OFFLINE FOR A WHILE…..

I will be offline for a while (due to back/shoulder/neck pain).

 

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NANKEEN NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – 8th June, 2013

Surfing through my archives makes me think I took my best bird photos in 2013.

Is it because I could get up closer to the bird life in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Zoo?

I think some of my best bird shots were of the Nankeen Night Heron.

It’s still my favourite Australian bird.

I remember the day in the Botanic Gardens when I first saw it and thought I’d captured a shot of a rare bird.  Of course as time went by, I realised it was as common as mud in the Botanic Gardens.  You just had to pick the right time of day, season and location……..and it did help to use a tripod as they were mainly on the islands in the middle of the large Ornamental Lake.

The shots in this post were made at Melbourne Zoo and I used the wooden post of the viewing platform as a tripod.  They were not caged or in the large Aviary.  They lived on the enormous island in the middle of an area I used to call Pelican’s ‘Lagoon’ (as that was where the Australian Pelicans and Cormorants used to gather to be fed at 4.00pm each afternoon by the Zoo Staff).

If you’re a bird photographer, do you think your best bird shots were of your favourite bird species, or do you think the best shots were…… right time, right place and proximity to the bird?

AUTUMN ISN’T ALWAYS FINE

The week following the previous post’s images (from my archives) wasn’t fine at all.

The 17th May 2013 down at St Kilda beach, one of Melbourne’s closest bayside beaches, was freezing cold and a very brisk wind indeed.

A Pacific Gull basks in a ray of sunlight to warm up.
Halfway along St Kilda’s long pier, the waves crashing on the rocky outcrop below look as though they’d be very cold indeed.
At the end of St Kilda pier, I sit in the windless side of the iconic Kiosk looking over the boat marina to the city in the distance.
Looks like rain over the city.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybridus)
The city skyline is bathed in sunlight after the rain clouds blew away.

The St Kilda Pavilion is an historic kiosk located at the end of St Kilda Pier built in 1904, originally known as Parer’s Pavilion and later renamed Kirby’s Kiosk but locally known as St Kilda Kiosk. Burnt down in 2003 and later rebuilt to its present form. Excellent Fish’n’Chips
Must have been high tide this day, as the ramp leading down to the sand was almost covered in water.

 

LOOKING FOR AUTUMN

Since I moved from the south-eastern side of Melbourne where I lived next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, I’ve been planning a trip back to the RBG to capture some more images of Autumn.

Going through my archives this morning, I came across the photos I shot on the 6th May 2013.

Seems like early to mid-May is the best week to go.

Here’s a few old images to whet your appetite.

And RBG images wouldn’t be complete without a shot of my favourite bird photography subject – the Nankeen Night Heron – captured on this same Autumn day.

(for those interested, this shot was made after scrambling down a steep slippery slope of wet rotting Autumn leaves under a large tree and nearly falling into the lake.  While quite funny at the time, I’m glad I saved myself in time as I would have had to walk home in a muddy, wet pair of jeans, but more importantly, I would have missed this favourite shot of the Heron.  This half-sunken tree the heron is standing on is hidden from the regular walking path and I liked to claim it as my secret spot to see birds up close).

But while one can get  close, one false move and the bird(s) fly away.

Of course there are flowers in bloom in Autumn – here’s a few.

Hebe
Climbing Foxglove (if my memory serves me right).
Cobra lily (Arisarum vulgare)
Indian Shot Plant (Canna)

 

MORE IMAGES FROM ‘A PERFECT AUTUMN DAY’ (on Wednesday)