Apart from alliteration, the waterbird and the wallaby have little in common except they both feature in today’s post. These images were taken a day’s drive from each other, the first at Werribee Western Treatment Plant and the second in the Snowy Mountains.
I often need to go walkabout, if I’ve only got one day spare then a trip to the poo paddocks fits the bill. This cormorant was perched near Gate 8, next to the river, and it allowed me to creep gradually closer until it almost filled the frame. I enjoy taking my time when photographing birds, it becomes a kind of communion rather than me feeling as though I’ve stolen an image and run away with it.
Little Pied Cormorants are a common waterbird that can be found beside rivers, at lakes, dams, wetlands and on beaches where they feed on fish, insects and crustaceans, including yabbies. They have white undersides, black backs and bright yellow bills. This bird is an adult as its white colouring extends above its eye. Pied Cormorants are somewhat similar but are larger with a distinctive orange patch on their faces.
I gate-crashed a horse trek trip to Jindabyne with two of my girls; I enjoy driving more than they do and thought I could spend a day birding while they were riding. The idea didn’t work too well as we had 128mm of rain in 24 hours. They still went for their horse ride, which was somewhat disastrous with several people falling from their horses, while I stayed in the cabin and enjoyed reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.
The only wildlife image I managed to get in the Snowy Mountains were of the wallaby above, just as we were heading home. The rain paused for a moment as we looked across at this beautiful animal. It was fairly close and filled the frame at a focal length of 370mm. I upped the ISO to get a decent shutter speed in the hope of catching the wallaby as it hopped away, which it thoughtfully did while I was checking the exposure histogram.
Happy birding, Kim
PS This post was originally titled ‘A cormorant and a kangaroo’ – please see Alison’s comment below. Many thanks Alison, I love learning new things : )
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