Saturday, 12 October 2013

Centenary Lakes, Cairns Botanical Gardens

After returning from our day on the outer reef, there was just enough time for a walk around Freshwater Lake at Centenary Lakes, part of the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Straight out of the car, we spotted an Intermediate Egret feeding on the other side of the Freshwater Lake (not terribly exciting for the locals but Intermediates are rare in southern Vic so I'm always happy to see one and the setting was beautiful)

Intermediate Egret, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

and a small flock of Radjah Shelduck right on the near shore

Radjah Shelduck, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

These cormorants swam past, synchronously diving and coming up for air…I wonder how they do that...

Little Black Cormorant, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

A small island at the end of Freshwater Lake is a roosting site for a wide range of birds

Australian White Ibis, Little Black Cormorant, Black-necked Stork,
Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

including an immature Black-necked Stork prowling around. We walked slowly around the lake to get closer to the other side of the island and the stork. The shadowed foreground and backlight made photography challenging but resulted in some interesting shots.

Black-necked Stork (immature),
Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

On the way, we also spotted several freshwater turtles sitting out on small islands (I haven't had the chance to try to identify these to species yet).



As we continued further around the lake a Little Pied Cormorant was spotted sitting on a branch over the lake.

Little Pied Cormorant, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

It was almost impossible to get a good angle to photograph through the surrounding vegetation. By the time I found one, the sun was just dropping below the treetops behind me

Little Pied Cormorant, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

but fill flash worked well to bring the snap back into the image and it allows a better exposure of the background.

Little Pied Cormorant, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

The setting sun played nicely with reflections on the settling water in the middle of the lake just as this Pacific Black Duck swam past.

Pacific Black Duck, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

Another Radjah Shelduck was captured standing pensively on the lake shore. Again, I tried to improve it with flash but, in this case, I am not sure which I prefer.

Radjah Shelduck, Centenary Lakes, Cairns Qld

and so we came to an end of our FNQ experience - 50 new species photographed in some fabulous locations with some great friends and the opportunity to meet some new ones - a quick taster for more trips north as soon as the bank and leave balances will allow.

6 comments:

  1. The flash talk is interesting, it definitely is good for the cormorant but with the shelduck it does take away the atmosphere a bit?

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    Replies
    1. Agree...it's a new challenge for me so always exciting to see what the differences are with/without flash for better or worse. It's going to take a while for me to be able to predict the effects.

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  2. HI Ian Great post and photographs again. This week on Wednesday or my Australian bird, I looked at the Radjah Shelduck.

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    Replies
    1. I love ducks and these are about as regal as they get.

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  3. beautiful photos! the black-necked stork is a great sighting!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks…we saw several but this was the closest we got to any of them.

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