Early morning drizzle, (and icon ladies had got it right!). Not much chance of a ramble today, and the sky is deep leaden grey. Lowering, the poets call it.
Brrring Brinnng. EE’s phone message do dah goes off. Scares the life out of the unprepared. Roll over pull-up doonah.
“It’s a message from Rockman’s the clothing shop, they have a 40 % sale on today,” In most excited voice. Pull-up doonah a little closer.
And there’s a Rockmans over at Point Cook, we could, well, take a look along the beach at Point Cook, then have lunch at the shopping centre, and I could go and save some money.
Doonah is now a ball around my head.
So, as you guessed. Clever reader that you are. We went.
Well, the raindrops on the windscreen didn’ t seem to be diminishing, and had turned to a light drizzle by the time we parked.
Found some lovely, active Flame Robins in the first few minutes. Yep, just as I figured. Not much light.
We ventured to the beach area. Low tide here, and most of the birds are well out beyond the end of the rock platform.
By morning tea time, we’d not seen much more than the usual suspects, and even the cormorants had abandoned the old jetty. Open the thermos, and enjoy, at least it wasn’t bucketing with rain.
Cahhh Cahhhw Cawww, from along the beach. A Little Raven was working among the exposed rocks and intent on telling somebody what was going on. Into the second cuppa and the bird had worked right up to where we were sitting. Then began the usual, is it a Little or an Australian Raven?
One of the most interesting calls these birds have is a really guttural purr. (I can’t think of a better word), and the hackles stick out when its made. And soon a partner arrived on the rocks, and they began a fine old discussion.
But a black bird on a black backdrop, or a white background on a really porridge grey day is not going to get me pushing the shutter with any enthusiasm.
Both flew to the top of the old jetty. And after a bit more discussion, the smaller of the two moved closer to the other, put its head down and. The larger bird began to alopreen it.
We tend I suspect unfairly, to have a low regard for Ravens. Well, they are black, likened — or associated — through our western culture with evil, hang around supermarket and food outlet rubbish bins, are a pest to all sorts of farmers and in large flocks are dangerous to small birds at nesting time. And if I’m not mistaken, the bloke in the Ark, let out a Raven to check the conditions, and the Black bird did not come back. Another strike against it. Yet of course, the Dove, always pictured as white, was the good guy. I’ve checked the old texts, and there is no indication it was white. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story
So to see these two birds engaged in some sort of pair bonding, (and they do, it seems, stay together for life) in such a tender way was really a highlight of the day.
And ‘we’ got to Rockmans, saved a bag of money, and had lunch.
4 thoughts on “Into the personal moments with Little Ravens”
Great pics David. The Raven is such a despised bird, I quite like photographing them also, and vindicating them, as people have been led to believe they are like the English crows in their behaviour. You caught some lovely intimate moments, and yes they are difficult at times to get a good photo due to their colour. I find white birds the most difficult though, as the digital cameras have always had a problem with white in bright sunshine due to their heightened sensitivity. The first digital cameras that came out had this problem. Thanks David for an interesting post, presented in a very unique and entertaining manner:-)
I do get very annoyed with them early in the nesting season of the smaller birds. They are right at the cusp of flying their own young and need to find lots of food.
The white on white is as you suggest a huge difficulty. I guess the only real way to deal with it is accurate exposure and using the various software corrections in post production in raw.
A lot of the time I shoot with the contrast turned down in the Portrait Picture Control. And slightly underexpose, (Just like in the old days with Fujichrome), the purists might balk at bringing up the detail in the shadows later on, but, these days the in camera processing is very good. A long way from the early Kodak DCS pro cameras.
But it is a really hard one on Willie Wagtails, and of all things Jacky Winter that has that lovel white tail markings.
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Very smart birds – I like them a lot. I enjoyed the photographs and the story, and am so glad you were able to make huge savings too!
Hi Eleanor, it was a nice interlude. And we didn’t save enough for a new lens. Shame!