Due to weather, family, and associated activities, I’ve not had a chance to be out and about for a few days. Nothing to do with the Garden Gnome, so let’s blame the weather.
Richard A had told of a pair of Sacred Kingfishers at the Somerton Road Carpark, and as these were among some of the very first birds I photographed, and in the area where I one morning found myself getting serious about Bird Photography, I was quite looking forward to finding a bit of time to go look see.
I like this area in the early morning as the sun runs across the landscape of old River Red Gums in a really spectacular way, and the Parks Vic people have done a super job of keeping the feel, but also opening up some parts of the area for parking and picnics. The advantage is plenty of sunlight getting into the trees and making the photography just a tad easier.
I used to spend a lot of time some years back out there photographing the River Red Gums in all their glory. Some of you may even remember filum, well that’s what I started out there with. Black and White, as I remember (dimly).
So when the daylight started to touch the horizon this morning, and I could still see a few stars and the moon, it was going to be a clear morning with some sunlight, and so not even thinking twice, I left and was out in the park just as the early light began to caress the landscape.
At that hour of the morning the gates are locked, and so I parked outside and ventured in. No sooner had I managed to get through the fence, than the familiar “Pee, pee pee”, of a Sacred Kingfisher welcomed me to the park. It was sort of like stepping back in time, (only now the old bones creaked).
Took me a split second to find first one, and then the other. Pretty much where Richard had described. They did a number of circuits of the lager trees and we three had a merry time.
I then went up the hill to the top of Woodlands Hill and looked out along the rolling green paddocks. It does look a treat with some light on it.
While I was breakfasting, some young Eastern Grey Kangaroo bucks decided to have a bit of fun and play at kangaroo boxing. For the males, this can be a extremely serious business, and sometimes with deadly consequences. The starring punch is to set back on the tail which increases the height, and then kick forward with the huge back legs. The tail then acts like a spring and propels the feet forward for a direct blow to the other one’s stomach. With two big bruisers, the noise can be quite alarming. The danger is also that the claws are really sharp, and a serious injury could easily be inflicted. Its not uncommon to see the big blokes with multiple scars to show how dangerous it is.
But for the little dudes, its just play, and so nothing more than pride gets damaged.
Some Weebills and a few Yellow Thornbills among the She oaks made for some interesting subjects, just trying to get them out of the fronds on the she oak was the biggest challenge.
Back at the carpark, the Kingfishers were hunting, and some Brown-headed Honeyeaters were feeding some very hungry youngsters.
Nice to take a trip back along the old paths and see the changes.