Lockdown is for the Birds

Brisbane, Queensland, 1 to 6 August 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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 Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Butcher Bird.

At the end of the last post, we had stopped off in Brisbane for a couple of days en route to a photographic tour in North Queensland, when our progress was arrested by a sudden seven-day lockdown.  So we spent the next seven days with our friends Jim and Milena in their new home, and with the birds that either visited or lived there.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

The same Butcher Bird from the verandah (also then next two images).

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. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Back inside, with Percy and Polly (Rainbow Lorikeets) and Milena.  One of the lorikeets is interested in learning how to use the coffee machine.

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The other, not so much.

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On the verandah again, two Kookaburras.

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Juvenile Magpie soaring up for food.  this one has a damaged foot.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Juvenile Magpie on the rail (the adults are black rather than grey).

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

The Australian Magpie is not related to the Eurasian Magpie.  It is related to the Butcherbird, though.

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Kookaburra.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Though we were in a city, we were able to go for a brief walk in a forest nearby.

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Inside with the lorikeets again.

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 Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

They are very fast inside the house and challenging to photograph.

Ironically, I had brought a Nikon D850 and 300mm f2.8 lens (plus teleconverters), specifically for photographing birds in flight, mainly from various bird hides I expected to encounter.  I did not anticipate the my BIF photography would be indoors.

These indoor images were all taken with a Fujifilm X-E4 and a 27mm f2.8 lens (40mm full frame equivalent), heavily croppped.  I couldn’t predict when and where they were going to fly I needed loose compositions.  They are all on 1/2,000 sec because the lorikeets are very quick and light levels were quite low so they are all on high ISOs, more that two thirds on 6400 or 12,800.  As well as that, this was a new camera and when I had set up Custom Quick Menus, I hadn’t realised that as well as the values on the Quick Menus, there were also many other values I needed to set or they would revert to the original camera defaults.  This meant I was shooting JPEG instead of RAW so many of the images are lacking highlight or shadow detail.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

This might represent an interesting lorikeet decal on the splashback except that it was a bit too transient for full appreciation at the time.

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Lorikeet and Jools.

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Percy and Polly powering past.

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Also a Budgie, even more elusive on the wing.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

… and here playing hide-and-seek.

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Back on the balcony, an adult Magpie in midair leaping for food, plus a Butcher Bird.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

  … Coming in to land ….

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Magpie pair.

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Again, a lorikeet as an interior decoration….

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Jim with Percy and Polly.

It was difficult to find lockdown information at this time as the Queensland Government told people not to ring them and if you did, you could wait for a long time and then drop out.  Eventually, we worked out that we were free to fly back to the ACT, even while the lockdown continued in Brisbane.  Jools did so first, I did so after receiving an email from the ACT Government advising against further travel. 

Now Queensland is out of lockdown and we are in lockdown in Canberra.  The main problem is New South Wales, which failed to lockdown for ten days after their first case and is now spiralling out of control with over a thousand cases per day.  (That won’t sound high if you live in Montenegro, Malaysia or Miami but is the highest we have seen in Australasia).  (The other problem is the low vaccination rate, due to the incompetence of the Federal Government).  Fortunately it doesn’t seem too bad in the ACT and we may be out of lockdown in a couple of weeks, though the situation remains precarious.

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At the water’s edge

Brisbane, Queensland, 31 July 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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We are on our second day in Brisbane, staying with friends, en route to Northern Queensland, or so we thought.

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Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Though inside Brisbane, we are on a scenic drive that goes in part through a national park, and we are looking down some distance at a house on farmland.  It appears to be the mansion of a drug baron.  Perhaps a nineteenth century drug baron.  Probably opium, in that case.

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Near the road, we noticed this compact granny flat.  Specially adapted for natural air conditioning.

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And in the distance there are these massive ancient megaliths.  Some of them may be more than a hundred feet high.  How they carried the stones there is a mystery.

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It’s not fire season yet so this was presumably burning off.  These days severe bush fires can occur even in winter though.

