I’m sure you may be getting a bit tired of all the birds which have been featuring here, but sometimes I capture something that I just have to share. These were taken today using that big 300mm lens I have on loan. The soggy Splendid Wren was taken at a friend’s house where she has a bird bath just outside a window, and very close to the house. It was amazing to watch him splashing around and enjoying the water.
The Kookaburra was sitting in a Chestnut Tree in my back yard, carefully watching a garden bed that had been weeded yesterday – and the last shot shows what he was waiting for!
This handsome fellow and his missus have made a nest in the huge pile of garden debris that will have to be burnt before the fire season begins early in November – I do hope they will have moved out by then! He is a Superb Blue Wren, or Fairywren.
Birds of various sorts have become my favourite subjects for the moment – they offer many challenges to a photographer, only one of which is to be able to get close enough to get a good shot, either physically or with a telephoto lens. I have been playing with a Sigma 100-300mm lens, which is on loan from my son, and although not as sharp as my smaller Canon 70-200mm, it does get one a bit closer to the subject. Today I was shooting water birds on my own lake, and the one in town, as well as swans at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat. All of these water birds were traveling in pairs, some were displaying nest making behavior and I even saw swans with cygnets for the first time this year. Spring is finally here!
This is a tiny Grebe
A Swamp Hen
Yesterday a small flock (seven) Sulphur Crested Cockatoos landed in the Chestnut Tree in the backyard. Of course, I was out there in a flash taking shots of these beautiful, but extremely destructive native birds. Watching them bite off any small branch that took their fancy or got in their way, I again resolved not to encourage them to visit the garden by sending my large dog out to bark at them. None the less, here are a few shots taken this morning using the 70-200mm lens. I just love the one snoozing in the early morning sunshine.
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These were all taken around home where the birds are getting busy to mate and nest. The first shot is of two male Crimson Rosellas that were bickering over a female, who was ignoring them and eating seed on the ground – sensible lady! I’m delighted that I have seen two Eastern Yellow Robins in the garden which hopefully will mean there might be more around next year. I have also seen a pair of Flame Robins, but unfortunately I did not have the camera ready. I hope they fly by again soon.
This lovely little yellow bird seems to have moved into my area as I see it almost daily in my garden. It is not as fidgety as some, and will sit still still long enough for me to focus and get a good shot. I’m hopeful that it will also let me get a bit closer – these were taken with a 70-200mm lens, and cropped significantly.
Last weekend I was given a bunch of Iceland Poppies, mostly still furled inside their hairy sepals which fall as the crumpled papery petals push the flower open. Today I took those that remained and took some pictures, playing also with my son’s professional lights which I have borrowed for a while. These were taken with my 100mm macro lens, using a tripod, and mostly lit from behind or underneath. I hope you enjoy them.
I think my favourite shot is the last one, the poppy was cream, so I have changed it to a black and white image.
There are few flowers, fewer insects, but there are still birds in my garden! I feed them during the winter when there is less natural food around. All of these shots were taken in the last few days, using a 70-200mm lens and tripod.
With Spring approaching plus endless rain, the local frog population is very vocal, and one can hear them in most parts of this large garden. I often find them when weeding or doing other things in the garden, and will sometimes capture them for a short while, take some photos and then release again where they were found. Here are a couple of my recent finds – they are all very small.
The one on the right is the most common Litoria ewinii, the Southern Brown Tree Frog. As there is a huge variation in colour and markings in this species, the other smaller one may be the same, but I am not sure and cannot find a way of identifying it clearly from this source. It was very small, and was found buried rather than just under some leaf litter so could be something different as it also seemed to have a different shape. This is it sitting on my thumbnail.
PS. Today ( 1/8/12) I received an answer from the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre, to whom I had sent the above photo in the hope they might identify this little dark frog for me. This is their response:-
This is probably either a Common Eastern Froglet (Crinia signifera) or an Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet (aka Beeping Froglet – Crinia parasignifera). These two froglets would probably be found in this area and they can really only be identified easily by their calls – the calls can be listened to on the MV website at http://museumvictoria.com.au/bioinformatics/frog/
So now we know!
Rain again today, and we are in for another wet week. Ventured out and about the garden between showers, took heaps of lousy pictures but kept these few, starting with Maggie my Blue Merle Collie.