Archive for August, 2011

Spring 2011 has arrived early.

August 29th, 2011

We have had some gorgeous August days of late with temperatures in the low twenties (Celsius that is) and about two weeks ago I’ve spotted my first return migrants, a small flock of Fairy Martins (Hirundo ariel). I initially heard the faint squirt-like sounds they make (kind of like a wet fart to put it bluntly) and noted them swirling about 30m above me near the quarries.

Fairy Martin, Penrith Baseball Fields, October 2008. 30D with 300mm f/4L IS lens and 1.4x converter. Car used as hide.

Fairy Martin, Penrith Baseball Fields 2010 October. 30D, 300mm f/4L IS lens with 1.4x converter, car used for hide.

I have now been hearing more and more reports of migrants, which is a fabulous thing. YAY! Also, about a month ago I noted the resident White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) at the horse property in Cranebrook have built a new mud nest, some 50m from last year’s tree, almost next to the riding arena. Yesterday, while my wife was getting ready to ride, I heard the screaming of young from this nest. As I set up my super telephoto lens with the 2x converter to get as tight a shot as possible, I realized that three young birds were begging for food every time an adult bird returned with food items. This was fabulous indeed. Judging by the advanced stage of this nest at the end of our southern winter, which is mild by European standards at least, I can predict with growing confidence another bumper nesting season for the region due to good rainfall in winter and the availability of prey. I look forward to seeing more of the choughs and hope they will nest again. I guess most likely late November, early December at the latest to keep pumping out the babies.

The new kids on the farm. Canon 1D MkIIn, 500mm f/4L IS lens with 2x, tripod.

Last season, this group successfully nested twice out of three attempts raising two from the first and two from the second nesting sessions. Please enjoy these newcomers of the world as you see them.

Nature Photography