From the Field Notes: So Near, Yet… So Far

No doubt we all have a few photo goals that always seem to be just out there beyond reach.

One for me, and it will never be achieved is to photograph the great white horses of the Camargue, in France

Another would be a week or more with the awesome richly coloured Brahminy Kites, from a high clifftop area.  I might yet make this one.

And yet another is to capture Great Crested Grebe and their ‘reed dance’.  We have at the Jawbone Reserve two pairs at present, and they have had several good nestings so far this season. However the luck of the dance, is it’s just a bit too far from home for me to spend more than an occasional visit, so the chances are somewhat diminished.
Mr An Onymous and I had taken #kneetoo for a visit there one early morning as  treat before she goes to visit Mr Slice-n-Dice next week.

I featured the young from their most recent hatching in the previous post, so we did have a good visit.
Time to go as #kneetoo was feeling the pain.

When on a sudden, from way down the lake one of the pair came swimming down to meet its mate. Both immediately dropped their heads to the water in a greeting and turned toward each other.
Then the head crest and facial mask outstretched, so it was more than a casual greeting they were a bit more than pleased to see each other.

The closer they approached the more the crest and masked displayed and finally they were alongside one another and swayed and turned in unison, like a pair of ballerinas.
I held my breath.
They may being going to dance!!

More head waving, calling and circling.
Then, to my dismay, the crests dropped, the facial mask retracted, they turned about, and slowly swam away together into the reeds.

Opportunity over.   Near.  But… So Far.
Perhaps next time.

If you are interested in the craft of photographing Great Crested Grebes, I normally don’t do video plugs for Youtube, but Mike Lane is an exception. (he is 89 years old for a starter), and he offers some fine techniques that can be applied to working with other water birds.

7 thoughts on “From the Field Notes: So Near, Yet… So Far

  1. Oh yes, that does look as if they were working up to it. I have seen it just once, at a great distance, in England. It is quite magical. Good luck for next spring.

    I don’t know what is going on with WordPress. It used to be that I couldn’t “like” your post when I opened it from email, but I could comment on it. Now I can “like” it, but need to go to my WordPress site in order to comment. I suppose they will sort it out one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Eleanor,
      You’re not the first one to tell me that WordPress is creating and changing its access options.
      I’ve contacted them several times in the past and have been told to change this or that browser setting…. ect, sometimes it works, some times not.
      It would be such a thrill to see these birds in full display. I am wondering if they might not even go for a third attempt at Jawbone, lots of nesting site inspections also took place while we were there.


  2. Almost and closer to the dance than I have ever been! A wonderful series of images, David!
    And another reminder that I must get over to Jawbone soon!
    Hope that #kneetoo’s surgery goes well next week and the rehab goes smoothly!
    She will be outrunning you in no time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful captures none the less David, they are having a love bonding moment there, which is classic of these birds at any time pre and during breeding. The photos are excellent and almost look like water colour paintings with the delicate lines and soft colours, beautiful !
    If you ever go to to Broome and visit to Cable Beach, I remember against the blue winter sky seeing the Brahminy daily among the several other raptors that circle over Broome, mostly Black Kites. I see them near the Forster area where I use to live up north of here checking the coast line along with the White-bellies. We never see them here in Sydney much at all. Hopefully the day of the Brahminy will come in due time. Enjoy your week my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day Ashley,
      Thanks for the details, the early morning light was slightly weakened by some high cloud, so quite good for this style, and getting in the right spot to have the water catch some sky reflection was an added bonus.
      I think there are good opportunities for Brahminy Kites up around Port Macquarie, and I don’t want to do a fly in fly out. I’d need a week to 10 days to just concentrate on learning their moves, places of interest and right time for best light. Trouble is the lockdown drama, and we have several other species locally that take up most of our time. Will keep dreaming. 🙂


  4. David, these shots are simply great….capture them so well. Have to be very close to my favourite avians.


G'day, Please feel free to Leave a Reply. Now auto approved

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s