Life with a sprinkle of Choughness

Long term readers will know of my fascination with all things Choughness.

White-winged Choughs can be both frustrating and rewarding to follow.  Some families seem to have a high human tolerance and I’ve had them hunt around my feet and sit on the same log with me.  Others. No matter how much time I spend, they just keep moving on.
They are not the world’s greatest aeronauts and I often think that if they can run to the next location that is their preferred method of locomotion.

They also have quite well established family rules. Which they understand, while I must guess what is going on.  And at just about every encounter, I come away impressed by some new view of choughness.

One family we see regularly in the You Yangs have just managed to get a couple of young ones off the nest.   Now comes the job of teaching these little ones all the rules of choughness.   And its a big task.  The young birds are quite clueless. And they have an average attention span of about 1 millisecond.   “Is it food”, seems to be the total of their ability to reason.   So the adults have to spend quite a bit of time working with young. And because of their lack of reason, they are easily enticed away by other families offering “bigger grubs”.  Oh boy, I gotta go

Choughs need quite a large family size, at least six or seven adults to raise a young.  Larger groups have more flexibility and its reported, more success.

Found the family at work around some rocks, and settled down for a sprinkle of choughness to add to my day.

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Grebes On Show

We have as they say, been having a bit of a lean time with our birds of late.  Seems the weather, the season, the food, the  lack of time in the bush, all have contributed to a fairly, well, lean period.

We were all prepared to enjoy a season with a pair of Jacky Winter, but due to unfortunate circumstances, perhaps bad weather, they lost the clutch a few days from flight.  A local Tawny Frogmouth clutch came, and went, and so did the various Magpie-lark families.  So its been a bit of a well, you know, lean time.

We have been watching a pair of Australasian Grebes at the Werribee Mansion Ornamental Lake, and they have had as similar story of clutches started, but not completed.
So it was quite intriguing to watch the pair in breeding plumage potter about on the water, but not really get much accomplished.

Then a couple of weeks ago, we found they had begun again to ferry weed and mud about and had a platform securely in the reeds.

And today we took a few minutes to go see how things had progressed and, well, they had progressed.

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Morning Among the Water Birds

Been awhile since I made an attempt at bringing Birds as Poetry up to date.
My apology also takes a turn in another direction as my ‘creative’ output has been to hardcopy books and end of year calander things.   I got a super calendar from my Singapore mate Lynzwee, and it was made by a company called ZNO  zno.com.
Didn’t take me long to figure out I’d like some of those and so I’ve been doing the appropriate file transfer and fiddling with pages on the web to get them just right.
Also did a book of the Great Egret from the Veil Ballet.   I don’t suppose its such a big deal, but I was so impressed by the bird’s simple expressions that I wanted them to appear in something that extended the feel of the moment.

So Blurb got the job done.  While I am yet to put my hand up as a Lightroom fanboy, I have to say it did make quite a presentable book.  Even if I had a few stops and starts to get what I was looking for.

When I look back over it, the images themselves are each quite simple, but as Dave Delmea quoted by David DuChemin says,

” The images themselves are quite simple, perhaps plain, but because of the lack of complexity it might be easy for a viewer to look at the content and feel they ‘I’ve got it”, without much consideration.

The strength comes when you begin to take in the more understated things. The angles, contrasts, colour contrasts and movements. In a book the viewer can compare, consider and feel the subtle element differences.”

So I’ve  spent the time doing the book.

All work and no play, makes for a restless photographer, so EE and I made a dash one bright early morning down the the WTP

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