It was Wednesday morning. I didn’t really feel like unpacking anymore of my stuff and kinda felt in the mood to take some photos. Sethy and I had gone to Eastern Beach a couple of days earlier so I suggested we go there. It seemed a lot easier then battling crowds at the zoo!
Birding and photographing with Sethy can be difficult. Sometimes I want to stay somewhere and photograph something because the water is super still or the lighting is awesome. Alas, a certain six year old wants to look for fish or go to the playground. I promised myself I’d return later to get photographs on my own pace. On Wednesday, I thought that Glenn going would be a good compromise. He’s a brilliant photographer and would have the long lens. I wouldn’t be able to do many photographs but I’d have more control over the shoot.
It may not have worked out as planned, but I still had a pretty fun twitch.
We ended up catching a taxi into town and walking past Cunningham Pier towards Limeburners Point. It wasn’t as active as it was the other day. It was overcast and windy, and most of the birds seemed to be less active. I had wanted to try to replicate some of the hoary headed grebe photos I had taken previous.. but it wasn’t coorporative.
Glenn loved the opportunity to get seagull photography. I’m normally not interesting in getting photos of them because I find there behavior to be boring. Glenns approach is getting a great photo of a boring bird, where as I’m more interesting in getting a bad photo of interesting behaviour. Glenn got some lovely photos of gulls and I’ll be encouraging him to do so in the future but it kinda reminded me why I don’t do birding photography with him 😛 Get too frustrated
There were a couple of gannets flying around, although they weren’t coping too close to shore. I got this photo because I thought the wings were in an interesting position. I have no idea why they will come close one day, and be considerably further away the next. Is there an ideal time of the year to find them? Also, is there a place we can be guaranteed to see them pretty close to shore? (I’m thinking about a nesting location near Portland. It’s going to be something I’ll look into.
Glenn loved this photo and was experimenting with cropping. He ended up doing a similar crop this this, which is something I wouldn’t have considered. This is why I loved sharing these experiences with Glenn, even if it frustrates the heck out of me.
I haven’t seen terns diving like this for a long time. We struggled to get decent photos of them as they would dive down quickly, but turn upwards to cancel the dive. We missed the shot moreso then got it. Glenn wanted to try it on sports mode but I think we may have gotten better results with manual. It’s definitely something to research. A friend of Glenns recommended that we try manual focus but they are too fast for that. In that respect, I’m very thankful for my bird photography community.
We did manage to get some very clear photos, which is awesome.
The tern photos were taken near the promenade. Sadly though, this area wasn’t anywhere near as fruitful as it was for me and Sethy on the previous visit. The water was murky and the grebes were further away. We got some awesome photos of a pacific gull though!
Thankfully I pointed it out, as Glenn struggles to tell them apart from normal seagulls. I was so upset when a pacific gull flew past and he didn’t even get the camera. (He was similar with the gannets). He pointed out later that he was colour blind so couldn’t really see the red tip on the bill. I was all “but there are so many OTHER differences”. He learned that soon enough, though.
This area has been awesome for finding birds in the past but today was kinda dull. All the birds were hunkering down. I probably should have looked at the weather before leaving!
We were so lucky though. We found this pacific gull eating a fish head while seagulls were hanging out. Glenn was able to get his ‘money shot’ and got some brilliant photos. I would have loved to have got photos of these guys with Glenns lens, as I interpret stuff differently. So stoked that he was able to enjoy it though.
I also found two pied oystercatchers, something I don’t think I’ve seen there before? The coloring looked a bit weird initially but I think that it is moreso that one oystercatcher was sitting in such a way its head looked like a tern.
Glad we went, because I got some more photos for the blog and learned more about the questions I wanted to ask about certain birds and photography. It’s one of those twitches are a bit boring at the time but will help me down the track.
We went to the botanical gardens to look for spinebills and dipped. Hoping to go back there, either by myself or with Glenn/mum. I also twisted my ankle on this adventure which didn’t really hit me until a couple of hours and kms later. 🙂