Sacred Time

Sacred Kingfishers on the Werribee River Park. 12 October 2017

There are billions of photographs out there. The world in no way 
needs more mediocre images. 
What the world does need is more passionate photographs, 
images that begin life conceived by the eyes, 
but expressed through the lens by the heart. 
If you are going to create better photographs, 
begin with things you care about deeply. : David DuChemin
You are Welcome Here.

“It’s a Sacred Kingfisher,” Mr An Onymous called. To no one in particular, and those around him just looked and nodded hoping that was the end of the outburst.

“Pee-p, Pee-p, Pee-p, Pee-p”.  It is a Sacred Kingfisher says Mr A.  But quietly, to himself.

He dropped me a note and I was glad of the info.  We’d been talking of their return the past few weeks.

I told EE.  She put on her skates and was ready to go.   Those who follow her Flickr posts will be well aware of the time, energy and effort that she put into the pair the past season. It is, “Something she cares deeply about”. And being passionate, as David DuChemin is wont to remind, “Photographing those things you are passionate about tells me several things. It shows me more of you. It shows me more of the thing you love. And it makes better photographs.”

So we went.  Now the access road to the “Office”—Werribee River Park— for new readers, has been closed these last six weeks or so.  The road was ripped up by hoons and 4wds when it was wet, and the road had become nigh on impassable for normal vehicles.  Think Sir Perceval—i20— for new readers. But a check the day before had shown Parks Vic had sent in the heavy duty toys and the road had been re-graded, and surfaced and was a version of Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road, for all the Wizard of Oz fans. So donning our “Ruby Slippers” —or Silver ones if you’ve read the book— we set off in search of Oz, or Sacred Kingfishers if they turned up first.

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Eynesbury bi-Monthly Walks: Onya Chris.

One of the areas that we really enjoy working and walking in is a strand of Grey-box forest at Eynesbury.  I’ve written of my joys of Grey-box a number of times and the area is primarily flat, open and easy to negotiate. Apart from the usual fire access track, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo mobs that roam the area have left some very useful pad tracks that make getting around the area simple.

Eynesbury village has among other things—well apart from the golf course—a connection with the forest and locals are quite proud of the beautiful area. One of the locals, Chris Lunardi, is committed to helping people understand the environment, and the challenges of returning the forest to a pristine state.

To that end, one of his activities is a bi-monthly bird walk through the forest.  From humble beginnings this has grown to a well patronised activity, and something, EE, Mr An Onymous and I try to get to each session.

To add to that, Chris has been awarded the 2017 Dame Phyllis Frost award at the Keep Victoria Beautiful, Sustainable Cities
“This is a very prestigious award and is a just award for such a passionate environmentalist.”

This is a video link to Facebook for receiving the award.  Well done Chris, the hard work has been worth it.

The Eynesbury Environment Group also received a “Highly Commended” runner up award under the Protection of the Environment banner. This also is great achievement for such a young group and congratulations to all those involved.

Chris and part of a morning group

Continue reading “Eynesbury bi-Monthly Walks: Onya Chris.”

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.

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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. https://koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/who-is/who-koala-clancy

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.

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