Friday, 27 February 2015

Allyn River

We took a trip to the Allyn River region north-east of Newcastle today to visit a rainforest habitat with the hope of spying some new birds.

The meeting point for the trip was the picnic ground in Paterson and we managed to spot an immature Dollarbird high in the branches of a tree. The very dull light (it was 7:00 AM) and distance away from any sensible viewing point - if the bird allowed me to get any closer I'd have been looking straight up at it - made this just a record shot but as this is the first time I'd photographed this species, it was a good start to the day.

Dollarbird (immature), Paterson NSW
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 800, f/5.6 1/125

We went on several walks through the rainforest with sounds and fleeting glances of several interesting birds but as is normally the case with forest photography, there were few good photographic opportunities.

Photographing birds on rainforest track, Allyn River NSW
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

The best birds of the day were a handful of Bassian Thrush that were hanging around a picnic ground and car park at one of the stops. I was very pleased to finally capture this species on camera. It had become one of my bogey birds in Victoria - I'd seen them many time but either did not have a camera with me at the time or they were in such dense vegetation that photographing them had been impossible - until today! The only problem (photographically) was the highly contrasty light with the birds seeming to prefer to remain in the shade with bright sunny backgrounds. A little fill flash helped.

Bassian Thrush, Allyn River NSW
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/8 1/180 (fill flash)

The fill flash also helped when the birds remained in the dark undergrowth at the edge of the grassy picnic area.

Bassian Thrush, Allyn River NSW
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/8 1/180 (fill flash)

While I was wandering down a track pursuing a pair of Rufous Fantails (unsuccessfully), Jo caught this thrush 'sunbathing'.

Bassian Thrush, Allyn River NSW
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

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