Moorhen in Flight

This is an adolescent moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) in actual, real, no-shit, airborne flight. Well, it was probably still in ground effect. Moorhens have trouble climbing more than a metre. With tiny, stubby little wings flying is a huge energy cost for them. This one is from last year’s recruitment. It hasn’t developed full adult colouration yet. It was flying towards a small child who was handing out bread to intrepid waterbirds.

Moorhen Airborne
Adolescent Moorhen in Flight
Adolescent Moorhen in Flight
An adolescent Moorhen (Galinula tenebrosa) touches down
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Hardhead in Flight

Hardheads (Aythya australis) are diving ducks. The swim, they dive, they fly. It’s very rare to see them go aground.

The white eye identifies this one as a male. The females have brown eyes.

A male Hardhead flies over the lake
A Hardhead (Aytha australis) moments after takeoff
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Noisy Miners Post #1

On a mild (22°C) midwinter day the Noisy Miners were cooling off in the lake. They often do this when it’s hot, and it seems to be a social behaviour.

Capturing them is a bit of a technical challenge. They are small birds, and fast. The fly out a few meters over the lake, then dive in fast. Pointing the lens, acquiring a perfect focus, then taking the shot has to be done inside half a second. It’s easier to get them coming out than going in.

My recipe was to shoot a fast (1/3200) exposure with the gain wound up high and the autofocus tuned for fast acceleration.

I’m splitting these pictures across three posts out of concern for your page load times.

Noisy Miner
Soggy Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner Airborne
Noisy Miner getting Airborne
Noisy Miner commiting to the Dive
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Cormorant in Flight

A little black cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) was fishing in the lake at the botanic gardens. With its belly full it decided it was time to warm up in a tree. I had my Ridiculously Long Lens in Stupidly Extended Mode and managed to get the camera to lock focus as the cormorant circled the lake to gain altitude.

Cormorant in Flight
Cormorant in Flight
Cormorant in Flight
Cormorant in Flight
Cormorant Landing
Cormorant Landing
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