they really? You only tend to hear about sharks when the attack a swimmer, surfer or scuba diver, Australia’s venomous snakes and spiders are much maligned – only hitting the headlines when there is a fatality, and crocodiles seem to be just waiting under the surface of the water for someone to eat. But are Australia’s animals really out to get you? There are many animals (and plants) that can kill you if you are unaware of the dangers, don’t treat them with respect or place yourself in an unsafe situation. After all, a crocodile will likely eat you if you go into a river that has crocodiles in it, and snakes and spiders will try and bite you if you stand on them, pick them up or try and hit them with a garden rake. Even expert animal handlers, such as the legendary Steve Irwin, who was fatally wounded by a stingray, get bitten or stung when they cross these lines, but bites and stings are much rarer than the media would have you believe.

Coincidentally, I was in England when this book was released and I was sitting in an airport restaurant listening to a group of English people on a nearby table discussing how a friend of their’s in Australia told them that Redback Spiders can jump! No they can’t! Please buy my book, read it, and find out the truth about our animals! You can find this title on my books page and copies of this and other titles I have worked on in the Naturalist’s Guide series are available from my online store.

A Naturalist's Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia front cover

Britain’s Bird Fair (August 2018)

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit England in 2018. The first part of the trip was work-related – meeting publishers, catching up with photographers and fellow authors, and attending the British Bird Fair to launch my new bird book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots. Well, the intent was to launch the book, but I had not seen it yet and the publisher, John Beaufoy, had not received copies of it when I met him for lunch a few days before the fair. Oh well, it was still going to be a great opportunity to network with fellow birders, tour operators, authors and wildlife photographers.

I spent the first day wondering around the fair. It is HUGE! After a great day exploring the fair and the grounds at Rutland, where the fair is held, I managed to catch up with my publisher (John) and his associate Rosemary, with whom I had conversed over email on many, many, many occasions. It was great to meet her at long last. I had another surprise install too – John had a ‘hot off the press’ copy of the Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots book!

After years of hard work, it was awesome to get all of those pictures, words, maps, gps co-ordinates and checklists all printed and bound and in my hand. It was perfect timing too as my good friend, and fellow wildlife photographer Aniket Sardana was at the fair. Aniket not only contributed some of his images to this book (and others I have done), but was a major influence behind the book’s hatching.

I spent two days at the bird fair, it was great, and I am keen to go back again soon.

 

Peter Rowland and Aniket Sardana (founders of Australia’s Wildlife Group) with John Beaufoy and Rosemary Wilkinson of John Beaufoy Publishing promoting the book at the Australia stand at the UK Birdfair at Oakham

(left to right) Peter Rowland and Aniket Sardana with Rosemary Wilkinson and John Beaufoy, promoting the Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots book at the Australia stand at the UK Birdfair at Oakham