Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Dull Skies and Rainbows.

Rainbow Lorikeet

It’s almost ten years ago when I was teaching English in Tokyo. I remember a student; a young woman, 25 who had been working in Tokyo for seven years. She lived in another prefecture next to Tokyo and commuted in and out every day on crowded trains and subways six days a week. Two and a half hours in the morning and again another two and a half hours back to her home in the evening. I was impressed that she still found time to study English after work but was well aware that she was gaunt with dark circles under her eyes and traces of eczema on her wrists and neck. I asked her why she studied English and she strongly insisted she wanted to go to Sydney. I was curious as to why she wanted to go to Sydney in particular. Her answer, “I need to see a colourful bird.” (She had seen a documentary on TV)

I imagined she was talking about Rainbow Lorikeets.

All photographs on a rainy morning at Upper Lockyer, Queensland, December 2009.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Japanese Woodpecker

Had a wonderful time today trying to photograph this Japanese Woodpecker. He was a toughy, mostly directly above me in the shadows. So it was mostly looking up his backside and into the sun. I had to react quickly when he finally moved into some open, sunlit spaces but it was still hard to get his face. I think he's a beauty. At Junsai-ike, Niigata City. 

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hayabusa VS Aussie Peregrine Falcon

Uploaded this picture to Birdforum a few years ago but what the heck, this is my blog. On the left is an adult Japanese Peregrine Falcon (Hayabusa - Japanese) Falco peregrinus nominate/japonicus? (Photographed at Toyano, Niigata, in October 2007) and right, an adult Australian Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus macropus (female, the smaller male was following her, at the Toowoomba cemetery, May 2002 -slide film and scanned in 2002).
The Japanese falcon is generally a paler species with an 'open-cheeked' black helmet compared to the Australian species which is darker and has a much fuller helmet.
What ever the case it's nice to see both species, and love the blue skies in these pics.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Three Files from 2005. A rainy day post.

After two decades of SLR film photography, I was excited to get my first DSLR back on the evening of July 12, 2005. I didn't take it out until the next day. My first shot was a high Black-eared Kite. The second shot file # IMGP0002 above: A Black-eared Kite resting on a bridge along the Shinano River, Niigata. -A golfers' driving range in the background. The camera is a Pentax *ist DS with what's still my favourite lens, a Pentax SMC 400mm f5.6 ED. The same kit I took to Shiretoko the following year. I wish Nikon will hurry up and release something similiar to the 400mm. (Post edit: Whoops, I forgot. The top Black-eared Kite pic was with a Sigma 170-500mm lens)

Other photos I was happy to get that year was a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker at Sakata, Niigata in the August:

and a Common Kingfisher at Fukushimagata, Niigata in the October: