An Introduction to my Bird Photography Hobby

Australian Pelicans at The Entrance, NSW.
Pelecanus conspicillatus

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

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

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.

Noisy Mina Manorina melanocephala
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus

Peaceful Dove Geopelia placida
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris
Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea

Australasian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae – front view

Australasian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae – rear view
Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Pacific Black Duck Pandion haliaetus

Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca
Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia
Black Swan with Cygnets Cygnus atratus

Royal SpoonbillPlatalea regia , Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca & Great Egret Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia
Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata
Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita
Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea
Australian Wood Duck Aix sponsa
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus moluccanus
Australian Figbird Sphecotheres vieilloti
Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes

Images Copyright to Kevin Sheather

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