Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beautiful - but frustrating!

I went out for a kayak on the bay yesterday morning. When I left the water was very still but by the time I started back it was a struggle to paddle back against the wind. I saw some interesting shorebirds - but the frustration came in because I forgot to compensate for the glare off the water and so the photos are good for record shots only. Most of the shorebirds were in non-breeding plumage so I am assuming that they will be staying here all winter. There were good numbers of Godwits and Eastern Curlews and a few Greenshanks and Stints. The surprise were the numbers of Grey-tailed Tattlers which were showing quite a lot of breeding plumage. Maybe some of these will be migrating soon. I must look up my records but I seem to remember these leave later than most of the other migrants. There were also Red-capped Plovers everywhere. I got in quite close to the birds roosting on the shoreline by drifting in on my kayak and as I got in closer I stretched out and lay down sideways to decrease the height that the birds saw drifting towards them. It works well! and is a trick I learned from a visiting friend who showed me how beautiful and peaceful it is to do this out in the middle of the bay on a calm morning! (Thanks Dawn!!) The only bird photograph that was OK was this Silver Gull that flew close overhead. They are common - of course! - but beautiful.We have had a lot of rain over the last couple of weeks - none of it really heavy but quite constant and the result is a lot of water sitting in the low spots. The road down to the Mullens picnic area is seldom smooth or well looked after but I did wonder if the low spots would be too wet to drive through. Obviously others decided the same because there is a new track well above the road. I'm glad I could drive down there - but it would be nice if the original road were better cared for.This boat was anchored close to where I put the kayak in. I did wonder why he wasn't getting out of there on the high tide but maybe he decided the wind was bad enough that he should stay put. The afternoon low tide showed just how shallow the area is.


  1. What should have been the best sea-eagle shots I ever took were spoiled because I was unaware I'd left the lens on manual focus. It was circling just a few metres above me. By the time I'd realised what was going on it had moved on. As for Silver (and other Gulls), imagine how differently people would view them if they were rare.

  2. Hi Mosura, it's nice to know other folks make mistakes with their cameras too - thanks! You're right about only the rare things being valued - we'd miss the beauty of the common ones if we didn't have them.

  3. LOL Mick! I have several tens of thousands very well-documented mistakes! You have to work very hard to beat me there :) :)

    Love the gull pic! And love the silver gulls in general. They have so much character and are beautiful, interesting, intelligent sea birds.
    I'm very sad that recently I've had absolutely no time for bushwalks and photography. My camera shutter will get rusty :( I could accidentally steal a minute to see how you're doing... The most important thing is that you had a good day and SAW these beautiful birds.
    Best regards!

  4. Hi Nickolay, it's very nice to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement about camera mistakes. I guess it's part of the learning curve!! I hope you have more time for bushwalking and photography sometime soon - and hope you can share some of it with us all.

  5. It may be common but that Silver Gull is beautiful. You are not alone Mick, I've just deleted most of what I took today for failing to check the settings!! Never mind we still have the memories. Cheers FAB.

  6. Hi Frank, Thanks for the encouragement. Next time I shall check settings before I go out. Out on the water I get too interested in simply documenting what I am seeing to worry too much about technical things. I am a bird watcher first and THEN a photographer!