Like many people at this time I’ve had my movements curtailed. Where I live we are allowed out locally for exercise so I’ve been going out for walks along the river to photograph and video the birds that can be found there. This is the third time I’ve tried to video wildlife and it is very hard.I don’t work from a hide so I have to set up quickly and quietly and often the birds will move on before I can get filming. Shooting mainly just after dawn or just before sunset has meant using high ISOs and made focusing difficult. But, the more you do it the better you get. The purpose of the video was to make something, learn something new and help keep me thinking positive thoughts during this time.
Just out of interest I’ll put the stills up below. They were shot on either a Canon EOS6d with the Sigma 150-600mm f4.5-6.3 Contemporary lens or the Olympus OMD EM1 mk ii with the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f4-6.3 lens. I wonder if you can tell the difference at web size without enlarging to 100% or checking the EXIF data?
At present with the first days of spring upon us we have several birds nesting in the garden. Amongst the Bougainvillea on the back fence several white cheeked honey eaters (Phylidonyris nigra) have made nests. I’m not entirely sure how many there are in there as the thorns prevent me from having a closer look.
The other avian residents of the garden are the bossy and busy white browed babblers (Pomatostomus superciliosus). They are quite raucous as they pick amongst the mulch looking for insects, spiders , small amphibians, reptiles and will also and seeds. There are three nests that I know about in the peppercorn trees and it is difficult to know exactly how many birds there are as they have quite complicated living arrangements.
“The White-browed Babbler builds a domed stick nest, with a hooded side entrance. It builds both brood (for breeding) and roost (for resting) nests. Breeding pairs are monogamous, but they form co-operative breeding groups comprising two to four breeding pairs and two to eight non-breeding helpers. Only the breeding female incubates the eggs, though other birds in the group feed her and the young birds. Cooperatively breeding groups occupy a home-range, but there are complex interactions within and between groups.”
All have lain eggs and the females are sitting tight on the clutches of eggs while the attentive males flit around the garden finding food for them.
I observe all these antics as I hang out washing, cut the grass and other domestic human duties. It all sounds like paradise. Unfortunately just as happened in the original Garden of Eden so a pair are about to upset the apple cart so to speak. This pair aren’t snakes (they’re still asleep in the woodpile) and it definitely isn’t the resident Adam and Eve (er that’s me and the missus). No it is the two miscreants below who are to blame.
Kookaburras (Daceelo novaeguineae) normally eat small lizards, large insects and other invertebrates but they are not averse to raiding nests and taking small chicks. The babblers and honeyeaters all take cover when the Kookaburras take their observation post on the TV aerial. I think this is going to end in tears.