This morning, an eastern reef egret with dark grey plumage in an appearance with a couple of his white plumed cousins. I was down at the point just after seven. Laying low on the grass so as not to disturb the birds, I was fair game for the midges and a persistent horse fly. Nevertheless, I persisted.
Just over a fortnight ago, I came across this mound and a lone Brush Turkey on a rainy walk. Early on Sunday morning I found the pair on the same mound. They were making adjustments to the nest together presumably getting the temperature just right for when the eggs are laid. Spring is definitely with us.
Down on the point, I’m persisting with my self-imposed learning journey to capture birds in flight.
The Black-winged Stilts are constants on the incoming tide at the moment. The closer in time that I arrive before a high tide, the closer in distance I get to the birds.
I’ve been contemplating why I’m going through this practice every day. It’s as much about the desire to improve the shot taking as it is for the exercise and fresh air. Every day I’m learning something new or having other things reaffirmed. It’s all about the light today. Mid-late afternoon. And for a change, these photos have absolutely no adjustments to exposure or effects added.
I’m noticing improvements in my ability to track birds in flight with the camera too. Practice, practice, practice, as they say.
I’ve been timing my coast walks close to high tide so it was after 2pm that I made today’s trek. The only shore birds evident were the usual suspects, these Black-winged Stilts. They were mostly intent on holding the same pose. As I was leaving, I caught sight of a Greater Egret wading around the mangroves.
I watched him catch two fish and then took a few unspectacular photographs from my vantage point.
Once done fishing, the bird took off in a hurry. Any shot of his departure was going to be miraculous. You’ll notice that the camera (and the photographer) did manage to get the mangroves in focus.
A little Monterey effect via FX Photo Studio Pro to lift these snaps on what is a very bright and warm Spring Eve day.
For a while it was relatively calm on the shore line. The tide was coming in gently and every so often the birds jostled for new positions as they moved up a little more to take account of the changing water depths.
Then this backwash from a passing boat arrived. This is the moment when the godwits were figuring out that some kind of reaction was called for. You can almost see their minds ticking over.
I arrived at the Point an hour later than yesterday’s trek which meant that the incoming tide was closer to the shore. Today’s shots have very little or no effects work done on them with the exception of the stilts in flight photo which has a touch of Vintage using FX Photo Studio Pro.
You might notice a ring in towards the end. I was lying in a prone position so as not to disturb the shore birds. Suddenly he was half a metre away from my face. He was totally unfazed and not about to let a strange human on the grass disturb his food hunt.
I seem to be gravitating towards blues and greys today. Here’s a selection.
spoonbills and stilts
80 Mile Beach
Manly Corso, Sydney
This morning’s winter sky was spectacular and motivation for an early and cold trek down to the bay to capture the best of it.
I noticed the tide was rising, so was curious to see if any shore birds were feeding at the point.
Yes! Spoonbills! Royal Spoonbills to be precise. There were six of them.
They were not alone. The usual suspects were there – bar tailed godwits, black winged stilts, masked lapwings and seagulls joined by a Caspian tern and four sooty terns. A lone sea eagle also put in an appearance overhead to top it off.
Here are a couple of attempts with my new marker pens and water colours from photographs I’ve taken. I’m learning that slowing down and letting go yield more satisfying results.
There is no rush.
garland of chillies – Pike Place Market, Seattle
black-winged stilts – Moreton Bay