Saturday Evening Post #20: A Piece of Paper

It was only a small piece of paper, about 75mm square (2 1/2x 2 1/2 inches to be precise).

It was sitting on the bench top, vivid in its whiteness against the dark top.
Next to it sat three small plastic trays. Each contained a clear fluid.

I was given a small pair of metal tongs and told to pick up the paper and place it in the first tray. I did.

It sat on the top of the liquid and surface tension took over and it stayed floating only partially submerged. “Push it under”.  I did.

A clock with big hands started to tick the background.

And.  Nothing much else happened.

And after about a minute as I peered at the wet paper under the orange glow of the ‘safelight’, a faint change began to occur. Light grey blurs began to appear, and slowly they became shapes and the shapes took on form and tone, and eerily out of the white paper a photo of “Blackie” our cat, began to emerge.

After the clock ticked off its time, I transferred, Blackie, with a considerable reverence, into the second and then the third trays.  Several minutes later, “Mind your eyes, ” Dad said, and the room lights were turned on. And there sitting in the dish was indeed a photograph of Blackie. And, more importantly for the moment, one that I had produced.

I was hooked. At around 12 years of age, my life, as they say—changed, and a direction for life was set.  I not only wanted to know, I knew that I wanted to know more about this fascinating process that could make white paper into a real photograph.

It was a contact print from a negative that I’d made some days before.  And, yet, it was,in all its monochrome glory, a Photograph.

I had to know.  And in a small country town, I knew where to look.
The local library.

The journey continues.

Enjoy a great week.

_DSC9281 - Version 2_Aperture_preview
This is Thomas, my nextdoor neighbour’s cat. Tom used to come for visits and would sit in the sunshine on the window sill of the front of the house and watch the garden. Thomas is a rich ginger cat. Guess which colour filter I used to bring out the best in his rich ginger markings. I’ve resisted adding a tonal colour.

 

(The negative of Blackie the cat is long gone.)
The Header shot is pretty much a direct B+W conversion from colour.  No clever stuff, just Tom and I would spend lots of time working window lighting for effect.

 

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Saturday Evening Post #19 : Becoming a Beginner Again

Went to a talk the other night by a birding expert, Sean Dooley. One of the things he spoke about resonated with me as I’d just been pondering the way photography has affected my life, even from the time I was a young’un.

He told a tale of how as a a little tacker, he’d been watching and recording birds for a while in his local swamp at Seaford.  One day a bird landed, that was not of the usual residents.  He immediately knew it to be a Glossy Ibis. A bird that only migrated down on occasions and while not rare, was at least unusual for his area.  He explained the excitement he felt, first in finding or seeing the bird, and then in knowing what it was, and in knowing something about it from his studies.  That excitement was what drove him to spend a year long project seeing as many birds in Australia as possible.  He then wrote a book.

Steve Jobs is reputed to have said, after being fired from Apple the first time, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.”

My current mentor has got me thinking along those same lines.  What is it like to be committed to the photograph, not just the process, but the excitement of making the image.

To becoming a beginner again and being committed to the photograph itself, and in turn not letting the subject down.

There is of course a number of sides to this commitment.
Here’s another.

Being in the field is a profound experience.  It’s what makes bird photography such a noble pursuit. It isn’t just the photography that matters, nor bringing back a technically perfect image. But, rather being out in the field that shapes our souls. To take the time to listen, look, and to see. It’s what makes it difficult and at the same time its such a deep experience.
It’s not about the trophy shot, but about learning to sit and contemplate the beautiful mysteries of life.

Gotta go, I’ve a day in the field ahead. Time to become a beginner again.

Eloise bedecked in late aftenoon light. The shape and tone of the simplification to monotone adds its own element.

Saturday Evening Post #18: For the Love of the Photograph

Sorry about the unsharp image, my fault really, shot it with a Teleconverter attached. <VBG> 🙂

Been having a few interesting discussions with the photofraternity of late, and one of the things pointed out is how unreliable Teleconverters are, and the Nikon 2.0eII in particular. After all, as was explained to me, “All the forums agree that the Nikon TC2.0eII is unreliable, and unsharp”.

My defense of course was a shrug of the shoulders and pat the TC 2.0 on the 300 f/2.8 I was using at the time and saying I was happy with the results. Which probably would have bought fits of laughter, but a bird turned up and everybody swung in to action to capture a 4 pixel size image of the bird about 70metres away.  But, I consoled myself at least they would be sharp pixels, unlike my less than ideal results. 😉

I recall a quote by David DuChemin, “I make photographs, I don’t take them, shoot them, capture them or snap them. I do what I do to see the world differently and to show others what I see and feel. And yes. It did look like that when seen through my eyes, mind and heart.

