One of the delights for me in visiting Australia was discovering the huge interesting diversity of the native birds. They are far more colourful and flamboyant than our native NZ birds, and come in a wider range of sizes. Birds are my unconquered passion in photography, I consider them the ultimate challenge, and am always up for an opportunity to add new and interesting ones to my collection.
There were many many birds at Australia Zoo, they had large enclosures for the ground dwellers, and big walkthrough cages for the flying varieties, which I like very much. Much better from a photography POV to not have any cage mesh between you and the bird! And you can stalk them to get a good angle and all those good things
I was surprised to see some birds – my mental image of them was quite different – the Brolga was much bigger than I imagined. And because Australia and NZ are so close together and have a lot of coastline I should not have been surprised to see this shag happy on a branch
And a variation on the black and white ibis that showed up like seagulls everywhere, but I only saw this brown/green coloured one in captivity
And a duck of some variety – it was dark in this shot, so his foot is blurred, because my lens is max F4 and not always wide enough to get the faster shot in poorer light. And I prefer not to use flash when shooting animals.
And while walking about we ran across a handler with my favourite Barking Owl on her hand, who kindly waited for several minutes while I shot about 200 shots. No matter how I tried, I still couldn’t get the shot I was after, when they look directly at you. They were flying some of the bigger raptors and so again he had his eye on the big guys in the sky. I was pleased in this shot that I had a much more neutral background, and was able to use the right aperture to blur it and still get the bird in focus. Not always easy to do both at the same time
I like this shot because it shows you the huge cornea that the owl has, allowing them to hunt very small creatures from a reasonable distance
And finally the Cassowary – first seen to my delight and astonishment at Currumbin, but unable to get a decent shot due to the lighting. At Australia Zoo they have several in adjoining pens, and the pens are very large and well planted with mature trees and shrubs. There is a concrete walkway up off the ground (and crocodiles on the other side). The walkway is covered so I decided to change lenses. I didn’t pay attention to how close I was to the railing and only a warning from Dad saved me from being pecked on the behind, as the railings looked wide enough for them to get their head through.
And this was the shot I wanted to show their HUGE dinosaur legs and feet