Monday, 14 June 2010

Follow that Bird - thrill of the chase

There WAS a Spotted Pardalote tending this hole.
Birds to the left of us, birds to the right of us. All told 60 collective sightings for the excursion, all dutifully ticked at the conclusion. Such sharing of ideas, adventures, techniques, such collective joy.

Likewise they all saw the Lewin's Honeyeater in here somewhere.
Having never been ‘birding’ I was overwhelmed by both their eyesight and their identification skills. It was really their brain-sight – they knew what they were looking for, movements up, down, through and beyond. Whereas I might see the flit into or outof the canopy, they kept up with it, identified it by sight and sound, and gave a treatise on habitat.

The water tumbling down from the Minnamurra Falls was gloriously clear.
And it was not confined to the boardwalk up to the Minnamurra Falls.

I had to confine my sightings to forest details anchored to the soil.
On the way back out of the forest, through farming country, the bus would slow, pull over to the side and the most wondrous conversations would ensue.

The boardwalk provided ready access and the falls an opportunity for lunch.
My poor brain was at bursting point. ‘On the edge’ is a most productive sighting area – where one habitat merges into another, say farmland into forest.

For one with cerebral ataxia this swing was 'disturbing' but I took my new stick.
Tomorrow: Photographing birds is a whole new ball-game which brings one down to earth very quickly.

16 comments:

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

I was very interested in your comments about your birding experience and the ecology of the area.

I was not particularly knowledgeable about birds, and then we bought a condo in Costa Rica, which has more bird species than the USA and Canada combined. I learned much more about birds posting photos of them for my Daily Photo website, just as you have done.

Your comment today about the dividing area between ecosystems helps explain why Costa Rica has so many different types of birds. Costa Rica links North and South America and has wildlife that has migrated from both continents (unlike the evolutionary isolation of Australia). Costa Rica has tropical coastal lowlands and high rain forest and cloud forest mountains, all within a small area.

Today, I am showing a boat-billed heron on my site, and I have showed many birds on my site that just a few years ago I would not have been able to identify.

In Real Life said...

Wow! Beautiful photos, what a wonderful place! I love the one of the clear water.

Luis Gomez said...

Julie, love the details of your pictures during your walk in Minnamurra Falls and your descriptive text of your experience is great. I have always found nature a hard subject.

Ineke said...

sounds like a wonderful walk!

TheChieftess said...

beautiful place to walk!!! That middle photo is interesting...can't really tell what they are...

Bill said...

That looks like a fabulous National Park. We've been there years ago but can't remember the hanging bridge. Beautiful pictures, as always.

Julie said...

Chieftess: they are fungi growing out of the side of a rotting tree trunk.

Dave: I will come over and have a look.

Luis: I appreciate your comment and acknowledge your expertise.

Bill: We crossed over two bridges and I think there are more. They are probably newish - say the last 20 years.

brattcat said...

Julie, you are to be commended for throwing yourself into this. It's like trying to master a language you've only heard whispered around you from time to time. You are such a skilled photographer, it's humbling, I imagine, to face the challenge of this, but how wonderful of you to have tried. No doubt, if you desire, with time you will master the identification and photographing of birds, as well.

Peter said...

LOve these - no way I could see that bird, great fungi too. Sept trip sounds exciting.

~Cheryl said...

Beautiful photos! Birding truly is an intricate "sport" and very hard for me. I love that bridge!

Marka said...

Nice photos! I especially like the waterfall and the fungus.

Arija said...

Looks like a whole new world is opening up for you. Photographing birds can be a most frustrating and rewarding pastime.

Bruce Caspersonn said...

Julie, I don't know what I would do without your daily blog. Suffer withdrawal symptoms I suppose.

J Bar said...

The fungi looks brilliant. Sounds like an interesting experience.

Joan Elizabeth said...

The board walk in the Minnamurra rainforest is a truly delicious walk (oh to have enough photos to be able to expend them all in one post!!).

As for bird watching I've only been out with a serious watcher once and I agree it was quite an experience. I don't think I've quite got the personality to do it, even though I take a keen interest in anything I see flitting in the forest ... would like to know their calls better because I can hear many more than I see.

As for photographing them ... it's the pits ... takes too much patience and too many leaves in the way. They have to be near frozen on a dead branch for me to have any success.

lewi14 said...

It sounds like a very interesting and amazing tour. Your photos are beautiful.