Bounding about Banyule

The Beginners Group of Melbourne Birdlife Australia were having a day at the Banyule Flats park,  and as luck would have it the Meetup Bird Photography group were going to be there in the afternoon.  Not one to have too to many things conflicting in the diary, (euphemism in there), we decided to go and enjoy the park side area.

Its been a great place at previous events and the weather looked ok, to so so, so we took the (now) considerable drive across town.

Over 45 active birders joined us and a good day was in the offing. Probably one of the highlights were excellent views (if somewhat average pictures on my part) of a Latham’s Snipe,  (a new one for me. Thank you)

The area also seemed to have more than its fair share of Tawny Frogmouth and we counted 7 for the day.

The folk from Meetup Bird Photography Group turned up, and we had a second attempt at some of the birds.

A Buff-banded Rail, eluded photography in the morning group, and didn’t improve in the afternoon group.  Some had good sightings and photos of a Sacred Kingfisher and we had some lovely views of the wing feathers on an Australasian Darter.

I was working with my newly acquired 70-200 mm f/2.8 and a Teleconverter TC1.7.  Made the field of view equivalent to about 500mm stopped down a little to keep sharpness and really had a good day, and got some super images without the need to lug heavy tripods into the field.   It will get to go on another expedition anytime soon.


Beautiful colours on the Straw-necked Ibis


Latham’s Snipe.  A very relaxed bird, but it could afford to be well out in the water and away from easy photography.


First find your Buff-banded Rail.


A young Kookaburra waiting for the family to return, perhaps with a nice meal.


Tawny Frogmouth


This one was against the light and really did take on the “branch” look and fooled quite a number of eager birdwatchers.


Tucked up tight against the tree.


Another failed Buff-banded Rail shot


Australasian Darter shows its wonderful wing patterns.

6 thoughts on “Bounding about Banyule

  1. Hi Dave, not sure why you are calling the second rail shot a failure. It looks pretty good to me. Al I can notice is a slight blurring of the beak, like there’s something out of focus in front of it. I have never seen a Latham’s Snipe (I don’t think).


    1. G>day Rodger, yep, you’re right the is a branch of something in the way. Try as I might I couldn’t get around it. The ponds at Banyule have been host to the Snipe for awhile apparently, but the water is running out fast. Just no way to get a close shot of it.


  2. Hi David,
    You’re getting closer to getting one for the Signature Series of the B-b Rail! And wonderful shots of the Tawny, particularly that laid-back first one 🙂



    1. HI Christine, I think I’ll have to wait to go to Simonsnaz’s backyard to get that signature shot of the Rail. I find them so frustrating to work with. Or more to the point, the amount of time put in. Still there is so many other things to do.
      Thanks for that. The Tawnys were a great smiling moment.


  3. Hi David, great shots as usual. Nice to see the Tawny pics too. As for the Rail, I don’t think your shot is a ‘failure’ at all but I do agree that they are tough customers. I have found it very difficult to get a good shot without a messy background – same with Latham’s Snipe. One of these days….. 🙂


    1. G,day Michael,

      I use Simonsnapz as the benchmark on Buff-banded Rail shots. Not that I’ll ever get them in my own backyard, but as you say, anywhere else and for everybody else, they fit pretty much up the ‘hard to do’ scale. Finding them being option 1.
      The Latham’s Snipe, was more a bit of luck and fun.
      I spend most of my time, as it obvious from the pics on Flickr and here, with birds that I can begin to get into the lives of. Just suits my style. Shoot and run is not where its at for me.


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