Friday, 18 September 2015

Wenhams Camp, Warby Ranges

I spent this morning at Wenhams Camp in the Warby Ovens National Park on the way to Chiltern for a long weekend of bird photography with the Melbourne Birdlife Photography Group.

I made sure to arrive early to catch the Eastern Grey Kangaroos that frequent the open grassland adjacent to the picnic and camping ground.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/4000
Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/3200

Many of the females were carrying relatively mature Joeys.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/1600
Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/3200

The main avian attraction here was the promise of spotting Turquoise Parrots. "Spotting" was an apt description as the two pairs I found provided only fleeting glances as the flew from tree to tree, usually obscured, at least partially, by intervening branches.

Turquoise Parrot (male), Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1600

This female has a distinctly orange-red belly unlike the other three birds whose undersides appeared to be uniformly green-yellow.

Turquoise Parrot (female), Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1250

Eventually, one came out into the open for a few seconds but had its head stuck in a hole.

Turquoise Parrot (male), Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/640

I am not sure if this was already a nesting hole or if the bird was just inspecting it but I didn't take the risk of disturbing it any further so I left quietly.

There were plenty of other bush birds to see including Brown-headed Honeyeaters high in the treetops.

Brown-headed Honeyeater, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1600

Brown Treecreepers and White-throated Treecreepers were doing their thing up and down tree trunks.

Brown Treecreeper, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/400
Brown Treecreeper, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/320
Brown Treecreeper, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500
White-throated Treecreeper, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/320

Dusky Woodswallows were flying around the treetops but one perched on a low branch long enough for this shot.

Dusky Woodswallow, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000

This Jacky Winter had been coming and going from this tree stump for about 15 minutes so I set up nearby to get a shot and just as I was pre-focussing on the stump to be ready for it next time it landed, the bird flew past without landing and I managed to fire off one shot of it in flight and in frame.

Jacky Winter, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/4000

It did finally settle on a nearby tree.

Jacky Winter, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/640

and eventually allowed me very close.

Jacky Winter, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/2500

Similar to the Turquoise Parrots, this Speckled Warbler spent most of its time flitting from branch to branch, partially hidden by branches and foliage but I did manage a few shots of it mostly unobscured.

Speckled Warbler, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1600
Speckled Warbler, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000

This White-browed Babbler was spooked by an overhead attack from what appeared to be either a Collared Sparrowhawk or a Brown Goshawk. It all happened so quickly, I couldn't identify the attacker but the potential victim remained still in this bush for several minutes.

White-browed Babbler, Wenhams Camp, Warby Ovens National Park, Victoria
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/400

All too soon it was time to move on the Chiltern for a walk around Lake Anderson.

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