This Osprey had a good catch – I would have been proud of that fish. He was taking it home – I am surprised he could carry a weight like that.
I have added a new page – with some images I took recently of the Southern Right Whales who took up residence here for a while. Click on the Whales link at the top to see them.
This Egret missed the fish this time.
This pelican was nearby. They are great birds to photograph, and remarkably agile for a bird that size. These were both taken on Toby’s Inlet.
The stilts (see previous post) were very elegant – especially their one legged poses. I played around with some of the images.
Many years ago I recall the Water Corporation were criticized because the Derby Wastewater Treatment Plant was discharging to the environment. It seemed odd at the time because discharges in that location did not seem to be likely to cause problems. One of the last things we did on our recent trip out the Gibb River Road was to visit the Derby Wetlands. This is a wetland created by allowing controlled discharge from the very same wastewater treatment plant. It seems the discharges created an internationally important wetland and now this has to be maintained!
I think these are black winged stilts. Very elegant.
I have never seen these birds before. We visited the Caversham Wildlife Park during the school holidays and came across this fellow doing his best to impress his lady friends. I can’t imagine how they didn’t go weak at the knees and swoon when he made this lot shimmer – it seemed to go out of focus. But the girls just kept on grazing – no taste.
These are apparently a separate species – not just an albino version of the normal peacock.
While in Fitzroy we went for a boat trip in the Geike Gorge. Apparently Geike was the boss of the geologist who discovered the gorge. There are some rumours that the name may change to an indigenous name more appropriate.
It pays to get up early and get the first boat ride of the day while the water is still glassed over.
These rocks are part of the Devonian Reef – the same barrier reef that Tunnel Creek goes through.
The river is the same Fitzroy river that I have recently posted images of.
This was taken a few km downstream of where the Jabiru photos were taken. I climbed down the banks and out into the river. This is not the full width of the river bed – the sand on the left is a small island in the river bed – the actual river bed is about 3 times this wide. In full flood it must be awesome. Again this is about the best Kimberley sunrise I could manage at this time of the year – not a cloud to be seen.
This was probably the closest to a sunset we had while in the Kimberley – there were no clouds. While taking this shot I noticed the pair of Jabiru’s (just right of centre). So I changed lenses and took the shot that resulted in the previous post. If you look at the extreme right and left of this image you can see the steep drop down the banks of the river. This is why the gate to this area is shut at night – patrons of the Crossing Inn would get into trouble in the dark if they could wander around here.
It must be an incredible sight to see this river in full flood!
This shot was taken on the banks of the Fitzroy River, near the Crossing Inn. I went through a gate onto the bank of the river to take the shot. Just in front of me was a large drop. While I was busy someone shut the gate (presumably hotel staff who didn’t want patrons to fall over the edge while intoxicated). I had to get back out by going under a house – it was on stilts so it was just a matter of stooping – not crawling!).
These are beautiful birds.
The trees in the photo are tilted to the right because when the river floods they go completely under water.
On Monday this humpback decided to start breaching just in front of the whale watching boat. He kept this up for nearly an hour breaching around 25 times in a row. The people on the whale watching boat certainly got their moneys worth. (These images were shot from shore at a distance of 2-3 kms, so they obviously are not as sharp as the shots of the Southern Right whales which were only about 50m away!)
On Sunday I went to a Black Cockatoo Sanctuary with Mark and Lee Stothard, Christian and Mike Fletcher and a number of other photographers. The couple who run the sanctuary take in injured birds and rehabilitate them. Then they release them into the wild – in the old growth forest surrounding Nannup. They are concerned because apparently the old growth forest they release the birds in is about to be logged – they are concerned that if they release birds they will be caught up in the logging.
I cannot fathom why anyone would want to log old growth forest – this is irreplaceable. I lived in Europe for a few years in the 1980’s and every “forest” I saw had the trees planted in lines on a grid. Western Australia is a place with a stable political environment and natural forests – a tourism bonanza in the future.
Sunday was the first day for quite a while with clear blue sunny skies – exactly the worst conditions for photographing forest. Waayy to much contrast. I fared better in the cage with the black cockatoos. These redtails are real characters, but I am sure they would prefer to be free. I think this image conveys that – regardless of how you photograph them in a cage they are not natural. My wife thought they were agitated and she was probably right.
Photographing these birds in the close confines of the cage is not easy – they move very fast and it is hard to lock onto them. However I was pretty happy with this.
These have been confirmed as Southern Right Whales. The mid sized one is possibly a calf from a couple of seasons ago. The interesting thing about this photo is that the large whale – the mother – is upside down. She is upside down in most of the shots I have of her so apparently she doesn’t care too much about up or down.
In this next image this is the middle sized whale. It was drifting along in the current not looking where it was going. It ran aground – and suddenly made a violent turn out to see. You can see the sand it churned up as it took off. You can also see the V-shaped “blow” that is a characteristic of the Southern Right Whale.
This final image is just a nice peaceful scene with the whales in the foreground.
The whale watching season is in full swing in Geographe Bay at the moment. Yesterday a humpback being watched by the whale watching charter boat decided to start breaching and he continued to do this for nearly an hour – breaching around 25 times in a row. The people on the boat certainly got there money’s worth. There have been some sightings of blue whales as well.