Hi, I am Chris Farrell, one of the team members here at Australia’s Wildlife. Given that the Australian whale season is now upon us, I wanted to give our readers an insight into my passion for photographing whales, and other marine mammals, and how this passion is helping to identify, track and even save whales here in Australia.
Australia was once referred to on early navigational charts of the region as Terra Psittacorum, which means Land of Parrots, but it was not the only “Land of Parrots”, as the name Terra Psittacorum was also given to the south-west coast of Africa. Australia does however have two-thirds of the world’s Cockatoos and around one-eighth of the world’s Parrots.
The Murray River is Australia’s longest river, and the third longest navigable river in the world (after the Amazon and the Nile). It stretches for just over 2500 kilometres from Kosciusko National Park in New South Wales to the Indian Ocean at Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. The Murray River forms the border between New South Wales and Victoria, and it was here that we were keen to look for the wildlife that depend upon it.
Capturing images of birds and other fast moving animals is very difficult, but capturing birds in flight (or BIFs, as they are often referred to as) is extremely challenging indeed. While today’s digital SLR cameras make things a little easier, the biggest advantage of the digital cameras is the large number of pictures you can take when practicing your photography hobby.
Before digital SLR cameras were available, the only way we could practice photographic techniques was with film (in our case slide film), which you had to get developed before you could see your results. This was both a slow process and an expensive one, especially if you were practicing the tricky art of photographing birds in flight.
Back in 2008 one of our team, Peter Rowland, wrote a book on the Bowerbirds of Australia and New Guinea. Part of the book-writing process involved sourcing images of the different species and the various types of bowers that the males build to attract their potential mates. While images of most of the Australian species proved to be quite easy to obtain, the New Guinea species were somewhat more difficult to find.
While we have, so far, focused mostly on the birds that are found on Australia’s land areas, this blog would not be complete if we did not tell you about some of our trips out to Australia’s Pelagic zones.
In January 2016, the opportunity arose for us to spend 6 days in the south-west corner of Western Australia, and it was an awesome place to go!
In the first week of November 2015, we decided to head to perhaps the two best birding areas in Victoria. In just a few days of birding we managed to clock up huge list, but one of the most exciting places was on the Victorian Coast, just west of Melbourne.
The Outback is synonymous with Australia, but where, and what, is it? Every state in mainland Australia, and the Northern Territory, has an outback, and it refers to the vast open country that is so remote you can travel for several hours, and, in some places, days, without seeing another human being. While the New South Wales Outback is not quite as remote as that of most other states, it is still an enormous area, and is an area that has its own wildlife residents.
Just a short drive south of Sydney (well, about 2.5 hours really – but that is short in Australian terms) is a wonderful shorebird area, that often attracts the occasional rare visitor from time to time.