The tools of my craft are the camera and lens.  The tools of my art are my passion, and vision. It’s not how we make our photographs that matters but what we make of them. The camera and lens is irrelevant to the pursuit of beauty, and authenticity. It’s how I see the light,  chase the wonder and bring it to life. There is too much to see and create to waste time.”

So, I guess I’ll just have to put up with losing sharpness because of my persistence in using such inferior equipment that can’t pass the ‘pixel peeping test’.

Just for the record, the image is handheld, 300mm f/2.8 +TC 2.0e at 600mm equivalent (angle of view). D500, on an overcast day.

The header image is from the camera JPEG. The trailer image converted via  Adobe Camera Raw  7.1. Wasn’t trying for an exact match, rather two interpretations.

Sorry they aren’t sharper.

Can’t imagine how good they would have looked if I’d been using a Canon 600mm with stacked converters from 70 metres away. 🙂

Back to sanity next week—normal transmissions will resume.

Seeya Along the Track

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Saturday Evening Post #17 Along the Track with Crosbie Morrison

When I was a mere broth of a lad, and photography was something my Mum did with the family box camera, there was a radio show on a Sunday Evening on our local radio station.
We didn’t google, facebook, instagram or snapchat. Stange as that may sound, and we didn’t have an endless range of tv programmes to watch, we didn’t even have tv.  We had Radio.

On Sunday Evening “Along the Track” with Crosbie Morrison would take  a young lad on a journey into some form of the natural history.  Interestingly enough, at the height of his popularity, and it was syndicated all over Australia, its been estimated that he had a listener base of 75% of the radios in australia. (how one determines such number crunching, ohhh and ahh, is beyond me. 1/125 of a second at f/16 still amazes me!)

From possums, to crocodiles, blue wrens to electricity generation, we all went along the Track with Morrison and dreamed big bold dreams.

Did his talks bring out the inquisitive, insightful need to know about things in natural history.  Who knows, but I do remember being glued to the radio as he explained about a spider that someone had sent him in a matchbox, or the migratory skill of birds around the world.  David Attenborough is as close as the tv audience of today gets to that. But, and this I think is where radio was so adept. Without the visuals.  We explored it all in the theatre of our mind.

One thing that legacy still holds for me, is an interest in even the most common of creatures.

I was fascinated last evening while working with some wader and sandpipers, of how long, long, long the legs of a Pied Stilt are.  Normally see them knee-deep in water and its  hard to appreciate the length of those long pink legs.
This one graced me by wading out of the shallows and standing on the water’s edge long enough for me to make a frame.

Enjoy

Saturday Evening Post #16 The Violin and the Camera

Came across a quote from David DuChemin the other day—yes, I’m still reading his book(s).

“For most of us we picked up the camera because putting the viewfinder to out eye and expressing ourselves through the photo was the most magical thing ever”.
Of course he is talking to photographers that may not have the same background, intent or purpose that i have when I go out to photograph birds.  Yet, at one level, looking through the viewfinder and see the amazing actions, beauty and story of these feathered creatures applies in some way.

Sometimes it getting the best possible technical picture of the bird, sometimes its the challenge of making the hardware perform, or using the right technique or choosing the right sliders in the software to enhance our meagre vision.

But, in the same way that a violin does not play the music itself, a camera does not make a photo by itself. Yet sometimes as photographers we begin to think the new camera, lens or software will finally give us the golden images in our journey. i wonder if the master violinist would treat their beloved instrument the same way we seem to deal with our technology.
“Oh, look there is a new 10megamusic  violin, and it comes with built-in memory.” Every musician rushes for the new instrument.  “Hey, look they’ve just released a 24megmusic model, its got bluetooth and dynamic range speakers” Suddenly last year’s model is not longer being played.  “Announcing the breathtaking new highly advanced 46megmusic with interchangeable neck and internet upload capability.”
The skill of the master musician is not only in the music, but also in their use of the instrument. A new model does not make up for the many years of patient, dedicated and sometimes exhausting practice that they have put in to hone their craft. To make it art.

So I ponders, to meself, and then to blogosphere, and of course you dear, suffering reader, why will the next great breakthrough in camera technology increase the hit rate I get.  Or should I instead be working on resonance with my subject.  Self-answering question.

