Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:25:48 AM
For new followers-
This whistling kite is chasing a heron, whose caught a fish. The kite is a superb acrobat and is following the heron very closely, trying to force the heron to drop it. The site for this shot was Bird Billabong near the Mary River in the NT of Australia. It's a bit of a hike to get to, so take lots of water and expect to sweat a lot.
During the actual shot sweat was dripping off my brow into my eyes, and the sting of sweat on the eyeball was a nasty distraction. It took a lot of concentration to keep the camera following the birds as they swooped over the water.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 8:50:22 PM
Brolgas are a type of crane (Grus rubicunda
). Their population is stable and ranges over north and eastern areas of Australia, plus some areas of Papua New Guinea.
The brolga is not migratory. It is an omnivorous species and quite opportunistic.
Brolgas pair up for breeding purposes. Females will generally lay 2 eggs. Juveniles slowly develop the adult and conspicuous red markings over two to three years.
While in the Mary River looking for crocodiles, we came across this pair with a juvenile in tow. Not one to turn down an opportunity, I got in some photos of the family as they waded amongst the lilies.
Thursday, March 11, 2010 2:37:46 AM
One of the characteristic birds of the Australian outback is the figbird. I spotted this male feeding near Darwin last year.
#2 I can taste it
#3 Eating time
Sunday, December 13, 2009 9:15:26 PM
One of the more common birds up in the wetlands of the Northern Territory is the Pied Heron.
I had several shooting opportunities, but the best spot turned out to be the ponds near Crocodylus Park.
#1 Flying Heron
#3 Stuck at the Shallow End
Monday, November 16, 2009 12:02:50 AM
Some film (Kodak portra 160VC) shots of the area of crocodile habitat we were photographing in.
While this is technically a fresh-water river, there are plenty of 'salties' about. Saltwater crocodiles are a bit of a misnomer- these reptiles can venture quite deep into fresh-water zones.
These I think, do a good job of explaining why you need to shoot crocodiles from a boat. There's not enough vantage points along riverbanks to get the shots and compositions you need.
And here's a shot of the other members of the team, with a bonus crocodile in the left background [
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:55:04 PM
Generally I hold the view that Australia is better for wildlife photography and NZ is better for landscape photography. NZ has lots of accessible sites of different form, the light is often clear and spectacular, and there are few 'human intrusions' (buildings, powerlines etc). Australia has lots of bird, reptile and mammal species. NZ has a handful of cryptic birds and a lot of cryptic spiders.
Nonetheless, the coastline around Darwin is also interesting. With the amount of red-dust that gets kicked up over the day, the sunsets can be spectacular as the light filters through this dust.
These shots were taken with my film camera (Dynax 7) using Kodak Portra 160 VC (with graduated ND and 81B filters).
DuskLink to large image
NightcliffLink to large image
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 11:35:53 PM
is sometimes known as the black-necked stork. It is however, of a different genus to the North American black-necked stork.
The species is found throughout Asia with Australia being its southern limit. In the wetlands of the Northern Territory, they are reasonably common but of course, shy if you happen to be carrying a camera.
#1Link to larger image
#2Link to large image
The tricky bit of course, is to get the detail recorded across the bright and dark zones- I underexposed slightly the shot and then restored the exposure in raw conversion.
Monday, October 26, 2009 4:46:27 AM
I made it back from Darwin yesterday with what I think is a good collection of bird and crocodile photos. I'll expand a bit on the challenges of crocodile photography later (hint- it is a team effort, not a sole shooter exercise). In the meantime I've been really focused on processing my photos.
One of the common birds of prey is the whistling kite. This bird is a superb acrobat.
The shot below is from a sequence where the kite is chasing a heron- who has a fish in its mouth. The kite is trying to get the heron to drop the fish to steal it. This scene played out at Bird Billabong near the Mary River. The main challenge here was the 40 degree heat and sweat trickling into the eyes (and the damn flies sucking moisture from the mouth, nose, eyes and ears).
Anyway, for a brief second the two birds banked towards me and I got the shot.Link to larger image
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 5:11:07 AM
Well in all the highs and lows of the IUCN and the World Bank trying to set up the Global Tiger Workshop in Nepal, I might still be going.
After the IUCN pulled the plug on collaboration I was out. China was vacillating about going. I think that they may have resolved to attend now.
That means I might still be able to make it, as the Chinese are a bit keener than the World Bank to have tiger poaching experts at these events.
Complicating issues however is that I will have to fly direct from a swamp near Darwin direct to Nepal. That means no chance to return home for a breather first.
Sunday, December 9, 2007 10:45:28 PM
NZ Herald Link
A quick summary- NZ and Australia get mentioned in the latest edition of Science
as having effective fisheries management systems. This is based around a property-rights system, where each fisher obtains a legal (and economic) right to part of the fish stocks. This right is termed an ITQ (Individual Transferable Quota).
Where no such rights are given to fishers (as is the case of most worldwide fisheries), then the race to catch fish accelerates stock depletion. The paper separates the stock level associated with maximum sustainable yield (MSY- a very old fisheries concept) with the maximum economic yield. Fisheries managed with property rights (the ITQ approach) tend to rebuild fish stocks to the MEY. Which not only is more profitable, it is also associated with a higher fish populations than the MSY level. It's kind of a win-win situation.