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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default Back into it, maybe

    Its been over three years since I used my camera to take anything other then basic photos of things that I needed to record, so I've been watching Trev (replionics) having fun with his and posting his excellent photos and I've been thinking 'I should get back into that'. I've been looking and thinking that for over a year and procrastinating and finding excuses not to but today I finally pulled my gear out, blew the dust and cobwebs off, and went to Cattai for a photo shoot. I loved it - just being out of the city and back taking a slow view of nature.

    Cattai is about 40 mins nw of Sydney. The birds seemed to be a bit shy for some reason, but I was happy just to be out. Heres some photos from the morning.

    Brown thornbill. Birdwatchers call these lbb's or lbj's (little brown jobs). Shame it wouldn't face the other way.

    brownthornbill.jpg

    Brown gerygone. Our other local lbj.

    browngerygone.jpg

    Yellow thornbill. Body angle is a bit off but...

    yellowthornbill.jpg
    Grey fantail. The background is a bit distracting. Its a typical problem with Australia. because the light is so bright here and our bush has so much dead/dry timber, and because most Australian trees have pale bark, then we tend to get these pale, boney looking backgrounds. Just what nature provides, I guess.

    greyfantail.jpg


    Variegated fairy wren. Female, the males wouldn't play ball at all. The sticks in front ruin this but they usually prefer to keep some cover between themselves and a human.

    variegatedfairywren.jpg

    Red-browed finch. Again, I don't like birds in 'thickets' and would have preferred a clean background but nature had other ideas.

    redbrowedfinch.jpg

    I enjoyed it so much I'll be going back out again this week. Better prepared next time.
    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    St. Helens Tasmania
    Posts
    2,227

    Default

    Great stuff Arron
    Here's hoping you do get back into it mate.
    Fantastic shots and really nice to see birds from other parts of the country.
    You've picked the right time of year as well to get the camera out.
    Things down here are starting to get moving towards spring!.

    Cheers mate
    Trev.

  4. #3
    crowie's Avatar
    crowie is offline Life's Good, Enjoy each new day & try to encourage
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Faulconbridge, Lower Blue Mountains
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    63
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    Yes, Keep the photos coming please....

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leopold, Victoria
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    60
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    Default

    No need to point out all the faults you can see in your photos, they all look superb to me.
    Cheers,
    Dallas

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Treecycle View Post
    No need to point out all the faults you can see in your photos
    Yeah, sorry, bit of a habit with me unfortunately.

    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default more photos today

    I went to Cattai for a another camera walk this morning. Here's some photos.

    These are Eastern Yellow Robins at their nest. Most bird photographers are pretty negative about taking nest photos because of the risk of disrupting the nesting attempt - and you cant enter them into most competitions or forums or galleries. Personally, I'm not so worried as long as you dont interfere with the nest - keep well back and dont linger for long. This one was about 8 meters up and unusually exposed for a bush bird nest which means they dont really have much chance of raising the young. A currawong or a raven will probably find the nest fairly soon.

    Big fat spider for lunch, yummy.

    yellowrobinnest.jpg


    The next shots were taken at a Spotted Pardalote nest tunnel. If ever you are walking along a bush track and you see a tiny bird fly up from the ground beside the track then you can be almost certain its a spotted pardalote at its tunnel. They nest in metre-deep tunnels, usually in very low banks or berns such as one might see beside a bush track. They have to nest in tunnels - pardalotes eat lerps as do many of the honeyeaters, which are much larger and bully the pardalotes mercilessly being competitors for the same food. Nesting in a tunnel gives them some respite and the ability to raise their young in peace.

    Pardalotes arent particularly worried by the presence of humans so if you see a nest tunnel then you can get some good photos if you give them some space and watch them closely. The parents will be continuously carrying nesting material or food to the tunnel. They dont dive in immediately, but will habitually fly to a small shrub or clump of sticks nearby, where they watch the tunnel for a few seconds, then in they go. The actual entry or exit move seldom presents a photo op because its very quick. This is the male carrying in some nesting material.

    pardaloteentry.jpg

    And here he is exiting the tunnel. They are normally quick so as not to highlight the location of the tunnel for predators but this one is proving me wrong by uncharacteristically taking a break at the entrance. The tunnel is behind the leaf fragment immediately below his tail and to his right.

