Karkarook Park

Loitering in the carpark of Karkarook Park, Heatherton, were a dozen or so people dressed in drab colours and staring at trees – I fitted right in. It was my first outing with the Birdlife Photography Group. While the others found a wide range of species I hardly got past the wrens and grebes, though I’m glad I put my elbows on the grass to take a quick shot of a Little Pied Cormorant as I like the way the weed seeds look as though they were purposely placed. In fact, I look at the weeds as often as I look at the cormorant. They remind me of the games we used to play as children, bending the stem around the seed heads and flicking them at each other.

 

Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) – with weeds.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

I spent ages with a pair of Australasian Grebes, either pressing the shutter ridiculously often or patiently waiting for them to resurface after diving. The sun shone for a moment which gave some of the photos a nice colour but it created a crazy background (or ‘bokeh’, a word I avoid saying because it’s unpronouncable) with reed reflections zig-zagging across the water. I cropped the image tightly so it wouldn’t distract too much from this pretty little bird and its reflection.

 

Australasian Grebe (breeding plumage) (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

Australasian Grebe (non-breeding plumage)
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

My next spot to linger was flat out on the damp grass, immersed in the world of a family of Superb Fairy-wrens as they twitched their tails and jumped from bug to bug.

 

 Superb Fairy-wren (male eclipse) (Malurus cyaneus) – and more pretty little weeds.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

Superb Fairy-wren – cute bloomers and legs as spindly as weed stems.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

A jogger thought it would be amusing to run around the strange woman lying on the grass. I think he thought I was taking distant shots of a school group because he apologised when he saw the wrens flutter aways to the reeds, and he probably grinned when I fluttered away after them.

 

Superb Fairy-wren (female, Jenny) – I like the way the light makes her feathers glow.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

With my memory card almost full and bird-call in full swing I spotted a Crested Pigeon.

 

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) – unruffled.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

Crested Pigeon – ruffled.
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, AE priority f/5.6, handheld, natural light

 

Forty-three species were confirmed at bird-call, if I had been there with my binoculars I would have seen most of them despite dawdling as much as I do to watch each species going about their business. With my camera I dawdled even more, and when I got home I downloaded the images and started dawdling all over again.

Happy birding, Kim

 

 

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