Australia Zoo

Probably the best Zoo I have ever been too! Enclosures were excellent, staff were super friendly and knowledgeable. It is spread over a huge area with lots to see.

Impromptu Spider # 2!

Always take the opportunities life presents you, such as when a strange spider appears in your kitchen. In this case the white kitchen tiles made a very convenient background and a single flash was used for lighting. Next time I will use an additional flash so there's no shadow though.

After much internet sleuthing and googling this appears to be a Flattie Spider (aka Wall Crab Spider - Selenopidae)

It catches prey with the worlds fastest spinning action! Click Here to see a Nat Geo video of this

Impromptu Photoshoot

I found this Wolf Spider in my bedroom as I was about to go to bed...So before I put it outside and did a quick photoshoot with it :D

These were both taken using the same setup and the only difference being where I placed the flash/softbox. The top image has that reflection of the softbox whilst the lower image it is off to the side.

Yates Springtime at Araluen (aka Araluen Tulip Festival)

I really hate gardening but I love flowers and my most favourite flowers are Tulips!

Araluen have a yearly Tulip festival where they plant a gazillion Tulips in the park!

I dropped in after work last week to check them out and take some happy snaps!

BirdLife WA Calendar

BirdLifeWA Calendar.jpg

Every year the BirdLife WA Photography group make a calendar featuring native WA birds with profits aiding the BirdLife WA Australasian Bitterns project.

This year I submitted some photos and one of my photos was chosen!!! Woot woot!! 

They chose my picture of a male Splendid Fairy Wren that was moulting into its breeding plumage. (From the set of photos I took here http://www.rudi.photos/blog/2017/2/22/this-little-wren-was-such-a-good-model)

Calendars can be purchased from the BirdLife WA office in Floreat for $10ea or they can even post them out to you (shipping is a bit extra).

If you would like a calendar contact the BirdLife WA office on 9383 7749 or email wa@birdlife.org.au to place an order!

Secrets at Sunrise - A Documentary about the almost EXTINCT Western Ground Parrot

http://www.secretsatsunrise.com/

I went to the screening of this documentary last night at the Perth Zoo. It is about the Western Ground Parrot, of which there are less than 150 left in the whole world!

Their reduced numbers are mainly attributed to massive habitat loss through historical land clearing and then more recently they were severely impacted by two bushfires that reduced their habitat down to about 10% of it's original size. Other threats also include feral cat and fox predation.

The documentary is excellent and details the severity of the issues facing the continued survival of the Western Ground Parrot and the recovery efforts currently underway. (Warning: Some parts of the documentary was very sad :'( ). 

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is leading the recovery project and it is being overseen by the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team. (The recovery plan is detailed here http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/plants-animals/threatened-species/recovery_plans/southcoastbirds_recovery_plan_44.pdf)

A major contributor to the recovery actions is the community group "Friends of the Western Ground Parrot" they are currently fundraising to enable collection of more breeding pairs for the captive breeding program at Perth Zoo. To donate please visit their site http://www.western-ground-parrot.org.au/.

Perth Zoo are also fundraising to they can build better aviaries for the breeding program (https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/western-ground-parrot-breeding-program). The Zoo will also be hosting another screening/fundraising day on the 17th September 2017 so keep an eye out for that!

With everyone's help we can ave the Western Ground Parrot from extinction!

Crazy O'Clock Photography

The crazy things you do to get a different picture, like get up at 0330 on a Saturday morning, then drive for an hour and spend about an hour taking photos only for the clouds to roll in and hide the stars :(

Once the clouds/fog rolled in I changed the view a bit by raising the camera up and point it down so the sky was barely visible in the frame. Once I got the image into lightroom I didn't like how the colours looked so I processed this image in B&W for something a little different

Perth Zoo / Ocean Reef / Burns Beach

There was a BirdLife Photography excursion held at Perth Zoo from 0900Hr and I planned to get to South Perth a bit earlier so I could get breakfast first...but sleeping in felt so good hahah. So I ended up having a toastie and coffee from Bean Thru instead, soo goood!! 

The photogroup excursions are a little different to the other excursions in that we don't do a species count but instead we have coffee/cake and discuss camera equipment :D This suits me greatly hehehe

Obviously this isn't "Wildlife" photography but I do like going to the zoo to practice and experiment with camera settings etc. (The penguins are also very cute hehe). I've basically just put the pictures into chronological order.

For those that made it this far, you may have noticed that there were no bird pics until towards the end, we kind of distracted by the other animals and didn't think to find the birds until after morning tea hahahaha

After the zoo I decided to go to Ocean Reef because people have seen White Winged Wrens there and I wanted to try to photograph them, but I didn't see any wrens at all :( I did see a Zorro Honeyeater though, winnnnnnnning! 

By now it was getting close to sunset so I went to Burns Beach for some landscape shots! Still experimenting with these, not sure exactly what I prefer yet.

