You could hardly call winter in Tasmania dire. Here we are in the first week of August (=February, for you guys up the other end of the planet) and and there are daffodils everywhere, the camellias are all coming out, and amongst the native plants the wattles are putting on their annual display. I snapped a couple of examples on our way round the Inglis River walk at Wynyard this afternoon, but you don't get the perfume. Think almond essence.
And a sad tale. We were just congratulating ourselves on spotting well over our projected target of 23 bird species (including a White Goshawk) and getting a really good view of a Tasmanian Scrubwren, that should at last enable me to distinguish it from the elusive Scrubtit, when I noticed a bundle of feathers up a tree. On close examination it was a recently-dead Grey Thrush that had somehow managed to wedge its neck between two branches and hanged itself! We love Grey Thrushes because they are so tuneful, and will often enter into a conversation if you whistle back to them.