I’ve been trying to get close enough to the small birds that feed on the low-lying field of Frogs Hollow on sunny afternoons, but either I haven’t got my 150-500mm lens with me on my walk OR they fly away before I can get close enough.  Finally I decided to just share these images.  I accept I will never get closer to get a really decent shot.

First I saw them next to the wood pile between my apartment building and the path leading to the river. I couldn’t get close enough, but there were about a dozen wrens hopping around on the grass or on the newly cut trees. Apparently these trees were cut as they weren’t native to the area and will soon by taken away by the Nature reserve ranger/staff. Shame about that in one way, as the pile were good cover for small birds from larger predators.

Mostly, in trying to photograph small wild birds, I am having trouble hand-holding the heavy lens as I follow the tiny birds as they continually hop around.   A tripod would be of no use in this type of situation.

About a week and half ago, I managed to capture them in a bit better focus, together with a flock of red-browed Finches and Red-rumped Parrots.  All together there must have been about 30 birds of the 3 species in the one area.

I managed to catch one in the grass.

Than I caught the backside of one walking down the gravel path.

I think all the Fairy-wrens were females.

Than I followed about 5 birds as they hopped down towards the river, eating grass seed at the path edge along the way.

I have to say that I find trying to photograph tiny wild birds more than a bit of a challenge.  I realise how lucky I was when I was living next to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for 15 years.  Most of the birds I photographed were used to humans and I could get quite close.  Even the herons or cormorants on the large lake island usually stood still in the afternoon sun and I was able to use a tripod.

The following 2 shots were the closest I ever got to the wrens when living on the north-eastern side of Melbourne next to the Yarra River.  They are males.

This shot was made in deep shade so I’ve lightened the shadows in PP as much as I could without getting too much ‘noise’ or graininess in the image. In this case I had to watch the patch of blue flitting about among the green foliage and brown tree trunks as the rest of the bird was hard to see in the deep shade.

This shot of a male Splendid Fairy-wren was the best I’ve ever shot in the past. Apparently the males change to all-blue in the breeding season, but I’ve never seen one completely blue.

BALCONY GARDEN UPDATE……

It’s been raining overnight and I’ve woken up to a rather chilly day.

While the first month of winter – June – is nearly over, we’ve had surprisingly little rain so far in Melbourne.  It’s been mainly light showers in the western suburbs (where I live) for this last week, but enough to stall my efforts to get outdoors for some walking and fresh air (and/or nature photography).

More frequent showers are forecast for the next few days though.  I have to be honest and say that at least 2 days this week, I’ve spent most of the day watching my favourite Italian detective DVD series with the sound turned off, reading the subtitles only and a hot pack on the back of my neck.  Seems to be the only thing that truly reduces this long-running severe headache. Earlier this week,  I received a referral to a Neurologist who specialises in migraines, but when I got a quote for his initial consultation, I silently said “Ouch” and put the heat pack back on my neck.  Gee, some of these specialists cost more than my food budget for 2 months.  Maybe I’ll try some acupuncture, as at least that’s partly covered by my private health insurance. I’ve only just realised (in my foggy brain pain state) that the wonderful Chinese Doctor and Acupuncturist who I used to go to (in early 2010) is only a tram ride away.  Now why didn’t I think of her 5 months ago, I ask myself.  All I can say is that I’m forgetting lots of things these days.

My west-facing potted garden on my balcony is still thriving, despite the intermittent nature of Mother Nature’s rain drops.  I gave all my herbs and flowers another massive haircut a week or so ago and the flowers have spread their colourful petals even more.  Will this blue Bacopa and pink Argyranthemum ever stop flowering, I’m wondering?  Herbs love a good prune regularly and although its winter, only the Sage, Oregano and Lemon Thyme have really died back for the season.  My Rosemary, Mint, English and Italian flat-leaf parsley are surging ahead with the speed of a ‘Road-runner’.

For the first time, I’m growing Sorrel and Tuscan Kale.  Both are looking rather lively, although the Tuscan Kale seems to be rather slow to start (for my dinner table). Apparently, Sorrel tastes a bit like Spinach, so I’m keen to give it a trial run in my limited balcony space.

NOTE: all the images in this post were made yesterday.

Even my Rosemary has got new blue flowers on one spike.

 

DUSK ………LAST NIGHT

Rain today, so I’ve been indoors trying to catch up with some blog reading.

Sunsets don’t have to be spectacular.  Sometimes you just sense the breeze whispering in the tree tops and the sound of birds chirping close by and relax into watching the sun go down.

This image was made from my apartment balcony.