Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mt Crawford Forest Reserve

After much frustration, trial and error, success followed by failure, I've finally figured out the text wrap for around the images on this blog! =P Blogging will be much quicker from now on. Onto the good stuff...

I began my walk just before 9 this morning and stepping out of the car I was greeted with the sounds of white-throated treecreepers, sulphur crested cockatoos, grey fantails and crescent honeyeaters. A lovely mix ;)

The walk was perhaps not the best choice of location, as the first section of trail had me walking into the morning sun, so there wasn't much photography to be had and it was hard to see the birds. But there were plenty around and mistletoebirds, buff-rumped thornbills and striated pardalotes were all joining in the chorus. I spied a female golden whistler, silent and perched in the shadows, but I took her picture anyway. =)

 There was plenty of insect life about, with dragonflies hovering all over the place. Moving on, in a nice stand of eucalypts were a small flock of striated thornbills, and a pair of eastern spinebills, nectaring on the mistletoe which was on the tree. The cresecent honeyeaters had their work cut out for them, chasing away the eastern spinebill pair whenever they invaded too much onto their favourite patch.

The sound of a group of laughing kookaburras cut through the air as I continued my walk, and I paused to listen to them, wondering what it was that would have set them off, a pesky currawong perhaps? A white-throated treecreeper then took it upon itself to fly down close to me to have a peek, it chose the shadiest branch on the tree, but nevermind, I still managed a dark image which I can still share as a record. I have a fondness for the species as it was the first species of treecreeper that I ever saw.

A little up the track I was hearing superb fairy-wrens, but not seeing any. I came across a fantastic yellow dragonfly, probably an Austrogomphus with the species maybe being guerini, but I'm no expert =P It was a great looking dragonfly though.
I spent quite some time snapping away, to get a good focus on the little guy and what you see is what I ended up with. There were also plenty of butterflies around, which was great to see, most of them were common browns: Heteronympha merope, maybe common, but they're still beautiful.

The next species to grace me with its presence was a female crescent honeyeater, I was watching her for some time perching on a broken off branch of a eucalypt and and hovering to pluck insects from the bark. She then came down into a small shrub in front of me, which was (as seemed to be the theme of the day) deep in shadows. Still, I tried with what settings I had to grab a couple of shots, which didn't turn out great, but make a nice record. I do wonder why however, that it's always the females that approach me, and I hardly ever get near the males whose colours are more striking.

Shortly afterwards, I came across a small family of scarlet robins, both mum and dad were on feeding duty, but I couldn't quite determine if there was more than one youngster, it kept flying all around the place and I kept losing it in the scrub, but I think there was only one, only one appeared when the dad caught a nice tasty snack ;) I managed to snap a couple of photos of the youngster and dad together, but missed the action when he actually fed his youngin'. I then had a chance for a
great set up, dad was using a few obvious perches and I took my time and set myself up for a decent shot from a couple of them. I thought I had the settings right, dad landed and I fired off a series of shots. I overexposed quite a lot and ended up with hot whites on the branch and on his frons, but I managed to recover the image somewhat and you can see it below. It came out alright, but I'm mad at myself for having missed something easy that I was supposed to be ready for. But I guess that's all part of the learning curve.

That about sums up the walk I think, after my encounter with the robins I headed back for home, the only new things I encountered on my way back being a flock of white-winged choughs, but they spooked easily and a pair of emus, just going about their buisness. I also spied a male mistletoe bird that I heard on the way in for my walk but hadn't seen. He didn't stick around long though. So all up, not a hugely succesful day photography-wise, but always a lot of fun with plenty of birds to appreciate, and that's what it's all about.

Till next time, happy birding.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos - especially love the one of the dragonfly. Not easy to do - those around our garden are constantly on the move.