As someone once said, “If I’m more interested in the destination than the journey, I’m going to be disappointed if I don’t get there immediately, and disappointed when I do.”

The Tao master Lao Tzu said it this way, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Forget the end result When you arrive, you’ll start a new journey”, or something pretty similar to those words. 🙂
Nature it seems never forces anything to grow.   Yes step by step, tiny bug, by tiny bug, the juvenile Dusky Woodswallow will emerge as an adult. Ready to start its own journey of discovery.

Good luck.

 

 

Postcards: Confessions of a Serial Event Attender

Our friends in the Conservation Dept. at Hobson’s Bay City Council, were running a bus tour through the Cheetham Wetlands.  An area that is off limits to public use. We, Mr An Onymous and I had secured seats, so rocked up early to be sure we’d not miss a moment.

As I was entering the Point Cook Coastal Park, carpark, I noted a Brown Falcon at rest in a usual lookout spot.  It was quite close to where they had nested earlier in the season, so it was good to make a reacquaintance.

 

The rest of our group turned up, some new faces, and several other friends.  I’m beginning to feel like a Serial Event Attender. Open the gates, and I walk on in.

Bernie the local Parks Vic ranger was on hand to guide us about for the day, and to explain lots of the interesting parts of the former Cheetham Salt Works.  The need to control the water flow through the old ponds is a major part of his work, and it’s always interesting to learn how he works out the levels.
We also had the chance to meet Cristal from Latrobe Uni who is running a programme with the Red-capped Plovers that not only roost in the area, but in spite of what appears harsh conditions regularly nest on the salt flats over summer.  Her programme at present is working out the various calls between the parents and the chick in the egg. Cristal, (hope I got the spelling right), has all sorts of high end recording equipment out with the nest sites across the area.  She was happy to announce that several young had been successfully hatched in the past few days.

So we set off. Andrew, our ‘uber driver’ at the wheel

We stopped at the ford that separates the salt water of from the ocean and the freshwater run off from Skeleton Waterholes Creek, (both the Skeleton and Waterholes part of the name have a most interesting history, but for another day) . There had been reports of an Australian Spotted Crake, in the area. Andrew had thoughtfully provided a great Nikon Spotting Scope, and not only was I keen to try it, I was trying to work out a way how to smuggle it home!

I’d set it up, and was just beginning to scan the creek line, and the first thing I saw was THE CRAKE.  The image of grown man, leaning over a scope, jumping up and down yelling, THE CRAKE, THE CRAKE, is probably worth forgetting.
Leaving the scope in more capable hands I moved off with the Sigma Sport 150-600 (yes, I still have it) and tried for a photo.(and I noted, that Andrew was quick to retrieve said scope and secure it back in the van, before I left anymore fingerprints for possible Id, should an equipment register review ever be necessary 🙂 Mind Mr An and I did a little preventative maintenance to the tripod attachment so that should count for something in our favour. 🙂

 

There were, further along a good number of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint and Bernie assured us large number of Curlew Sandpiper, although that must have been yesterday.

A Singing Honeyeater obliged with some good views, and it’s fair to conclude it was feeding young nearby.

Another pass by the creekline and we spotted a wader that took few minutes to id correctly.  A Common Sandpiper.  The flash of white under the wing being the best id.

Its easy to see how well they blend into the surrounds.

 

At the beach line Andrew discusses with Rob the finer points of sand distribution by wave action.  Interestingly enough Bernie indicated some rocks, now 30-40 metres from the current land edge, that around 30 years ago were on the coastline.

On the return journey we found several pairs of Red-capped Plover with young.This one had called the young into the bushes along side the road and was directing things from the safety of a nearby rock. We admired her babysitting abilities and moved on quickly. This one, I find particularly interesting as neither of the pair were banded

Thanks to Andrew, Bernie, and the team for allowing us to enter this fascinating area. Each trip always brings new insights.  Also thanks to the various councils, government groups and such like that made such an event possible.  The value of the area, as the housing developments keep getting closer, is even more important for the small birds that call it home.

 

Saturday Evening Post #15 Enjoying the Beautiful Moment

Been reading Ming Thein’s blog over the years. He has had a pretty rough year one way and another, and lamented the need to consider life beyond his photographic endevours.

His New Year’s Resolutions always make for challenging thoughts.

This one among other things makes a bold statement, “Few pros last longer than ( 5 years), and almost all the ones I’d met that had were really quite jaded and uncreative by that point – it was just a job”  Now I’m not going to take on his observation, and it’s important it is read in context.
But it got me to wondering.

