An Introduction to my Bird Photography Hobby

I have been thinking about adding bird photographs to our blog pages for a while. I have been interested in bird photography for many years but did not own the lenses necessary to do anything about it.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae). Bribie Island, Qld

My camera is a Canon 700D which I purchased in about 2015. It came with two kit lenses, a 18 – 55 mm primary and a 55 – 250 mm short telephoto lens. But changing lenses all the time is a pain in the neck so I mainly used the primary lens and cropped photos to bring distant subjects a bit closer. I mostly used the camera in one of the automatic modes as most photos were to support my travel blog text.

About a year ago I was able to obtain at a reasonable price a Sigma 18 – 250 mm telephoto lens. This was a great improvement but still placed me too far away from subject birds to achieve satisfactory results.

Then, on the principle of you can’t take it with you I went looking for something better and found a Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto. Used with my crop sensor camera I have an effective 900 mm reach. Much better.

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena). North Lakes, Qld.

I also started to really study the capabilities of my camera and began to shoot in manual mode. I purchased a high capacity data card for the camera and began shooting in RAW at maximum megapixels (18) and converting RAW data into JPEG in Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.

During processing I identify the bird by using apps and field guide books. A handy aid to identification is the “Google Lens” phone app. Available from your phone’s app store, it allows you to scan a bird photo on the computer screen and gives you a selection of photographs to use in identification.

I also use Cornell University’s “Merlin” app and the “Australian Birds” app. There are other that you can try for yourself. I also have a copy of the Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds.

Sightings are recorded on an Excel spreadsheet where I record bird and variety and location and date sighted. My computer files are kept by location.

Future Posts

For the future I intend to post my better shots from each outing, together with some information on location and the featured birds. Unless I change my mind, of course.

But for now, here are some of the photos that I have accumulated to date.

Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia). Dohles Rocks, Qld.
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala). Bald Hills, Qld.
Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus). Wynnum, Qld.
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus). Terrigal, NSW.
Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris). Southport, Qld.
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida). Southport, Qld.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Wynnum, Qld
Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea). Wynnum, Qld.
Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia). Rothwell, Qld.
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca). Rothwell, Qld.
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa). Redcliffe, Qld.
Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae). Rothwell, Qld
Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia). Fishermans Island, Qld.
Royal Spoolbills (Platalea regia), Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) and a Great Egret (Ardea alba), Fishermans Island, Qld.
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus). Fisheremans Island, Qld.
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae or Larus novaehollandiae). Merewether, NSW
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Redcliffe, Qld.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). Mount Nebo, Qld.
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea). Bribie Island, Qld.
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata). Redcliffe, Qld.
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus). Bribie Island, Qld.
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera). Bribie Island, Qld
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes). Bribie Island, Qld.

Images Copyright to Kevin Sheather

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