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We proceeded on to Wynnum, where we visited a cafe and then wandered out onto the pier.  Beside the pier, this I believe is a gazebo martin (though usually known as a tree martin).  I tried to get them in flight as a test of camera settings for that purpose but they are very fast and I did not succeed.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Wynnum pier.  The martins were building a nest in the roof of the right-hand gazebo.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Next we visited the nearby East Coast Marina and I photographed some of the yachts sailing around and in or out of the marina, from the end of a pier.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Also, a couple of dragon boats.  Going out…

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…then coming back in.

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Small yacht returning to the marina.

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Two launches and a yacht coming out.

The red sign at the left is not blank on purpose for the benefit of people who cannot read, rather it is a marker for the dredged channel.  The water can be otherwise quite shallow around here.

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A launch and a windsurfer exploring the possibility of flight.

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I think the same windsurfer.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

A small flotilla of launches coming in on the channel. 

You can see the channel marker in the mid background (in itself an indication the water is not as deep as it may seem).

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

There was a parasurfer there as well.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

We are now around behind the marina and a paddle-boarder is proceeding out.  He may not require as large a mooring as those catamarans.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

The boat at front in the middle is an old pearling lugger with a Maori name, which may indicate it was used by Maori divers.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

We are now a bit further south at Cleveland Point.  There are a number of cormorants on this tree.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

With a slightly different angle, I am now shooting into the sun.  It is still a colour image but the extreme contrast has wiped out the colour.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

This is the old Cleveland Point Lighthouse, no longer in use.  It has an unusual design and was built in 1865.  It is a State lighthouse for local navigation so was not amongst the Commonwealth lighthouses I photographed in 1987 (Lighthouses tab, at top of page).

Half an hour after I took this photo, Brisbane went into a sudden COVID lockdown for at least seven days.  We worked that out later when we drove past a pub that had no patrons.  No flight for us to North Queensland early morning the day after next.

Fortunately, we were able to stay with our friends for the duration.  The lockdown did end after seven days but then there was a North Queensland lockdown for another three days.  That also ended after the three days and I would have waited and kept on going but I received a letter from the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Government advising against further travel.  The problem was New South Wales where COVID was out of control by Australian standards because the NSW Government waited for 10 days before locking down.  Had I kept going I risked an ACT lockdown and either having difficulty returning or returning to 14-day hotel quarantine (as opposed to the much more benign home quarantine).

 

So after five days, I abandoned the North Queensland trip and returned to Canberra.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Meanwhile, we stopped for the sunset at a beach a bit further south near Victoria Point.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

… as the light slowly receded.

MacLeay Island in the background and South Stradbroke Island beyond that.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

An obliging pelican swam up and posed for me.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

The light was getting very low and although I was using a lens with good image stabilisation, that does not compensate for subject movement and I underestimated what shutter speed I needed so the pelican in this image is not actually in focus.  (I decided to show it anyway because of the feel and the colour).

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

A last image in the gathering doom….

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Then when we got back home, I went to change lenses on my cameras for more compact storage and discovered I was missing a lens – actually the new lens from my recent post on Setting Up the X-E4.  It had fallen out of my bag.

Clearly it wouldn’t be there the next morning so notwithstanding the lockdown, I went back to try to find it.  I thought it had probably fallen out of the bag when I bent down to take a photo using a small post as support. 

When we got back to where we had been, I immediately saw it on the road where the car had been parked.  It had fallen out when I got the bag out of the car, about eighteen inches to two feet.  Fortunately I hadn’t run over it.  It was unmarked, had no apparent ill effects and still worked fine including autofocus.  (Phew!)

Mount Tamborine

Brisbane, Queensland, 30 July 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Just before dawn, we headed off on our flight from Canberra to Brisbane, the first step of our journey to North Queensland.

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… though as it turned out, we would not get to North Queensland, rather turned back due to COVID lockdowns.

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We met up with our friends Jim and Milena, and later headed for Mount Tamborine.  This is a view looking inland over the plains.

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… and over farmland.

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The weather seems to have been changing considerably and is not quite how I remember it, though perhaps that is the infrared sensor and processing.

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Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We stopped at a cafe for lunch.

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And then we headed for the Mount Tamborine Skywalk, so the remaining images are from there.

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.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The bunga bunga pines are towering over the rest. 

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Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Eastern yellow robin (male).

.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

These two images looking straight down at some distance.

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.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

.Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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