Monday, 12 March 2012

A rainy day in Lismore

I had the pleasure of visiting Southern Cross University in Lismore and decided to make the most of the preceding day's public holiday checking out some of the local birding haunts in the Northern Rivers area of NSW. 

Unfortunately, the weather varied from dull overcast through drizzling to heavy rain for most of the morning so I just took a leisurely drive along the Tweed River anticipating a break in the weather but it was not until I reached Mt Warning (Wollumbin National Park) that the rain stopped (briefly). I took a couple of short walks hoping for the chance to see some rainforest birds. 

Rainforest, Breakfast Creek, Wollumbin National Park NSW 

It's always a challenge photographing birds in a forest because most of the birds are either in the canopy, so all you see are silhouettes, or on the forest floor so it's very dark. I did manage to find an Australian Brush Turkey running along the forest floor and got one shot off panning a hand-held 300mm lens shooting @ 1/3 second (yes it was that dark!) from the Lyrebird Track lookout. 

Australian Brush Turkey, Breakfast Creek, Wollumbin National Park, NSW

The morning was not a total dead loss though as I did manage to see a large flock of (at least 50) Topknot Pigeons flying over the top of the forest canopy (but impossible to photograph) about 600 metres up the Summit Walk. Of course, once I arrived back at the car park, another Brush Turkey was feeding on the roadside and I managed a few shots before the rain started again.

Australian Brush Turkey, Breakfast Creek, Wollumbin National Park, NSW

The creek also provided a chance for some waterfall shots.

Breakfast Creek, Wollumbin National Park, NSW

Rotary Park Rainforest Reserve, a small remnant of dry rainforest in suburban Lismore is known as a good birding spot. There were a few birds flying around the canopy but nothing close enough to being photographed. However, the resident colony of Grey-headed Flying-fox did provide some photographic entertainment

Grey-headed Flying-fox, Rotary Park Rainforest Reserve, Lismore, NSW

The other main target for the day was Comb-crested Jacana, which I had been told were relatively easy to see at Lake Lismore, and I did manage to find two close enough to the lake shore and out in the open for my first time photographing this species.

Comb-crested Jacana, Lake Lismore, NSW

While I crouched at the side of the lake, a small flock of Scaly-breasted Lorikeets landed in nearby trees

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Lake Lismore, NSW

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