We all go through creative periods when the juices seem to dry up and its hard to come up with a new challenge or vision.
I’m also reading some David DuChemin books at the moment, and as he went through a huge accident, was in hospital for quite a number of months in intense pain with the possibility of never walking again, I think there is little cross connection with Ming’s insights.

David says, “If you don’t love photography for the sheer act of trying to express yourself and will only find joy in it when youre a finally there, yours will be a most disappointing journey. Not only will you never get there, but you’ll miss how beautiful and exhilarating the journey itself is.

If you love the journey so much that you wish it had no  ultimate destination, you are in luck. It doesn’t have to.”

I had my first published picture when I was 14. The following two years I did several photo essay jobs. One I actually got paid to travel. And somewhere blind fate stepped in, and blinded, I took another direction in my life. And I reckon, looking back at everyone I know well, the same thing could be said to a degree or another.

But the one thing that never changed I believe was the excitement of “pressing the button to make the moment”. Sometimes just looking through the viewfinder in an inquistive way is enough.

And there we were in Ballaratt. Hot overcast day, with a Great Crested Grebe that seemed happy to bob and paddle around close to us.  Should have been a 10 second shot. Aim, focus, set exposure. Wait. Bird turns. Click. Now what’s next?

But.

As the bird moved back and forth, a whole new world of images began to open up. Shadows, reflections, shapes, settings, all seemed to roll by in an endless view.
So we sat. I posted quite a selection from that half hour or so, yesterday.  But some of them I had already visualised beyond a simple record.  It’s that kind of journey.

Feeling jaded.  Not a bit. Feeling it was a job. No. It’s a journey. A bit like the movie, “The Never Ending Story Part II” —See, I’m amused by a never-ending story that had to have a sequel 🙂

David D again. “Vision is everything you think, feel, and bring to the photograph.  You don’t bring it. It brings you. It’s your view of the world.”

A quick trip into Nik Silver Effects Pro, find a suitable blend of my favourite cool filter, Cyanotype, (Used to make them in real photochemistry in another life).
And there it is.

A beautiful moment in a fantastic journey.  I’m not going to reach the destination anytime soon.

Keep takin’ pictures.  We do.

More on a life in monochrome and my affair with Silver Effects Pro  next week.

Snapshots: Latham’s Snipe—On the Fly

Didn’t need a degree, (pun intended) in weather forecasting to know that Friday 4 January 2019 was going to be a “Scorcher”. 44 Celesius and that, as my Dad used to say was “in the shade”.  Standing in an open paddock photographing birds, would result in not much more than a badly burned chicken nugget going home.

So.

We had been pondering going to look for Latham’s Snipe at the local Heathdale Glen Orden Wetlands, and because these tricky little dudes mostly feed at night, and roost by day, and they are incredibly alert and super fast in the air, and the most important and possibly only element that we can control is the light.
A bright sunny day gives, plenty of light for fast shutter speeds, and also the best possible AF performance.   So we formulated what can only be considered a ‘cunning plan’.  We would load up the gumbbies and the cameras and get down there very early in the morning.  That way if it was a clear day then we could spend a couple of hours with good light and be on the way out for an early morning coffee-breakfast, just around the corner before the heat became opressive, and overwhelming and ugly.

Alarm goes Off!!!!

Look out window, still dark, but there are no clouds in sky.

EE grabs quick breakfast, and a cuppa to go, and we’re away.

It’s only a few minutes drive and by the time we arrived the sun was well above the roof and tree line around.  Looked good. Except we parked at the wrong end of the ponds for the light, no point in trying to catch them against the light. My Mum’s favourite, “Keep the sun over your left shoulder, dear”, was what was needed. So gumbbies on, we clump clump clumped down the footpath to the other side of the ponds.  And met, out for an early morning walk with his dog, the president of BirdLife Werribee, (Formerly Werribee Wagtails). Morning, Mr Torr, we acknowleged as we walked by.

On to the end of the pond, and a gate leading into a boardwalk, and as I opened the gate for yet another dude with a dog, there behind him was my Flickr mate, David Nice. Morning, David. The wetlands is David’s “Patch” and he was happy to help explain some of the likely spots.  Thanks, you’re a champion.

