Jim Thomson | Activity aplenty around the bird feeders

BRILLIANT: The magnificent colours of a Rainbbow Lorikeet, making his way to the feeders.

BRILLIANT: The magnificent colours of a Rainbbow Lorikeet, making his way to the feeders.

June can be a quiet time for nature photography, so I was pleased to see on a recent visit to Largs Nursing Home that we have large numbers of both Honeyeaters and Parrots around the gardens.

Around the feeders – as you would expect – there was a lot of activity and a number of parrots were already staking a claim for the nesting holes in nearby trees. Even in the bird world the golden rule applies … location, location, location. 

WARMTH: A Galah enjoying the early morning sun.

WARMTH: A Galah enjoying the early morning sun.

One of the most prominent varieties were the Eastern Rosellas who were turning up at the same spot continually. I had to investigate so I set up my hide, left it for some time, before setting up the camera. As the light was poor I was set up with high speed flash.

Sure enough, within 30 minutes they started to come in, clearing the bark around the holes in the trees.

This is quite common so I decided to leave them without disturbing them.

LANDING: A Rainbow Lorikeet.

LANDING: A Rainbow Lorikeet.

I took note of the spot though – it’s one I will remember when Spring comes around though.

Not far away was a Blue Faced Honeyeater, hanging upside down feeding in a small hole. I managed to grab a quick shot. They are a prominent bird in this area and will probably nest close by.

As a wildlife photographer sometimes you have to work very hard an d be very patient to get your shot. This wasn’t the case with my next subjects.

SNACK TIME: A Blue Faced Honeyeater feeding on insects.

SNACK TIME: A Blue Faced Honeyeater feeding on insects.

They were easy because it was a non-stop procession as they came in to take advantage of the feeders – I just had to sit, wait, and let them come to me … Rainbow Lorikeets, Galas, Doves (both crested and spotted) Sulphur Crested Cockatoos , and finally a pair of King Parrots arrived.

MAINTENANCE WORK: An Eastern Rosella prepares a nest site.

MAINTENANCE WORK: An Eastern Rosella prepares a nest site.

Light was poor so I set the camera on a tripod and used high speed flash. For the photographers out there, I had the ISO high to give me a shutter speed of about 2000 of a second at F8 – this was enough to freeze the action. I also made sure I had an extra battery pack. This was used to give me continual recycling. I had the  camera set on ten frames per second, with wireless response to give me instant response from some distance away.

I was happy with the result and managed to get some nice images.

For what was a petty easy day – no need for the four-wheel drive or the kayak – it was a rewarding day.

The wet weather has slowed things up this last week, but my efforts to get the ultimate shot of the Azure Kingfisher are ongoing.

BUILDING A NEST: A Spotted Dove hard at work.

BUILDING A NEST: A Spotted Dove hard at work.

I have made some significant progress though, with a location found where the birds are coming back to the same spot regularly, and where there seems to be an abundant supply of fish.

Now it’s only a matter of time and some hard work.

Until next time, happy birding.

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