Birds as Poetry

I’m guessing you’ve all worked out that I’m morphing from a biker/runner into a bird-watching photographer haven’t you! Seriously though, isn’t it amazing how something can entrance you all of a sudden. I know a lot of it is the challenge of actually getting a good photograph, but I’m truly really starting to love all those winged creatures. I’m starting to recognise some of their calls, and learning some of their habits and habitats, but still a lot to learn. Recently I spotted some photos of some beautiful little red robins on Flickr that had been taken at Woodlands Historic Park. I’ve not yet been lucky enough to spot any of the little robins. So I Googled “Woodlands Historic Park+robins” and found the blog that I’ve used for this post title, Birds as Poetry. It is the blog of fellow bird-watching photographer, David, who also spends a lot of his time at Woodlands Historic Park. Many of you have said that you like my bird photos, well, David’s are better, and include many of the beautiful little red robins, so click above and take a look.

Then, after avidly reading through his blog all week, I actually ran into David and his wife in the park this morning and had a short chat and he gave me a few hints on where to find some of the more elusive bird species in the park. I’m hoping to learn a lot more from him too!

I love his blog title, because so many of the little birds are so beautiful to look at, beautiful to listen to and when they fly around they are truly poetry in motion.

This week has been a challenging one again at work, exacerbated by the fact that I’ve been sick with a cold all week and not sleeping much. Consequently, until today I hadn’t felt well enough to get out on the bike. Fortunately (for me), Andy and I have decided to downgrade our entries for the GOOC from the 145km event to the 60km event. So, what was looming on the calendar as a stressful, dangerous “do I really want to do this” day, is now looking like a very enjoyable social ride with a mate I haven’t seen for a while, followed by a nice pub lunch or something and maybe even a swim if the weather gods are good to us (unlikely). Thanks Andy!

Despite being on the tail end of the cold, this weekend has been a reasonably active one. Yesterday I headed out for sunrise to The Nook in Sunbury and got some nice “misty morning” shots, then returned for a further walk around Woodlands, then Adrienne, Kate and I had another longer walk around a different part of the park in the evening. In between we did have a bit of a disaster with our rainwater tank springing a small leak. Unfortunately this meant pumping most of the water out (down below the leak) so as the back yard wouldn’t flood. It’s only a year old, so we’ll be ringing the manufacturers tomorrow to get some advice on the next course of action.

Today I headed out early again, but this time into the city. Melbourne is a wonderful city, and since I’ve had the camera in my hand I’ve noticed so much more of it. I’m particularly drawn to the beautiful old buildings and also the grungy, graffiti’d alleyways. The first port of call was Hosier Lane to take some different shots, as I loved the ones I took a few weeks back on the photography course. Whilst setting up my camera I was accosted (in a reasonably friendly way) by two graffiti artists, and I got slightly worried when one of them made “spraying motions and noises” towards my camera, but he was just having a lend of me and was soon on his way. On the way home I called into Woodlands again, this was when I ran into David.

Later, Adrienne, Chris and I went out to Two Beans and a Farm in Mernda for lunch (it was lovely again), then Adrienne and I took Jackie for a walk up to Craigieburn Lake, the lawns got mowed and I headed out for an hour and a half on the bike. After a barbeque dinner, another short visit to Woodlands with Adrienne and Kate (but alas still no robins).

During the week, I have made another lens purchase. One of these.

A Sigma 120-400 mm telephoto lens. It will get me closer to things than my 250 mm kit lens, but will take a bit of getting used to as it is very big and heavy.

Anyway, enough waffling, here’s a few photos from the last few days.

Hosier Lane 2012-03-18 (_MG_4784-4792)
Hosier Lane Melbourne

Misty morning at The Nook 2012-03-17 (_MG_4704_5_6)
Misty morning at The Nook, Goonawarra

Rufous Whistler female 2012-03-17 (_MG_4740)
Rufous Whistler female, Woodlands Historic Park

Pied Cormorant 2012-03-18 (_MG_4932)
Pied Cormorant, Highlands Lake, Craigieburn

Melbourne Bikeshare 2012-03-18 (_MG_4875_6_7)
Melbourne Bikeshare bikes, Swanston Street, Melbourne


4 Responses to “Birds as Poetry”

  1. An expat Wife Says:

    Great photos Andrew. I also love the photo of the scarlet robin on David’s blog.

  2. Ewen Says:

    Looks like a tripod jobby that one! I’ll buy you a beer if you can get a good shot of a Bellbird – I’ve been fascinated by them ever since hearing their calls during the Six Foot – even stopped to look for them but couldn’t see them!

  3. David Jenkins Says:

    Isn’t the 120-400 a great lens. Light easy to work and with the stabilisation just a great handholding birding lens.
    You look like you’ve got it well under control.

    Pied Cormorant at Highlands lake has such great light and that long shadow really helps. Super.

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