GALAH (Cacatua roseicapilia)

This year, every time I think about giving up Photography (due to deteriorating health, eyesight and being more housebound), I have a great hour or two outdoors and manage to capture some new images to share.

Yesterday was one such day.

I walked extra slowly to the local medical centre for my appointment and passed the small park, (which is merely a grassy area about the size of a soccer field), under brilliant blue winter skies and a smattering of fluffy white clouds rushing across the blue expanse.   The wind was actually very fierce indeed.

While brilliant warm early afternoon sunshine makes for a lovely walk for some folk in mid-winter, it is not necessarily great for the amateur photographer.   It’s almost impossible for me to see well through the viewfinder in that bright glare, but I did have my lightweight Sony ‘mirrorless’ camera in a bag over my shoulder ‘just in case‘ anyway.

Depending on the weather after my appointment, I had thought about catching a bus down to the river and a walk around the Maribyrnong Wetlands pond.  The bus stop is about 20 feet from the pond so it is one of the few wetlands, or nature reserves, really close to public transport (and my home).

To my delight, (and I had allowed a whole hour to do the 10 minute walk 😀 ), I spied 12-15 Galahs grazing on my side of the stretch of grass.   Last time I’d seen them in mid June, I didn’t have a camera with me.

 

This time I stood still for a while and gradually crept up to where they had their heads down, greedily pecking away at the low rich green grass surface.

Every time one of the richly coloured pink and grey birds lifted their head and casually glanced my way, I stood stock-still as a tree trunk.

I’m good at that.

I TRIED TO GET A SHOT OF THE FLOCK AS 2 MORE LANDED, BUT MISSED THE SHOT AND CHOPPED THEIR LANDING OFF IN THE UPPER LEFT OF THE IMAGE. DID I TELL YOU THE LIGHT WAS BRILLIANT AND I COULDN’T SEE THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER VERY WELL?

Then I’d take another step or two and stand perfectly still again. I eventually managed to get to about 10 feet away from their grazing patch.

Great flocks of Galahs are very common in the countryside in Australia and found even far inland where there are vast plains and low-lying scrub or desert.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, AND WITHOUT ANY WARNING THEY ALL TOOK OFF AND OF COURSE I MISSED THAT SHOT TOO.

They’re a large and very distinctive cockatoo with back and tail pale grey with darker wingtips, neck and underparts a striking pale pink.   In some light, it’s more a bright pink as you can see in my images.

The immature birds have a greyer breast.

Gregarious, often noisey and usually feeding territorially, their voice is a distinctive high-pitched ‘chee chee’ screech.

I think they’re beautiful and being an urban dweller in a suburb west of Melbourne city, I rarely see them in my area, just in that one spot on a small field of grass.   I love to watch them down on the ground or flying round in ever increasing circles looking for another patch to graze on when disturbed.

They may be common as mud in the countryside, but to me, they’re a Treat!

THE FLOCK LANDED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FIELD AND I DECIDED TO JUST KEEP WALKING AS MY APPOINTMENT TIME HAD NEARLY ARRIVED AND I WOULD BE LATE IF I DETOURED FURTHER.

I’ll have to do another post (of the water birds at the pond) later as I have to go out for another appointment today, this time via taxi, but as it’s sunny at the moment (despite the forecast rain), I might just take the camera outdoors again……….‘just in case’ 🙂