So we began. Snipe help by letting out a sharp “Yelp” as they take to the air. And that’s it. No second prizes awarded.
The big deal is getting the AF to lock on to the bird at warp speed.
I chose to use the D500, and the 300 PF f/4. No TC attached.  This gives about the best and fastest short of dragging out the big gun pro lenses, like the 300mm f/2.8  Also inspite of my usual, I set multi-burst, and AF to Continuous and selected the Group Focus.  This hopefully picks up the closest subject and well, perhaps Snipe aren’t in its database.  The other big changes, are M for manual and  set the hightest shutter speed I can manage and balance out the ISO around 800. Also I turn “Off” the VR (IS) as I know there is a bit of a lag on focus if the VR is guessing what to do.  Set lens to the limited 3m to ∞. Don’t want it looking for birds that aren’t there a few metres in front of me .

Primed up, with good light, and an open area or two to work in, and we are sniping.

No one said it was easy.

Enjoy.


This is how close they are to the nextdoor neighbours


 

Landing rights with a Minah

Off course it would be a treat to actually find them on the ground and feeding, but I’m working on that.

 

Saturday Evening Post #012 Bee-eaters

Ahh, yes, it’s Sunday, don’t adjust you clocks, one of those nights when my bed looked more longingly at me than the keyboard.

And besides, look it’s a nice new day.  Overcast, intermittent rain— I walked early this morning and came home drenched— so its keyboard time again.

One of the main reasons I’ve not prepared earlier was I was wrestling with a new way of making albums that could be linked to Birds as Poetry blog, however like so many things in the blogosphere, the idea and the application are a bit far removed for a simple click.

All this comes of course from the previous week of humming and hahhing around what I’m going to do with the database.  And its beginning to look like I will commit to moving to the “Dark Side of the Force” and take on Lightroom and all its cloud(ed) options.
But, more of that later.

We did a couple of trips to Bee-eater country.  Seems to be many less than in previous years. However we did find enough to fill up a couple of hours. And of course commit to going back again. Sometime, perhaps, if we can fit it in, maybe, who knows.

Had planned at this point to link to an album.  Click Here — See nothing happens, so here are a couple of extras from the morning.
UPDATE: This Link Should Work  beware though its on an Adobe Creative Cloud site. Shades of Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone”. Insert spooky do do dah do music here. 🙂

The header image is a phone pano of the creek line and if you look really closely you’ll be able to see at least three active nests. (only kiddin’—the nests are there, but the detail is not sufficient.)

Hope to be back on publishing schedule for the new year.
Good luck for 2019, I hope the photo muses bring many fine images to fill your lens(es) this coming year.
Keep the vision, Keep taking photos, we do.

 

 

 

 

 

Eynesbury Gems— Take #2

You can guess that it is raining here today. ‘Cause I’m stuck inside and I’ve cleaned the cameras and formatted the memory cards, (twice) and charged the batteries.  And its still raining.  Beaut really as it will freshen up a very tired bush.

But on the other hand the only thing left on the todo list is to finish off the Eynesbury Series.  So here is episode #2.

 

Not much to add from the previous ramble so here we go with eight more shots from the day.

Enjoy

Varied Sittella, showing off its usual pattern of going down the tree in hunt for food

 

Brown Thornbill. Not often I get a shot of it out in the open. Usually only just hear them or see a movement in the bushes

 

Speckled Warbler, and this is as good as it got. There seems to be four or more pairs at work in various parts of the Grey Box. Hearing them is one thing, getting a view another, but photographing them an whole new ball game. Still it keeps us going out

 

Striated Pardalote

 

Pretty excited with this find as its the first Sacred Kingfisher that I’ve seen in Eynesbury. Given the number of “Pee Pee Pee” calls I’d be certain of a number of them being in the forest.

 

A very young Pacific Black Duck. I’ve included it as its a rather special little duck. Somehow it has been seperated from its family. We’ve seen it from a very small duckling and each time have been a little surprised that it has managed to survive on its own. There certainly are other families of young ducks out there, but none that are at the same age as this loner. Good luck little duck.

 

And of course it wouldn’t be a trip without a visit to Jacky Winter. Shows how far I am behind in the Blogging business. They have since fledged the two young they were nursing. So there is two new Jackys in the forest. Will do a blog on their exploits in the not to distant future.

Saturday Evening Post #009

Had been looking forward to getting a second Eynesbury story to the blog this week, but sad, to say between bad weather, bad organisation, a day at Hanging Rock with Werribee Wagtails,  and a couple of family events, time just frittered away.

