Living on the willow tree

Of course, it’s not just insects that like the willow tree and make use of it. There are birds as well, and our cats, and fungus. It really has a life of its own.

Toki loves to climb the tree.
Toki in the Willow

The kookaburras find it a great place to sit while worm watching.
Kookaburra in the Willow Tree

The eastern spinebill use it as a place to survey the land
Eastern Spinebill in a willow tree

And fungus grows on it too. I have a feeling this is where the tree cracked and broke eventually.
Fungus on our Willow Tree

Birds at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

At last we get to the birds. I’m told there are 178 species at the gardens and counting but I only had a limited time and not the best light to capture images of all those I did see. So here are a few I saw during my visit there.

Sacred (Australian white) ibis flying overhead. We also saw a much larger flock but they were very high and a further distance away.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Blue (male) Superior Fairy-wren who literally came to my feet but I had a long lens on so had to stick with images of him a bit further away from me.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Wood swallow. I hadn’t seen one of these before.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

New Holland Honeyeater. There were lots of these in the formal gardens.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

We also saw swallows, kookaburras, a variety of honeyeaters and other small birds in the bushland area. Couldn’t capture decent pictures of them all, this time round.

A visit to Serendip Sanctuary

On Sunday a small group of photographers went to visit Serendip Sanctuary which is a 227 ha protected area for birds and animals. I’d not heard of it before but am so glad I visited. Such a beautiful place and the weather was lovely for our visit.  We are all keen bird photographers so this place certainly suited our needs.  Apparently there are 150 species of birds that live or visit there on a regular basis.

I was picked up by one of the other birders at a train station and driven to the sanctuary. On entry we were greeted by a Willie Wagtail on a sign post and then saw sightings or more as we walked around the park.  I never see these birds at home but have seen them at a local park about 10kms from here. I loved that there was quite different birdlife at this sanctuary and very different scenery too. I plan to share this with you over the coming week.

The Willie Wagtail is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and eastern Indonesia.

Willy Wagtail

Willie Wagtails

If you live in Melbourne and are a keen bird photographer, why not join our Meetup group?

Meetup

Photowalk at Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

Have you heard of Meetup? A great site that is an avenue for organising tons of meetups between people with similar interests. I belong to four different photography meetup groups, two of which I am co-organiser for. On Saturday just gone the other co-organiser planned a photography meet up to take place at Ricketts Point, Beaumaris and a small number of us met just after 1pm outside the cafe there, to walk along the shore and photograph whatever took our fancy.  Although the afternoon wasn’t as sunny as the morning, the cloud activity did provide for some interesting shots. And it was great to visit a place that I used to live near 20 years ago.

The particular meetup group I was with is the Melbourne Nikon Lovers group.  However, there are tons of other photography groups at Meetup, if this one doesn’t suit. Why not go have a look for yourself?

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

The birds at Birdsland Reserve

It’s been colder, wet and windy, and I don’t get out to walk every day. I run a full time business and sometimes I have to go to morning meetings, or have a client visit. And if I don’t get out to walk in the morning it’s highly unlikely I’ll find time later in the day.  Which is frustrating when we do have nice days.

Recently I was there and decided to sit on one of the benches. I was rugged up to keep warm and had woollen gloves on too. Which meant having to remove one when I wanted to use my camera but it was worth the effort.

It was also worth sitting and waiting. I’d discovered a white faced grey heron only a couple of days before in another part of the reserve, not where there are walking paths and I couldn’t get close enough for a decent shot. As I left that morning I heard it calling and saw it winging its way over the main lake and off to the trees. And I had not been prepared! But this next time I heard it I was, and discovered there were two of them!

There are two in this shot if you look closely enough.
White faced heron

Wishing I had a 500mm lens for an even closer view – they were high up in the sky.
White faced heron

Another bird I’d seen several times but hadn’t been able to get a good shot of, finally gave me that opportunity the same week. The Brown Thornbill.
Brown Thornbill