Penguin Island Adventure Tour!

I love penguins and I haven't been to Penguin Island since I was in primary school!! So I had to rectify that before the season closed and I figured if I was going to go on a boat, I might as well do the whole adventure tour too! (Visit http://www.penguinisland.com.au to book your own adventure!)

As is tradition, I started the day by having a good breakfast! Luckily one of my favourite restaurants (www.threewishesrestaurant.com.au) is nearby! Nom Nom Nom, breakfasting right is very important!

With breakfast sorted I headed to the jetty to hop onto the boat. Whilst waiting I noticed a Pied Cormorant drying its wings on the beach so I whipped the camera out and the camera was being difficult. I then realised I forgot to change the settings back after messing with it the night before, I'm so bad at that :(. By the time I got it back to my usual settings the Cormorant took off and I only got one shot of it whilst it was flying away. Let that be a lesson for everyone, make sure to reset your camera after you mess with it and also, Willie Wagtails are very cute with their cranky face!

Since I was booked onto the adventure tour we don't head straight to Penguin Island but instead we do a tour of Shoalwater Bay and try to find some dolphins! There was a super playful pod of dolphins with a couple of babies playing!!! They were freaking awesome just jumping around and nudging each other then surfing on the boats wake! My DSLR and telephoto lens was a little bit hard to hold whilst motoring along so I didn't take many photos of them (and I wasn't so sure about my sea legs hahaha) I will just have to go again!!

Once we saw the dolphins we headed to the smaller islands north of Penguin Island (Shag Rock, Seal Island and Bird Island)

FYI, baby pelicans are freaking cute!!

Soooo many animals on the islands, it is amazing how they all get along so well! People...take note!! (Also, This Pied Cormorant family is the funniest!!!)

Then we started to head towards Penguin Island, the captain opened the throttles up a bit and hooooned towards Penguin Island. We came across more Pied Cormorants and I saw a couple of Whistling Kites. There were also heaps of Crested Terns on the beach at Penguin Island, they apparently nest on the beach there! Ohh and a Australasian Darter drying it's wings on the beach, whilst looking at me funny hahah.

OK, now time for Penguins!!!! <3 <3 <3

These are now called Little Penguins but I much prefer their original name Fairy Penguins!! (They are also known as Blue Penguins, for obvious reasons!) I just really want one!

I realise that it makes sense now, but I didn't know how vocal they were! Check out the lungs on this guy! (His name is Kevin)

I went on a bit of a walk around the island to see if there was anything else birdwise to photograph but I only found a heaaaapppp of seagulls sitting on their eggs, which made them excessively screechy...so I went back to the picnic area and had some lunch whilst waiting for the next ferry. On the boardwalk as I was walking to the jetty I saw a funny looking bird scratching around in the sand, it hadn't notice me yet so I took a heap of shots! Turns out it was a Buff Banded Rail, a usually very shy bird!! So lucky to see it!

For something a little different to end this blog, here's a picture of some pelicans that were just floating back and forth. Certainly living the life!

Small Print *No penguins were stolen in the making of this blog*

Augusta Road Trip - Part 2!

7th May 2017

I woke up a little early and noticed the sun was just coming up so went to the window and was pleasantly surprised by the view!

It's nice when you don't need to even leave the room to get a nice sunrise!!

I took a heap of pictures and since I was already wide awake I thought I would have a shower and find some coffee and breakfast before heading out to the waterwheel again.

The cafe I walked to was not open as per the advertised time! There was much sadness :( so I walked back to my car and headed to the waterwheel to find the elusive rock parrot and take some long exposure seascape shots.

As you can tell, I did not find a rock parrot. It is elusive after all!! After that disappointment I thought I would drive to Canal rocks but took the scenic route along the coast!

I can't remember the name of this place but it is here. It's at the end of a gravel road, I find these are the best roads to explore because hardly anyone goes on them!

It was quite an uneventful drive to Canal Rocks and luckily it was pretty quiet when I got there so it was easy to find a spot without any people being in the frame!

The rest of my Sunday was pretty boring, it was spent driving back to Augusta, although I did drive through Boranup State Forest and saw heaps of birds, but they were too quick for me and the road was too narrow to stop on :(. There was quite an awesome lookout located about here

8th May 2017

I had a bit of a late-ish start this day so I could have breakfast/coffee at the bakery. (Yes, it was damn good!!)

I took the slightly more scenic route down Brockman Hwy and stopped at Alexandra Bridge because it was nice and foggy! As soon as I got to the waters edge there was a super friendly zorro duck that walked right up to me and hung around for ages, suffice to say there are going to be many zorro duck pics coming!

Yes, I do love zorro ducks!!!

Eventually zorro ducks friend came along and then they disappeared down the river

It was a most awesome weekend and definitely looking forward to more photography holidays!