It has been a while since I last featured other birding blogs here on my site. With all the writing I do, and other pressing responsibilities that life hurls at me from time to time, I don’t get nearly enough time to read many other sites about birds.
I hope to correct that oversight in coming weeks. Today I am going to feature two contrasting yet wonderful blogs, one about wildlife in general and the other specifically about birds and as a bonus, an article about bird photography.
Naturally South Australia features the ‘fascinating wild places and animals that define South Australia.’ Written and photographed by South Australian teacher and author Barry Silkstone, this blog highlights many of the things I love about my state. Of course he features many bird photos on a regular basis, and as a bonus you get photos of our animals as well. As a further bonus he writes about and photographs many of the places that make South Australia such a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a great place to live.
On the other hand Lirra Lirra: the magical mystery of birds is something else again. The author features only birds with photographs of the highest quality. Just the few featured on one recent post about Fairy-wrens made me almost weep for joy and total admiration – no, I am in awe. This site sent me scurrying to first check my bank balance, and then some camera shop sites. I thought some of my photos were rather good – until I saw this site. I really need to upgrade my camera equipment. Seriously upgrade. Sigh.
And while I am on the topic of bird photography, a few days ago I came across this article called 10 Tips for Photographing Birds. It includes some great ideas and hints on taking great shots of our wonderful birdlife.
Good birding – happy photography.
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.
On my visit to the Adelaide Zoo last week I spent some time in a walk through aviary. I wanted to get some more photos of the birds in their collection so I could share them here.
After several minutes in the enclosure my attention was drawn to the wooden walkway I was on. A small furry creature had jumped up on the walkway and came to investigate my shoes. It was a Long-nosed Potoroo, a small Australian mammal the size of a rabbit. He sniffed quite deliberately all around my shoes before hopping off to get a rub and a scratch from some children who had just entered the aviary.
This species of potoroo is found in Tasmania and in small numbers on the mainland, mainly coastal NSW and Victoria. It is not entirely nocturnal (unlike many of our mammals) and lives on fungi, insects, seeds, fruit, and vegetation.
Now to appease the birders who come to this site, here are two photos of birds I took only a minute or so before the potoroo came into my life.
A few months ago I wrote about a pair of Galahs investigating a hollow in a large tree in our garden. Every day or so they would come and do a little more in the hollow. I even saw them lining the nest with fresh gum leaves. But it didn’t happen. Their happy homemaking never resulted in the happy – noisy – squawk of little ones.
In the meantime I noticed that they would come every few days, sit at the entrance and screech loudly into the hollow. This behaviour puzzled me. I wondered if some other creature – an owl perhaps – had taken up residence.
A few nights ago I found out what had happened – and I have photographic evidence of who had taken over their cosy love nest. The photos below tell the story.
A few nights ago we were sitting in our lounge room reading. The sliding door leading out to the back veranda and back yard was open because it was a pleasant evening. Our attention was suddenly attracted by a loud hissing from nearby outside.
I immediately thought it might be a nocturnal bird, something like an owl for example. I grabbed the torch and within a minute had located the source of the noise. Two Brush-tailed Possums were in a tree near the house having a territory demarcation dispute, hence the loud hissing.
I raced inside for my camera and clicked off half a dozen shots before they disappeared out of range up separate trees. I was very disappointed that the photos were very blurry. I need more practice taking photos at night, I think. This is the best of them:
You can see a much better photo of a Brush-tailed Possum here.