I was quite pleased to see that today’s prompt was about birds as I already had a draft on the subject. So here, as they say, is one I prepared earlier.
I’ve often mentioned how much I enjoy the birds that visit my garden. I think that I’m quite lucky that as I live in the country we get a wide variety of birds although not all of them visit me. Some prefer the tall gum trees of adjacent properties and some I spot just flying past. I am always trying to photograph them but rarely succeed. Here are a few of my attempts.
Of the garden visitors of course the most common are the sparrows, starlings, swallows and honeyeaters. I have a soft spot for sparrows although some consider them vermin.
Less common visitors are the blue wrens and robins who only seem to be around in winter time. I have seen Zebra Finches too but I haven’t managed to photograph any of these small birds successfully. I have also had occasional visits from a pair of Green Rosella’s and once a flock of ducks but they had escaped from a neighbour’s garden so I can’t really count them I suppose.
The plover family dynasty has adopted the plot of land adjoining my driveway and I often see them looking for food there or flying around shrieking. They are quite vocal birds.
Out for a stroll with mum or dad.
Plover (Masked Lapwing)
Masked Lapwing, commonly knows as a plover. These are common in my area.
In the neighbourhood category the crows are the ones I hear most often. Their distinctive “Caw, caw” call is easy to pick. Surprisingly I don’t see or hear magpies nearby but we do have kookaburras. They prefer the taller gum trees or perhaps a power pole to perch on. I also hear seagulls as it is not far to Port Huon where there are plenty of fish and sometimes flocks of noisy Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. Sometimes I’ll even see an eagle flying overhead. They are too far away for me to say what kind they are.
This week has been a rotten one for taking photos. The birds in my garden have been uncooperative and although my phone may be smart I am not. At least not where it is concerned and it took me all my time to take photos for the Fun Foto Challenge this week . In my files I had some photos of birds I had taken at Lake Dulverton in Oatlands some years ago. This is the spot where Naomi walks her dogs. I am still trialling Adobe Photo Shop Elements so I had a play with it to make these.
Well now we are on to a new group of subjects. I love to photograph birds but it is not easy and not something you can do to order. Well I can’t anyway. No birds have shown up in my garden to be photographed this week. Even the Plover family have deserted me. This afternoon I sat in my garden for an hour or so and I saw what I think was an eagle flying high above me. In the trees I could hear parrots, probably cockatoos, and various little birds chirping away from the safety of the apple tree.
Here are some of my favourite bird photos from the past.
I usually have a lot of trouble trying to photograph the smaller birds that visit my garden. Of course when you have a large dog who has to be with you all the time that does not help. This morning though I had a big surprise. I got out of bed and headed to the back door to let Cindy out. There, about a foot away from the door was this little guy sitting absolutely still. Well of course that meant I could not let Cindy out so I went to the toilet and when I returned it was still there so I grabbed the camera. This bird sat still for so long I started to worry that something was wrong with it I didn’t want to open the door because of Cindy so I took my photos through the glass.
I often see these little birds in my garden and I thought that they were a species of finch but when I looked it up using my photos for reference I learned that it is a Yellow Throated Honeyeater, a fairly common native Tasmanian bird. Eventually after five minutes or more had passed I tapped on the glass and the bird seemed to come out of its trance and flew away. I wonder what it was so interested in? Was it admiring its own reflection in the glass? Had it come to thank me for planting bottlebrush and other bird attracting plants in the garden or perhaps to ask for some more dog hair? These birds are known for using animal hair in the nest-building process and when I brush Cindy outside I get a lot of loose hairs. She has probably supplied half the nests in Geeveston. Or perhaps the birds were having a human counting census like the bird counting census that is happening this week for National Bird Week.
I only had my standard 18-55 mm zoom lens on the camera but the photos came out quite well and I cropped them a bit afterwards.
I am always trying to take photos of birds in my garden or those I see when I’m out and about. Usually I spot them when I don’t have the camera with me or don’t have the right lens. Sometimes birds are just plain uncooperative.
The catholic school in Geeveston has a couple of “chooks” and I thought it would be nice to get a photo for my animals and birds collection. This one is a pretty bird but did not look great through the wire fence so I moved closer to make the wire disappear. (David showed me this trick when we used to photograph trains through wire fences and also at the Formula One Grand Prix where you are separated from the cars by safety fencing.)
However, chooky didn’t want her picture taken and showed what she thought of the idea by turning her back on me.
I had not planned to join in this challenge as I did not expect to get the opportunity to photograph herons. However, today I looked out my kitchen window and saw several members of the plover family who have claimed the land between my garden and the power substation next door. Then I noticed that I had another visitor, one I had never seen in my garden before.
I believe this is a White-faced Heron, one of the most common types of heron found in Australia. Luckily I still had the long lens on the camera so I took a few photos through the window. I didn’t want to go outside because even if I didn’t scare it away Cindy would have wanted to come with me and she certainly would have although she doesn’t really chase birds any more.