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.