Saturday, 21 June 2014

Bunyip Wrens and Robins

A great day out at Bunyip State Park with the Birdlife Melbourne Photography Group today.



First stop was the Buttongrass Nature Walk, which passes through mixed dry sclerophyll forest/woodland and button grass heath.



Several winter flowering species were blooming giving me a chance to try out the new 70-200mm lens (I need to dig up the old botany books to check on the Acacia and Hakea species - it's been too long).

Acacia sp.
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park
Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa)
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park
Hakea sp.
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park

We stopped at several locations watching Brown Thornbills and several species of honeyeaters but they were mostly in the treetops so difficult to photograph. However, one Eastern Yellow Robin cooperated by hanging around at eye level

Eastern Yellow Robin
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park

and sitting still long enough for a few shots, with fill flash

Eastern Yellow Robin
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park

and without.

Eastern Yellow Robin
Buttongrass Nature Walk, Bunyip State Park

We heard and most of us saw Southern Emu-wren in the Buttongrass but they were too well concealed by the intervening vegetation for me to photograph successfully...but that just makes a good reason to come back to this fabulous spot!

We moved on to Mortimer Picnic Ground in the far west of the park where the forest is much wetter and taller, consisting mainly of Mountain Ash and Blackwood. The picnic ground was alive with Superb Fairy-wrens and Eastern Yellow Robins so I spent my time after lunch trying out various flash on/off techniques.

Eastern Yellow Robin
Mortimer Picnic Ground, Bunyip State Park

This one is not quite in focus. Well, the feet are because that's where the head was a split second before the shot and the camera's auto-focus was not quick enough to pick up the movement...but I'm getting closer :-)

Eastern Yellow Robin
Mortimer Picnic Ground, Bunyip State Park

This female Fairy-wren was hopping around on the grass right in front of me and I managed to get these two shots a few seconds apart.

Superb Fairy-wren (female)
Mortimer Picnic Ground, Bunyip State Park

This male (in eclipse plumage) was not quite as cooperative, staying only long enough for a shot without flash.

Superb Fairy-wren (eclipse male)
Mortimer Picnic Ground, Bunyip State Park

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