Superb Fairy-wren

The female Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) may not be as vividly coloured as her male counterpart, but she is still a beautiful little bird. I have identified three males and three female, with possibly one juvenile, living in my back garden.

While I have managed to take some photos of the males, the female has eluded me. However, in the past couple of weeks, I have managed to get a few photographs.

Superb Fairy-wren

Here, she is being escorted by two of the males. These birds are small (11-14 cm.) and very fast. I barely had the chance to get the camera to my eye, press the shutter, then they were off!

Superb Fairy-wren

Superb Fairy-wren

Superb Fairy-wren

Female Superb Fairy-wrens are brown, with a reddish-brown bill, lores.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

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My Garden Birds

For a while there, it was looking like January was going to be the month of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). However, judging by the quietness of the neighbourhood lately, it seems they must have moved on to new hunting grounds.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans)Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) are all frequent visitors to the feeders in my garden. Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) occasionally turn up, and then have the cheek to try and take over.

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)

Galah

Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus)

Galah

Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus)

Galah

Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus)

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

2018 – The First Six Days

On New Year’s Day, the Little Raven (Corvus mellori) family came to the feeders in my front garden. There were two adult birds and three juveniles.

They had been nesting in a tree at the bottom of my yard, and until this visit had rarely come down from the treetops.

Little Raven

The following photograph is of a Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) in full breeding colours.

Superb Fairy-wren

As soon as I had snapped that photo, he immediately turned around. So, for a bit of fun, here he is – a rear view.

Superb Fairy-wren

If there were ever a vote for the bird with the worst attitude, the Sulphur-crest Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) would win, hands down!

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

These birds are loud, gregarious, and definitely have attitude!

The following photo is another male Superb Fairy-wren. I have been observing him in the garden and I have noticed some odd behaviour.

I first noticed it a couple of weeks ago, when he sat within a Blackberry bush, preening. He sat for ages hidden under the Blackberry’s leaves, surrounded by large thorny canes. They were his protection.

In the photo below, (which was taken in my front garden), I snapped him feeding, but, again, he stayed within the protection of my bottlebrush’s foliage.

Superb Fairy-wren

I have read recently of how the male Superb Fairy-wren can change his behaviour when he comes into his breeding colours. He feels vulnerable, and unlike the other adult male, he was with, was not going to venture out into the open.

Below are some more photos that were taken in my front garden.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Summer Visitors

Every summer the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) arrive at my place for the summer.

When Spring arrives, I have noticed a “scout” flies over the neighbourhood, staying for just a few days before leaving. Anything from a week to a few days will pass then the whole flock will appear.

This year the most birds have turned up. The flock numbering at least a hundred is twice as big as the flock that has turned up in other years.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Birds in my Garden

Many years ago, after building our house, we turned our minds to planning our garden. The house block, which was about 2 acres in size, had no trees on it. It had been once part of a farm and had been used as grazing for dairy cows, then, ploughed over for planting potatoes.

We planted native trees and shrubs and now we are reaping the reward for our effort. The trees are filled with native birds and honeyeaters flock to the flowers.

This New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) was busy in the front garden getting his fill of nectar from the Kangaroo Paw plant.

PC283466-New Holland Honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater

These Superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) are often seen early in the morning and late in the afternoon chasing insects to eat.

Superb Fairy-wren

Superb Fairy-wren

Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) visit the front garden where the feeders and bird bath keep them occupied.

Galah

Occasionally the Rainbow Lorikeets  (Trichoglossus haematodus) visit to join the Galahs at the feeder.

Rainbow Lorikeet

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Shooting with Film.

As I begin this post, 2018 looms large. A new year demands new and fresh ideas, but my new idea is actually an old one. I’m about to re-start using film.

It’s not a spur of the moment decision as I have been thinking of doing this for some time now. I found my old film camera, a Nikon EM, and the three rolls of Kodacolor (ISO 200), and two rolls of Kodak black and white (C41 processing) film I knew were put away in a cupboard when I turned to digital photography. That was back in 2006. The film has expired, but having been stored in a dark cool place, I’m sure it will be alright.

