One of my greatest photographic delights is shorebird reflections on the waters edge of lakes and lagoons. The Black-winged Stilt always wins the prize for me as one of the best reflectors, as you can see in above photo kissing its own reflection. They are shorebirds or waders as we call them, wading the shallow waters edge in search of aquatic insects and crustaceans. There long needle-like beak is ideal for piercing the wet mud.
My wife and I happened to be passing this lagoon north of Sydney and discovered these non-migratory waders feeding together in perfect harmony. Even the Magpie-lark (PeeWee) were getting into the act, considering they are passerines and not waders. Click on photo to enlarge it.
The Masked Lapwing (formally the Spur-winged Plover) was also grazing in a small flock, but not reflecting as well (‘not as reflectagenic’)
The lagoon showed the affects of drought, having receded significantly over the year due to our extreme summer heat and long drought, which is still unbroken. This meant we had to walk some distance out to the shoreline, making us more visible to our avian friends.
Some saw us coming and moved to safer quarters, producing lovely flight shots as they departed.
One of the highlights of this visit was to find our two smallest waders together. The Black-fronted Dotterel and the Red-kneed Dotterel, dottering about the waters edge. These tiny birds are difficult to photograph from a distance using a short depth of field lens as they are so small and close to the ground surface when focusing. These birds are a species of small plover. There are some good reflection moments in some of these shots.
Another amazing reflection photo is this one, which I particularly liked.
Another highlight, just as we were leaving was to see this Golden-headed Cisticola female, just before it flew off from one set of dead reeds to another. This bird is usually found near fresh water lakes in reeds, and initially can be mistaken for an Australasian Reed Warbler. The male has the afro golden head it gets its name from.
Later in the week I needed to out out in the quite of the rainforest, away from the noise of humans and their machines, so I went to the ‘Nasho’ or ‘Royal’ (The Royal National Park as non locals know it). I walked to a place where a Noisy Pitter had been recently sited and found a film team with smoke machines filming an add for Omo washing detergent. What!! in a sensitive rainforest area of National Park!! Speaking with one of the crew, he did not know why they chose this spot either. As for wildlife, forget it, the noise and smoke effect, and small of diesel from van generators would drive any creature away. So I walked on out of earshot of this invasion…
As I walked the track I saw some of the usual birds, but was unable to do the deeper rainforest area due to the film crew presence.
But the greatest delight was to walk right up to this male Superb Lyrebird foraging by the track. It is easy to tell when the lyrebirds have been recently on the track by their scratchings.
Then you listen for their calls, and work out where they are. This one was quiet and I could have easily scared him if I had not seen his beautiful tail protruding onto the track. Watch carefully as he downs a white grub he has dug up.
Finally, I thought I should check out those militant Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. I patched into their conversation some months ago you might remember. They were meeting again at Wattle Flat by the river, but had taken control of the main picnic table closest to the river. I wasn’t able to catch their conversation on this occasion as they were talking quietly, but it looked like they were planning to make a statement by taking control of the table, as they wanted it for themselves, after all it was a National Park to protect wildlife, and wild these guys are.
As it is Mothers Day tomorrow when we honour our mother and mothers worldwide, we see how dependent we are on their sacrificial love for us when we are so vulnerable in our early years. Mums are the ‘glue’ of the family, their love nurtures us in the most practical way, and seeks to give for the good of the family, often at great cost to herself. She works hard to keep the family together, and ensure that everyone has their needs met, and have been listened to. Her finger is on the pulse of her family.
“The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly;
whoever fathers a wise child will have joy in them.
May your father and your mother have joy;
may she who bore you rejoice.” – Proverbs 23:24,25 (NET)
Happy Mothers Day all you mums out there!
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NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018