Last Easter I saw the beneficial effects of substantial walking: benefits that came from a bit more walking than my previous average of 'about' half an hour per day. So I've been aiming at closer to an hour a day/10,000 plus steps: with some days more than others.

As part of a "more than others" attempt, we set off for the MacRobertson Bridge last weekend.

Before we set out, I quickly looked it up in the Melways to see if there were walking tracks on both sides of the Yarra (there are). And that was the moment when I wondered why it was called the MacRobertson Bridge. The roads that run into the bridge from either side have different names (Grange Road and Loyola Grove).

When you stop to think about it: MacRobertson isn't even a proper Scottish name. Look it up here.

A bit of thinking reminds me of the fact that Melbourne has quite a few MacRobertson associations: MacRobertson Chocolates (well, Cadbury Chocolates nowadays) and MacRobertson Girls High. There's even a Mac Robertson Land in Antarctica.

They all tie back to Sir Macpherson Robertson, a Melbourne industrialist from the first part of the 20th Century. During the Great Depression, he helped out the State of Victoria (then following traditional economic orthodoxy by reducing public spendng to match reduced tax revenues). He provided money for the construction of the MacRoberson Bridge and the High School as employment schemes.

Anyway: enough of the historical trivia. The walk was remarkable for a number of bird sightings.

A fuller set of pictures from the walk can be found at a gallery that I've posted here.

There were two highlights during the walk. The first was this bird (which I believe is a Great Egret). Whilst I was enthralled taking photos of this it, two friends (David and Dale) jogged by (and said hello) but I didn't hear them passing. No doubt they think I'm excessively rude, but hey, what's two friendships in exchange for five great photos of a bird in flight?

Great Egret

And a later highlight was this bird (probably a "Darter" Cormorant?). It was diving into the water and then resurfacing. I took a few photos because it was close. And then I was astonished to find it surface complete with a fish. You might think that the fish has been 'Photoshopped' into the picture because the beak isn't around the fish. If you look at the three large photos in my gallery you can probably make out that the bird has speared the fish on one size.

Darter Cormorant

Comments (1)
Anthony Holmes May 25th, 2008 10:17:38 PM

1) MacRobertson
Frank 26/05/2008 9:40:52 AM

Pretty birdies.

Hope you're both well - I'm not ignoring you but have been a bit busy, what with racing out to Elsternwick every other day to visit Mum. She's being discharged next Sunday and will spend some time at my sister's before, perhaps, going home. When you next plan a Sunday walk I'll gladly join you.

cheers - F

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