Red-capped Robin

One of the birds I’ve talked about before is the Red-capped Robin male we have located at the You Yangs.
He seems to have a most unusual feather detail, with quite an amount of white amongst his red cap.

He also tends to call like a Scarlet Robin, and I have no idea why, although quite a number of suggestions have been offerered

He is in company with a rather sweet female Red-capped Robin, so she is obviously impressed with his credentials.

Bit of strange code kicking about as I was hoping to link this to my images on Nikon Space. We’ll see.

And here is the good Lady herself


A Tale of Brown Falconery

“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. 
Somehow at a particular time, they came from the 
distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed 
so accidental and contingent. Now your life is 
unimaginable without them"
John O'Donohue

Years ago, the very first Raptor that I seriously made contact with in my beginnings of photographing birds was a pair of Brown Falcons.

The amazing birds were resident in the Backpaddock Area at Woodlands Historic Park out near the ruins of Cumberland Homestead. They were a very patient pair, and over the seasons I had quite a bit of time sitting in their territory while they carried on their falcon business.  And I managed several seasons with them when they nested, but the friendship changed to a very polite “Do Not Disturb”. The female taking umbrage to my intrusions more than once and on one occasion passing close enough by me to hear the wind on her feathers. They managed at least three young over the time I was actively with them.

I learned so much about the life of Brown Falcon from this pair.  Some things that have stuck with me.  They are as happy, and confident on the ground hunting as they are in the air.  Once I saw them do a dance routine display, not unlike Brolga, but perhaps without the elegance, as two big fat chooks jumping round each other is probably a more apt visual description.  They seem to have a territory completely mapped. A wing flap and a turn away is not some random movement, but rather quite a deliberate move to a location, which may not be in the direction of the first movement.  They are masters of the low level flight.  And if they can move behind bush or grasses, or perhaps along a creek or channel line, or roadway water runoff, they take that as first option.

Catching things is not about “Oh look, food” and going for it. Everything is planned to be a minimum of effort, often many minutes take place between spotting and finally attacking food. And I really suspect that both the approach and the exit are carefully planned.

They can hover in the air like Kestrels, although “Hover like a brick” is probably more accurate. Still in a good breeze, they can sit quite motionless, but mostly its a hard wingflapping to keep station.

Continue reading “A Tale of Brown Falconery”

Onya Clancy

The Clancy Koala Foundation, was holding a Clancy Mini Tour to celebrate Clancy’s birthday.

Clancy is a koala at the You Yangs Regional Park, and he was born and raised there, now in his seventh year he has also now a father to a young son.

Details of the Clancy story are here.

Always good for a party we went down to the You Yangs for the Clancy Mini Walkabout.  A chance to learn a bit about the work of those attending to the welfare of the Koalas in the park, (there are as many 100 or more so we were told), and to help by pulling up a bit of boneseed, the invasive plant that has endangered the habitat of the koalas.    Not only do they need the right trees to munch on, but space on the ground to move about, and the tall, thick, dense boneseed destroys that space.

What a good idea saith I, we could go to the party, and before hand we could take a wander about a couple of areas and look for some Robins.  Donchathink?   And EE and Mr Anonymous agreed.

Continue reading “Onya Clancy”

She comes!

A mix of Sitella, Walt Whitman and a little Day Book reflection.

Studio Werkz

Hidden Beauty

Varied Sitella are not necessarily an easy bird to work with.  They have quite definite ideas (as do all birds), about their job, and go at it with a will.  They have the rather interesting habit of working from the top of a tree downwards before flying on to high up the next most likely tree.

I am, truth be told, not looking for Sitella of any kind, but rather, being very quiet, hunting Eastern Yellow Robin.

Out of nowhere a small band of Sitella take the the branches on front of me.  Then after spending most the a few moments upside down under the branch, this one paused, and attended to wardrobe matters.

Whitman’s poem leapt out.

 She comes! I hear the rustling of her gown; I scent the odor of her breath’s delicious fragrance; I mark her step divine—her curious eyes a-turning, rolling, Upon this very scene…

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Good old flat lighting works for me

Posted a new image and discussion over on Studio Werkz.

Studio Werkz

Things have been a bit hectic at Studio Werkz.
I was sitting quietly on a seat in the shade of the late afternoon sun, waiting for some ducks to begin their bathing routine in the late sunshine.

When, for no reason other than it wanted to, this young Nankeen Night Heron swung down out of the sky and landed a few metres from me feet.

WIth the sun as the main light source coming directly from behind me, and sprinkling its goodness as it came through the tall trees and foliage, tiny pin-point spot lights were the order of the day.

The rich golden light of that evening sun, seemed in so many ways to balance and enhance the young bird’s feather set.

My real challenge was to keep the exposure from washing out the highlights, and also from blocking up the shadows.  I tend to use a Picture Control on…

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