Over the last week I shown a series of photos of Silver Gulls. This is the last in that series. For the photographer gulls are often a very good subject for learning the skills of bird photography. Gulls are often quite confiding; you just have to produce some food – like chips – and you will soon have more subjects for your camera lens than you can cope with. On this occasion I didn’t need any food. I didn’t want large numbers of gulls. They were content to stay just a few metres away and let me snap away happily.
As with all photography, shooting birds requires appropriate lighting conditions. It was late afternoon – about an hour before sunset. The sun was almost directly behind me which was good – apart from needing to watch where my shadow fell.
Overall, I am very pleased with the result. I’m still trying to get that elusive stunning shot of a gull in flight. Gulls are ideal subjects for that too. I’ll just need to be patient.
A few moths ago my wife and I attended a special food fair at Norwood. The emphasis was on South East Asian food and Chinese food in particular. Some Chinese friends of ours had especially invited us to attend. The food was magnificent and we introduced our palates to many new dishes.
After the festivities we decided to spend an hour or so in the nearby Adelaide Botanic Gardens. I had my camera at the ready because I knew from past visits that this was an excellent venue to obtain some great bird photos. This time, however, I was a little disappointed. I had a frustrating time; not many birds, my batteries ran flat and the spares were also flat. You have days like that.
I did manage to get a few photos of some of the trees and flowers shown on this page, plus a rather nice shot of a Pacific Black Duck. I guess the birds will have to wait for another day.
A few days ago I was sitting out in the lovely winter sunshine trying to recover from my recent bout of flu. Our back veranda is generally out of the wind and a very pleasant spot to take in a little snoozing in the sunshine. It was one of those rare days we’ve had recently, what with all the rain and showery weather we have been having for a change. We can’t say we are out of the drought yet, but the signs are encouraging.
While slumbering in the sun I was aware of a bird of prey calling nearby. That certainly woke me up. What looked and sounded like a Brown Falcon was circling low overhead. Several of the local resident Australian Magpies were vigorously attacking this poor creature. In a matter of seconds it had flown off to a safer location.
I do not yet have a photo of a Brown Falcon. During those 10-15 seconds it was circling overhead I most certainly would have been able to get several good shots of the underwing markings. Alas – no camera in my hand or within easy reach. When I did go inside to get my camera I found that the batteries were flat.
Two Simple Rules:
- Always have your camera handy.
- Check to see that the camera batteries are charged.
It seems that the love of bird photography runs in the family.
My son has some new photographic gear that he loves using. On a recent visit home he proudly showed me his new equipment: a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR.
Nice camera – bit on the heavy side for my liking, but one can really get into the photo game with gear like that.
Anyway, Simon has been posting a few of his bird photos on his blog. Here are some recent posts that include bird shots:
- Munro park / Tunks Park– (north Sydney
- Parrots at Tunks – King Parrots
- Lane Cove National Park
- Kookaburra on the clothes line – a stunning close up photo
And here is where I wrote about my camera and bird photography:
Rainbow Lorikeets would have to be one of Australia’s most beautiful birds. They are aptly named. As they fly overhead in a flash of colour they light up their little patch of the azure blue sky. Their feathers are a brilliant blend of bright reds, greens, blues and yellows. As they screech overhead – and that is an accurate description of their harsh calls – their stunningly red underwings are like a blood-streak across a blue backdrop.
Rainbow Lorikeets are widespread along the northern, eastern and southern coastal regions of Australia. Their preferred habitats include woodlands, rainforests and wherever eucalyptus trees are numerous. They are easily seen in parks and gardens throughout many of our towns and cities.
Despite being quite common I have had some difficulty getting reasonably clear photographs of this species. When flying they seem to be going too fast to focus on them. When feeding they are often well hidden in the thick foliage of a eucalypt tree as they search out nectar from the flowers.
A single tree, if heavily in flower, can be host to twenty or thirty of these stunning beauties, their contact calls a never-ending chorus of murmurings and chattering. Yet, despite the numbers, most remain hidden amongst the leaves, usually near the top and out of sight – but not out of earshot. In large numbers their screeching can be deafening, especially near sunset as they squabble and jostle for roosting spots.
Since writing this article I have managed to take several good shots of this beautiful bird, so I ‘ve added one of them below. Click on the image to enlarge it.
This article was further updated in July 2015.