I really enjoy visiting zoos. I love seeing the many animals on display but I especially like visiting zoos because of the photographic opportunities they present.
My home zoo is Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia. It’s about an hour’s drive from my home and I am a life member. I don’t particularly like animals being caged up and not free, but I became a member supporting Zoos SA because of their excellent conservation programmes. They have wonderful breeding programmes and have been very successful in breeding several endangered species and then releasing those animals back into their natural habitats.
One of the strengths of the Adelaide Zoo is their strong bird collection. All the birds are kept in aviaries which mimic their preferred habitats. Several of the aviaries are open to the public to walk through, and these provide excellent photo opportunities. I’ll be sharing some of these photos in the coming days.
We get a great deal of pleasure in watching the wide range of birds in our garden. Their favourite spot would have to be the bird baths. Ours too. I’ve strategically placed the bird baths where we can sit or eat our meals and watch the passing parade of birds visiting for a drink, especially on hot summer days. The list of species we’ve seen visiting the water is long and growing one.
Possibly the most frequent visitors are the resident New Holland Honeyeaters. They tend to come in numbers, sometimes a dozen or more at a time and they are always noisy, especially when they are bathing and not just drinking. Their splashing looks like a mini-sprinkler is sitting on the bath, water spraying everywhere.
A few days ago I captured these endearing shots of several having the time of their lives. Methinks they are in serious need of a hair – er – feather dryer.
I’ve included a few more photos of them below.
Most of the photos on this site have been taken with a Canon Powershot S2IS. It has been a good workhorse camera for me over the last five and a bit years. The results shown on this site speak for themselves. The S2 has been superseded by several models since its release but it was perfectly adequate for my needs. I bought the camera specifically for a trek in the Himalayas and the Everest region in January 2006 (read about it here.)
The Canon Powershot S2 IS features 12x zoom and 5 megapixels. The 12x zoom has been particularly useful for taking bird photos, but often I was left wanting just a little more. A recent set of circumstances has led me to upgrade to the Canon Powershot SX 20 IS (see photo above). This is a run-out model, being superseded by the Powershot Sx 35 IS. I knew about this new model but reviews I read were not all that complimentary, so I dismissed that model, despite the extra zoom. It was also double the price.
The one I bought was actually on sale for less than half its listed RRP. Not only have I scored a bargain, my first impressions are very favourable. The 20x zoom is great and at 12.1 megapixels the photos should also be impressive. Sure, you can get cameras that are far more impressive, greater zoom, more features, more megapixels and so on, but you’d pay a lot more than I have.
I’d love a top of the range digital SLR with all the bells and whistles, but I carry enough gear when birding; I don’t want to have to carry several lenses, tripod and so on. It’s a choice I’ve made; lightness and convenience won the day, as well as price.
I still have quite a few photos to share here taken with the old camera but those taken with the new one should start appearing here soon. Some of the first photos taken with the new camera have appeared on my blog Trevor’s Travels here and here and here. One of the first bird photos taken with the camera appears below.