This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Birds. While I don’t go looking to photograph birds in flight, I found quite a few shots of birds in my travel photos. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Starting in Australia up the NSW North Coast there is the Booti Booti National Park (just south of Forster). This kookaburra didn’t even budge an inch as I went to photograph him.

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Still in NSW but this time down on the South Coast is the beautiful seaside town of Kiama. The wildlife both in the water and the air is stunning. This pelican was stalking his prey in the water.

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Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. While the island has been developed for tourists, it is pretty clear that the wildlife rule the roost. This Australian parakeet was eyeing up my breakfast.

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Off to Japan and in the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace in Kyoto I spotted this white swan cruising alongside his mates, the carp. It rained a lot while we were there.

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Off to Helsinki, Finland, and there is a definite port town feel about this capital. There were several different types of birds flying around the docks and wharves, but it was this seagull that I got mid-flight that I liked the most.

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I have seen swans in many places that I have visited around the world. These ones were gently floating on the lake at Ellesmere in England’s midlands. Their duck brethren were not far behind either.

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Finally in Mexico along the Riviera Maya is the eco-tourist park of Xcaret. The park was established initially as a breeding ground for native fauna and flora, and their bird breeding program is yielding spectacular results. These two Mexican parrots were quite happily perched on their ledge observing us as we walked by.

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The flamingo breeding program was in full swing with nearly 100 birds about. This was the first time that I had ever seen a flamingo, and they are just as striking in real life as they are on documentaries.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme for the final week of 2013.