Not a birder

I’m not a birder, well, not really. If I was to call myself one, I would then have to call myself a planter, rocker, crabber, beacher, insecter, spider-er, general bugger,….er, yeah, some of them are mis-informative and downright impolite 😀 I’m interested in so many things in the natural environment, I can’t really narrow it down to one animal class. It is concurrent with my art practice – I have my fingers in all the pies.

But over the years, despite photographing many living things, I have neglected birds. Why? Mostly technology. Until about four years ago, my camera, which was fantastic for macro, only had a 4x zoom, which kinda sucks when trying to capture wildlife outside of Arthropoda. Four years ago I discovered the compact zoom camera and grabbed myself a 42x zoom – well, suddenly birds became a viable topic to photograph 😀 And just as I was started to get used to the idea, the stupid camera broke – twice ::glares at it menacingly as it sits ornamentally beside my desk because that is all it can currently do::

So a few weeks back I finally replaced the ornament with my new 65x optical zoom compact (had to drop 2Mps down to 16Mps to do it though as I needed a mic input ::pouts::) and then promptly went for a week’s holiday on the Yorke Peninsula.

When our family goes on holiday, we usually do a wildlife count of what we came across. This time we saw the following: Edithburgh/Sultana Point (including a drive to Corny Point and along the coast to Hardwicke Bay), Yorke Peninsula, South Australia (in a little more detail than normal)

  • mammals (2 wild species) – a seal feeding (Corny Point), a fox, farm animals including alpacas
  • reptiles (2 species) – two skinks in the sandhills (there will be a separate post about that!) + several stumpy tails on the dirt roads
  • fish (approx. 2 live species) – gobi, juvenile fish in the shallows +  2 dead ringed toad fish and a dead shovel-nosed ray
  • crustaceans (approx 4 or 5 live species) – several species of pebble crab, and little under-rock crabs + dead blue swimmer crabs left over by fishermen
  • insects – ladybirds (several species), a wasp, a bee fly, painted lady butterflies, a large weevil, shield bugs, and a green vegetable bug nymph +  the usual mozzies (ugh, lots of those), flies, ants, cabbage butterflies, and moths.
  • molluscs – a whole ecosystem of sea snails, including hundreds of Conical Sand Snail eggs (the jelly blobs on the seashore the kids love to collect) + one largish Fimbriate Helmet Shell and many Razor shells.
  • echinoderms (2 live species) – starfish (Parvulasta exigua) and a See-Through Sea Cucumber (Paracaudina australis)
  • …plus a worm and a couple of living sponges.

This is a pretty low count for us as we didn’t get out as much as we could have since stupid me sunburnt my feet on day three and hobbled around for three days at least.

Missing from this list is at least 25 species of bird 😀

Because I’m new to birds, my sighted bird list includes mostly common species and pretty much every bird I could find at Sultana Point, and I photographed as many of them as I could.

Photo Gallery of birds at Sultana Point, Yorke Peninsula, SA, 1 – 10 December 2017

As for the total holiday bird score, added to the above list – Willie Wagtails, House Sparrows, Pigeons (Ardrossan cliffs), various birds of prey that always appear while I’m driving, magpies, peewees, little ravens, currawongs and several black swans.

I’m a strong believer in taking many shots to get good shots, so these are only a portion of the over 1500 photos I took in 10 days and don’t include the non-avian shots. I think there may be further posts about several of these birds in the future as I got some good shots of some of their activities, particularly the red-capped plover. Plus some videos I have yet to sort through (it has taken me most of today to sort these few out).

Also, if I have mis-identified any of these, don’t hesitate to let me know, and any advice on the unidentifed wader would be wonderful. Unfortunately I was not in the right spot to get a good shot and it flew away before I could get into one.

I’m not really a birder, but I am interested in them and am planning to photograph as many as I can find 😀 In any case, these are all stockshots for artwork in the future 😀

I’m incredibly late for Saturday Critters this week, but I’m adding this post there anyway, so go over there and gaze at the wonders of our world. Also, I’d rather be Birdin’ where I get lost in all the wonderful birds around the world.

Art Always!

Best wishes,