    pardaloteexit.jpg

    While I was watching the paradalotes they were being periodically bullied by Bell Miners. Bell miners feed almost exclusively on lerps and psyllids, as do pardalotes. This one sat immediately above the tunnel for a while looking for a paradalote to chastise. Fortunately honeyeaters like bell miners have very short attention spans.

    bellminer.jpg

    And while I was watching, this yellow robin flew up into a tree nearby providing a shot with an unusually high-key, painterly background.

    yellowrobin2.jpg

    And I like this photo of a brown thornbill because of the horizontal/vertical contrast thing going on.

    thornbill.jpg

    I hope you enjoy them
    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Leopold, Victoria
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    That little Yellow Robin almost looks like a painting itself. All superb shots once again.
    Cheers,
    Dallas

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default More today

    Enjoying this. I went to the Central Coast today thinking the heath and heath/mallee country up there would give me some good shots as its fairly open country (and hence distant background so clean images with unobtrusive backgrounds). Also, it should be peak flowering for the heathland plant species.

    In fact it was a bit quiet. Every year is different and this year there is very little flowering. Here are some shots from the morning.

    This eastern spinebill was feeding in the Darwinia fasciatus (sorry, don't know its common name). The expectation of a clean background came good with this one.

    spinebill1.jpg

    just before flying away it allowed me a more conventional shot. Eye engages the viewer.

    spinebill2.jpg


    And this is a variegated fairy wren - first cousin of the superb fairy wren which Repliconics shows us from his back yard. This is a breeding male, not yet in full colour.

    variegated1.jpg


    And this is a less less dominant male, I think it wont make it out of eclipse (non-breeding) plumage this year and will have to remain a helper male, not a breeding male.

    variegated2.jpg

    This is a little wattlebird. I've seen these birds for many years but it wasn't until today that I realilsed their plumage effectively matches the banksia cones. Good camouflage.

    wattlebird.jpg

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    St. Helens Tasmania
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    I'm really enjoying seeing your photos Arron!.
    I hope the "maybe" has become a "definitely" back into it.

    Cheers
    Trev.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    humpty doo N.T
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    Default

    You certainly seem to be getting into it now.
    Have you see the photography forum Neil has started.
    Forums - PhotoForums it needs some activity.
    Cheers Rum Pig

    It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default Again this morning - ospreys

    I went out with the camera again this morning. Here's some of the photos taken.

    Osprey family at nest. Female on left, two chicks, male on right. A little too far for my lens really.

    nest.jpg

    At about 9:00 am, when the day had heated up sufficiently for there to be some thermals about, the male went fishing. It came back 20 mins later with this long tom (garfish).

    garfish.jpg

    It fed itself first, then one of the chicks. Ignoring the female and the other chick.

    feedingchicks.jpg

    The it loafed around the nest for about 20 mins, recovering I think. It did a little nest remodelling.

    nestremodel.jpg

    Then it took off, and again about 20 mins later reappeared over some distant hills with a fish. A nice bream this time.

    bream.jpg


    The female wasted no time, diving down and stealing it from him, with surprising force. She ate her fill then fed the both chicks.

    fishsteal.jpg

    I had to leave it at that.

    cheers
    Arron
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Sutherland Shire, Sydney
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    Default

    Great set of pics there. Where is the Osprey nest? I wouldn't mind having a crack at it with my 500mm lense.

    Thanks,

    Alan...

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    St. Helens Tasmania
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    Default

    Really kool stuff Arron.

    Cheers
    Trev.

  15. #14
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    May 2003
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    Central Coast, NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Al View Post
    Great set of pics there. Where is the Osprey nest? I wouldn't mind having a crack at it with my 500mm lense.

    Thanks,

    Alan...
    PM sent.
    Not a good move to reveal the location of such a vulnerable nest on a publically accessible forum.
    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    Default Start the dive

    A peregrine falcon, shot at the moment it readjusts its body position ready for its famous 'stoop'. Everything after this was too fast for me to track, in fact I could only just follow it with naked eye.

    This bird was coursing along the cliff tops at a Sydney beach. I didn't see what it was diving for and ultimately it was unsuccessful anyway.

    cheers
    Arron

    DSC_2229.jpg
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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