Thursday, July 21, 2016

UQ at Gatton

Today we drove back out to Gatton for another visit. I learned that there is a place to do some bird watching on the campus of the University of Queensland at Gatton. There is a nice environmental park there with boardwalks, benches, and bird blinds. There were lots of birds to see, starting with the Plumed Whistling Duck shown above.

I managed to catch this fellow landing on a dead limb sticking up out of the water.

There were also Magpie Geese scattered about the place.

And I managed to catch one taking a bath. He spent a long time in the water spashing and bathing.

There were also turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and enjoying the warm day. It was at least 25C (77F) today and it is the middle of winter. What will it be like in the summer?!

In the shallows was a White-Headed Stilt searching for a meal.

And near him was a Pink-Eared Duck with his oddly shaped bill.

We also saw the Chestnut Teal. He's a real beauty swimming out there.

Finally, after many misses, I got some images of the elusive Grey Fantail. He is a nervous fellow and flits from limb to limb. He finally settled for about 30 seconds and I managed to get some reasonable shots through the brush.

I have a ton of images from today and have selected the best ones and posted them all to flickr.


Just to give a better feel of the experience of being at these lakes, I made a short video simply to record the sound. There's not much to see, but you can at least hear what it was like to be there.

For those of you interested in equipment, today I used my Nikon 200-500mm zoom coupled with the Nikon 14E III 1.4X teleconverter. This boosts the maximum focal length to 700mm, I put this on the Nikon 1 V3 to get an effective focal length range of 756-1890 mm. With this reach, I am able to get the images above (and many of the ones you can see in our trip to the Main Range National Park. This is becoming the go-to way to bird for me.

I also have a tripod on with one of the legs removes for use as a monopod. Using this to provide the support for the heavy lens makes it much easier to get a good shot without having to hold it up and point it in the right direction. Now I just swing it to point it and and I'm good to go.