I remember some years ago, I was in a supermarket, and as I went through the check-out, on the counter, there was a small basket full of expired (just) Kodachrome film at a price too good to pass up. I bought the lot!

A couple of weeks later I was on holiday with my family. I shot every frame of those rolls of expired film, and there were no failures.

What do I expect to achieve by shooting film? Buying film, then having it processed, has never been cheap. And I think that is the way of it now. With digital, it is so easy to keep pushing the shutter, returning home with a dozen or more frames of the same subject, and selecting the best one. As I said, film is too expensive to do that!

I hope, by shooting film, it will make think more about the shot I am about to take and more about what I will achieve once I have pushed the shutter button.

Also, I must confess, I like the look and the colours of film once it has been printed.

I intend using Kodak film whenever I can. I have a loyalty to Kodak that goes back many years – my first full-time job was at Kodak.

My last major photo shoot using film was in 2005. That year my wife and I went overseas to Europe. We flew from Australia to London via Dubai, to London, then on to Dublin. In Dublin, we hired a car then drove around the north of Ireland to Galway. From there we drove across Ireland to Wexford, then catching the ferry to Fishguard in Wales.

We drove across Wales into England and spent a few days in London. From London, we caught the train to Paris where we spent a few pleasant days before returning to Australia.

Photo 1: Old City Gates, Drogheda, Ireland 

Scan 18

Photo 2: Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Lough Neagh

Photo 3: Mute Swan, Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Mute Swan

Photo 4: Mute Swans, Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Mute Swan

All of the above photos were shot using my Nikon EM camera loaded with Kodacolor film.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts about shooting with film. Do you (or have you ever) use film? What is your favourite brand of film?

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

Road Trip – Days 1 – 3

Our road trip was planned. My wife and I hired a motor-home and we were going to use it to drive to Yeppoon on the central Queensland coast; a return journey of over four thousand kilometres with four weeks to complete our journey.

Like most plans, things can sometimes go awry. Due to a family emergency, day one found us still at home and day two was spent driving for two hours to pick up the motor home, then, what seemed like almost as much time finalizing the paperwork. So, it was late in the afternoon of day two we headed north along the Hume Freeway to start our road trip.

Day 3:

After our first night in the motor home we woke on Sunday morning to a cold frosty winter’s day. At least we had bright sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

Our motor home at Wangaratta North.

Still heading north along the Hume Freeway, we soon turned off to visit the historic gold town of Chiltern.

The Main Street of Chiltern

Chiltern is very proud of its heritage and the buildings, most built in the 19th century, are beautifully maintained. In some ways, walking around this little town was like stepping back in time. The local people were friendly and strangers in the street would smile and say, “G’day”.

Masonic Hall

The Court House – built in 1865

Side view of the Court House

Federal Standard Newspaper Office – built in 1860

Bank of Australasia – now a Tea House with fine food and hand crafts

My wife and I visited the Old Chiltern Bank Tea House (28 Conness Street, Chiltern, Victoria 3683). We were tempted to try the delicious looking cakes but resisted and just had coffee.

The new owner greeted us in a friendly manner and made us welcome. We pledged to return one day for an extended stay and both of us agreed this beautiful old bank would be the perfect place to stay as the bank residence is currently being renovated and soon to be used for accommodation.

The Old Chiltern Bank Tea House can  be contacted here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOldChilternBank/about/

Chiltern Vet Clinic

The above photo, now the local vet’s office, has signs that give clues to this building’s former existence – “Kodak supplies” and “Enlargements”.

 

Star Hotel – at the height of the gold rush, Chiltern had 12 hotels

The original Blacksmith Building


Doorway to the Old Blacksmith Building

Athenaeum Museum Annex

Many of the well preserved buildings of Chiltern are registered with the National Trust. So if driving the Hume Freeway in Victoria, I would highly recommend taking a short detour and visiting this historic town.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

The above photos were all taken using an iPhone 7 Plus.