Salt …

There is a vlogger posting regularly on Youtube by the name of Thomas Heaton. He is a landscape photographer who produces some truly beautiful images mostly from sites in the northern half of England.

He describes his thought processes in a very pleasant north country accent and conveys the impression that he is a really lovely guy. I’m sure he is.  Watching his posts is one of the ways that I’ve tried to improve my own landscape photography. I would love to produce images like his but Australian landscapes are very different from the Lake District or the Isle of Skye.

And this is as different as you can get …


This is Lake Tyrrell, Victoria’s largest salt lake. On this visit the camera rather than the binoculars was given priority. And because it’s late summer the (alleged) road than runs around the margin presented no traction challenges, I was able to get around to the salt works.

Richard Cheetham founded the company in 1888. Their first plant was in Port Phillip not far from Geelong. I haven’t been able to find a date for the Lake Tyrell plant but it’s still going strong today.

But wait there’s more, as a bonus a free introduction to the work of Thomas Heaton.

The Thomas Heaton Channel.


Quality …

On New Year’s Day many a birdwatcher likes to get their list off to a good start.

This year I decided to go for quality rather than quantity. I have in the past rushed around near home amassing a big list of birds. But these are birds I can go and find any time. This year I opted for a longish drive and a shortish list.

Lake Tyrrell is Victoria’s largest salt lake (20,860 hectares or ~51,550 acres) although there are far larger examples in other states. It is surrounded by saltbush and samphire which provides a home for some birds that are fairly restricted in their requirements. I was pleased to find White-winged Fairywrens, Rufous Fieldwrens and White-backed Swallows.

So what is a quality bird? Start with a bit of rarity and add some good looks. In Victoria this is a quality bird …

Black-faced Woodswallow

although further north in Oz Black-faced Woodswallows are commonplace.

If it can be persuaded to pose and maybe do something interesting it is even better.

You can usually find them at Lake Tyrrell and I have rarely seen them anywhere else in Victoria.

Lake Tyrrell is 360km northwest of Melbourne on the Calder Highway. If visiting do not venture onto the tracks around the lake after rain. Gates have been installed recently to help you make a smart decision but if you should find them open and the tracks wet don’t drive off the bitumen unless you want a prolonged stay. And please never drive on the lake bed itself.