A Trip in the Grey Box at Eynesbury

Been a long time between posts, I know.  Hope you remember me!

But the excuse—I’m going to use—is that we just haven’t been doing much that is reportable.

Long term readers may remember that the blog was originally set up to record the bird activity at Grey Box forest at Woodlands Historic Park.  Quite a few things have changed, in the park, and in my birding life, and in my life since those humble beginnings.
It has been said more than once, sometimes kindly, others not, that I have Grey Box sap running in my veins. Put me in a stand of Grey Box and my heartrate, breathing and all other out of contol faculties calm down.
So when EE said, casually, ‘Why don’t we go to Eynesbury”, on a sunny morning, before you can say, “We’re off” we were!

After all the rain, Eynesbury Grey Box looks a treat.  Plenty of green and still good water laying about in the usual dry water courses that cross the forest.

We had hoped to see Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail, Sacred Kingfisher and Jacky Winter.  In descending order of importance.
We also had hoped to hear the forest ringing with the sounds of Dusky Woodswallows that regularly return to nest in the area.
However Grey Box is not always forthcoming and in the end we had to admit, that today was not going to be our day.

But here’s a small selection of the action.

Plenty of Tree Martins. Just about every available hole had its families.


A new Brown Falcon for me. A dark morph male used to work in this area, but time has allowed a new encumbant. The same technque however was being used.
It would glide from one perch spot to another and pick off a recently fledged starling or martin along the way.


Satisifed, it had plenty of time to digest its meal before making another foray


That looks like a suitable meal.
We often think of Browns as being a bit lumbering or labouring in flight. But, given the right conditions they can put on a turn of speed and manoeuvrability that rivals their more agile cousins


Just what ever small pond needs. Maned Duck. I still think Wood Duck is so much better.
I also suspect she was out for a bit of stretch from nesting as he was sole guardian of the pond as we returned


The Brown Treecreepers are feeding the first of their young, and look to be having a good season.


Getting all your duck(lings) in a straight line.
At first we thought they must have been orphaned, but the male Chestnut Teal quickly came out and gathered them all up.
This is another ephemeral pond, and the first time I’ve seen water in it in over 10 years


Galahs are also fledging their recent young.


This was the find of the day. The little Aussie Battler has set up a nest in a tiny, narrow arm of the main lake at Eynesbury. It’s right by a walking track, and she didn’t seem at all concerend at our presence.


A bit of a show-off.
There are several captive peafowl at the Old Homestead. Hard not to resist a look at those amazing tail markings. Excuse the rubbish bin.

Studio Werkz

When I was a mere broth of a photographer, and just learning the craft, almost all weddings, portraits and product and advertising photography was done in the Studio. Photographers like D’acre Stubbs specialised in getting just the right light on a product, and Wolfgang Sievers made wonderful detailed industrial photos with dramatic lighting.
And I traded my poor old Super Baldar, 120 folding camera for the chance to learn the craft as a trainee.

Continue reading “Studio Werkz”

Little Visits: Meeting the Chestnuts

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but when I was a little tacker, we had in our limited home library several small books by an American writer and self-styled genius, Elbert Hubbard.

Hubbard’s collection were titled, Little Journey’s to the homes of the Great and near-Great, as best I remember.  I was later to find there was at least a dozen or more of them, and each contained an article he had published, regularly, perhaps once a month, and it contained both, as I was to discover later, both historical fact, and romantic nonsense of his own creation about each of the ‘Famous’ visits.
And such strange names and places for a young lad more interested in frogs, and beetles and chocolate.  But none the less, I can recall, somewhat sagely, being read some of these stories as a little dude

, sitting wide-eyed in bed, before ‘lights out’.

So today, for want of not being able to travel great distances, and the need to spend some time around at the doc’s getting a ‘script, we took to the Werribee Mansion for a coffee, and a walk around the ornamental lake.
And we found Mr and Mrs Chestnut Teal.
Engaged in what can only be described as intense discussion.  Those who know of Mrs  Ches Teal’s enigmatic “Laugh”, will well know how this conversation was going.

And for those who might be wondering where my photo direction could be going, these were shot with a Nikon V1 (and old camera, which has been much maligned on this blog, more than once).  Today, I coupled it with the 300mm f/4 PF and a TC 1.4  Nice, light, easy to carry, and as long as the temperature doesn’t go up, a much better performer than I can remember.



Warm sunshine schmoozing
Warm sunshine schmoozing
There is obviously more than one point of view in this discussion and she has them all.
There is obviously more than one point of view in this discussion and she has them all.
And he could give back as good as he was getting
And he could give back as good as he was getting
Ahhh, Kik kik kik kik kik
Ahhh, Kik kik kik kik kik
It's enough to make you put your bill in the water
It’s enough to make you put your bill in the water