 

This is from my Enyesbury journal.
The Sulphur-crested Cockatoos have been feasting among the black wattle now that the flowers have gone to seed. Plenty of work for a large flock, and each individual seems to have its own technique for dealing with the rich smorgasbord.
And because of their ability to deal with the human condition a close approach didn’t seem to be all that hard.  All I had to do was wait for the leaves to be in the right spot, and the bird ready to draw up the next offing.

I’ve been using the Teleconverter TC1.7 on the PF 300mm f/4 lens of late.  It makes it a bit on the slow side, but it is quite a light and easy to handle kit for many bush birds.  Not my favourite for inflights, but life as they say is a compromise.
I’ve done a few tests and while it is sharp, it’s not as sharp as the Sigma 150-600 Sport. But that kit is a lot heavier.
Just for the record, I think the TC 1.7 works better at higher shutter speeds and the VIbration Reduction (VR) turned off.  The net has so many arguments about how the VR performs when left on, but you’ve only got look at EE’s Flickr site to see how good it can be on the TC1.4  EE has had the TC 1.4 on from day 1 and the VR set to Normal.  Sometimes we get to be too gear conscious and miss the simplicity of working at the photo rather than extolling the equipment.  As David DuChemin says, “Gear is good, but, Vision is Better.

 

This shot is nearly a full frame, cropped only for effect.

 

Keep takin’ photos. We do.

 

 

Eynesbury Gems—Episode #1

Eynesbury township just a few minutes from Melton, was established around a golf-club. Part of the deal concerns a stand of Grey Box Forest, that is in close to original condition, or perhaps, well established with old trees and understory, might be a better description.
It was used until the mid 1950s as a pastoral area, and the forest was used to run the shorn sheep from the shearing sheds in the area.

Many long term readers will know that its been noted that I have Grey Box sap running in my veins and a visit to the Eynesbury Forest is enough to rejuvenate the lowest of my spirits.

The local Eynesbury Conservation Group, you can look them up on Facebook, conduct a walk on a Sunday morning every two months. Usually led by the award-winning Chris Lunardi, a local identity; EE and I make it a point to turn up if at all possible.

Much to see in a day, so we cheated, and went back for a second look the following day.

Here are some of the Gems of the Forest.1811-28_DWJ_6412.jpg
Little Eagle, one of a pair. And try as I might I’ve not been able to locate their current nest site.

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Peregrine Falcon, a new bird for me at Eynesbury, this one is working on short wings with quick flutters. Target— Tree Martins that are nesting in the forest. We found at least one carcass to confirm its skills.

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A fledged Jacky Winter. Not from our usual pair, but one of two young birds on the wing. Well done Jacky

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A trip through the Greybox will always be accompanied by the trills from the many Brown Treecreepers in the area. A threatened species, so its good to see them so active in the forest
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At the lake, an Australasian Grebe was nurturing at least one new addition to the family

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Big, bold, noisy and hungry. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are working in the wattles that have seeded

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“Our’ Jacky Winter young. The nest is near falling apart, and the young still have a few days to go to fledge. Jacky made it quite clear today, that we were not welcome. So we moved on quickly

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Normally at this time of the year the forest would be ringing with the calls of hundreds of Dusky Woodswallows. Again, it is feared they are in decline, and this is the first season we’ve seen so few. But those that have come down, have wasted no time in getting off their first batch. This pair are feeding two young

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Two Black Kites were in the air having the best time on the strong winds. it really deserves a blog page of its own to describe and show the antics of this couple of birds, but two should do eh?

And finally two of the Tawny Frogmouth from the Children’s Playground park. Other photographers, you know who you are Lyndell, seem to be able to get them on days when they are low down, in the open and all together. They seem to be quite happy to sit in the trees while kids play about on the swings and climbing things just metres below.

Another episode to come I think.

 

Saturday Evening Post #007

I was really keen to put up yet another Wagtail Nursery set, as we’ve several along the river at the moment.

But perhaps a change is a good thing, so here’s a Swamp Harrier.
Perhaps the most challenging of the raptors that we work with.  These birds are have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to humans, and most often what we see is the white tail feathers of a Swampie disappearing in front of us.

This one came up the paddock toward us, but was searching for an updraft and as soon as it reached it the bird rose at a great rate with hardly a flick of the wings.

Which caused me to ponder that little bit, that how do they sense where the updrafts are happening?  Eagles, Pelicans, Kites, Ibis and many others seem to be able to work their way along and then rise with the thermal.

Unknown, but still things that make going out and watching a most pleasing experience.