New Year, new things

Been awhile since I’ve written a post here but that’s because I’ve been busy elsewhere. I’m slowly building a following at Instagram and also have another website dedicated to garden photography. Growing the stock library there does take some time to do but it’s getting there. And I also have an Instagram account for that one too. 

I entered the Australian Photographer of the Year in 2016 and while I didn’t win a prize, I did receive a ‘commended’ for my portfolio in the nature category, and since there were over 8,000 images and 2,000 portfolios entered, it means I did quite well. I just found out this week and am thrilled with the news – I will be entering again later this year in the hope of improving on that. Below is one of the images from that portfolio of a cheeky kookaburra who stole our big goldfish from our pond last year. We were not impressed but I couldn’t let the photo op go past, now could I? My camera was already in my hand.

Locally, where I live, a new camera club started in the latter half of 2016 and we were meeting monthly in Emerald but this year will be meeting fortnightly. Our first meeting is this Thursday at the U3A building near the oval if you’re interested in photography and would like to join in. You can find out details about the club here.

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Kookaburra in the garden

This gorgeous bird and two companions were keeping watch in our garden this afternoon.  Love the kookaburras, such beautiful looking birds.

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Don’t forget that we have our nature photography workshop near the end of next month! Bookings are still open but places are limited and there’s only a few spots left. http://www.steveparish-natureconnect.com.au/events/

Perched in the Photinia Tree

These birds are regular visitors to our garden. In fact, I believe they live on our property although I haven’t actually seen their nest. They are constantly on the watch for worms and yesterday, with the warmth of the sun, skinks were out too. In fact, we saw a skink scurry across the paved driveway minus its tail. Perhaps it was almost prey for a kookaburra, or another large bird.

Australian Laughing Kookaburra

Australian Laughing Kookaburra

The kookaburras don’t fly off as I approach but do watch me carefully before deciding to move off to another tree.

Kookaburra in the early morning sun

The early morning sun hits various parts of our property as it rises above the trees across the road from our home. I love watching our garden being gradually bathed in sunlight.  A couple of mornings ago a kookaburra sat in the tree at the end of our driveway (one of their favourite trees) and I noticed the kookaburra lit up by the sun.  Naturally I had to get some shots.

Kookaburra in early morning sun

94-366 Kookaburra in early morning sun

Not sure if this last one is a comment on my watching it 😉 or whether it was a genuine yawn.

Kookaburra yawning

By the way, I’ll be at the Kallista Market tomorrow from 9am to 2pm if you’re exploring the Dandenong Ranges… weather willing that is.

Australian Laughing Kookaburra

Now the cooler weather is coming the kookaburras have come back. I guess in the dry weather worms and witchety grubs are harder to find – although we have had quite a bit of rain. Still, seeing the kookas in our trees is a sign to me that the bushfire season has passed – it coincided with a message yesterday to say fire restrictions are now over too.71-366 Australian Laughing Kookaburra