Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Do Aussie birds get up late

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Epping,Nsw
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    302

    Default Do Aussie birds get up late

    Aside from this great site, I also frequently visit a number of international wildlife photography sites. Naturally, these are dominated by Americans who would be talking mostly from their local experience. Several of these sites offer very good lines of constructive criticism and educational resources, and one piece of advice that seems to predominate is that the morning/evening light is best (standard outdoor photography rule) and we should get out early and late to photograph birds. Furthermore, this advice seems to be offered across the whole spectrum of bird types and ecotypes.

    Before getting to my point, I should explain that my photography is pretty much confined to birds of the rainforest, woodland and heathlands around Sydney, so I guess my comments are particular to these places. I dont often photograph waders or ciconiiformes which would be easier to get in the sweet light because they basically have nowhere to hide. What I find is that if I go out before say 10:00am (winter) or 7:00am (summer) then I find scarcely a bird to photograph. I guess they are there, but they are not active and when not active they might as well be invisible. The evening is even worse.

    If I look at my photo gallery (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25163113@N08/) I find that nearly every photograph has been taken in strong natural light, with the exception of birds of the deep forest. Most times so much light has been captured it is on the verge of ruining the image - in fact I think most overseas critics would say the images are already ruined for this reason (and doubtless for many others).

    So I wonder is there a difference here - do Aussie birds just get up later ? Has anyone else noticed this, or are other people successfully photographing bush birds in early morning light ?

    keen to hear your views
    Arron
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Epping,Nsw
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    302
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Twenty four reads and not one response. Doesnt anyone have an opinion on this ?

    Arron
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Hi Arron,

    Ok, this is my experience, so here goes...

    Where I work, I start before sunrise and finish around sunset in winter. In my environment, an airport, there is mostly open grassland with runways/taxiways to the south, buildings to the north, and we're surrounded by water on nearly all sides. There aren't many trees on the field.

    Whether the birds are active generally depends a lot on the weather.
    On windy days most birds tend to stay low to the ground, except for the raptors like kestrels and kites who enjoy feeding facing into a good wind.
    On rainy days the silver gulls gather in sometimes huge flocks, both on the ground and in the air.
    On relatively calm days the smaller birds tend to be more active (Pipits and Starlings etc), and the raptors have to work harder to hover for food.
    But as a general rule, from my experience the birds are far more active from around sunrise +3 hours and for the last 1-2 hours before sunset.

    There are also seasonal variations that dictate which birds, and their overall numbers, are in the area.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Nigel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Canberra
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    1,557

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Hi Arron,
    From my experience, I find birds easiest to capture in mid-morning. Just after sunset, when there is starting to become enough light, birds seem to be calling a lot but not necessarily conducive to photography. Later on, say 8-10am, they seem to calm down a bit, but are still active, maybe foraging a bit lower or something.
    Or maybe I just don't get out early enough
    Tobias Hayashi
    Canberra, Australia
    www.flickr.com/photos/callocephalon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Quote Originally Posted by callocephalon
    Just after sunset, when there is starting to become enough light, birds seem to be calling a lot but not necessarily conducive to photography.
    Bird photography under moonlight?

    I know, you meant sunrise!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Epping,Nsw
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    302
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Quote Originally Posted by callocephalon
    Hi Arron,
    From my experience, I find birds easiest to capture in mid-morning. Just after sunset, when there is starting to become enough light, birds seem to be calling a lot but not necessarily conducive to photography. Later on, say 8-10am, they seem to calm down a bit, but are still active, maybe foraging a bit lower or something.
    that seems pretty much in line with what I find. I dont have any overseas experience to compare it with though.
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Medowie, Port Stephens
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    I find that I get my best photos after sunrise but before 9am, but that of course depends on the location and direction you are shooting. This 'golden light' rule is a general photography rule of course and one I always used when photographing models as the light was 'softer' and not as glary and harsh as mid day light were shadows become more of a problem (and the bright light made the girls squint which is not good in glamour photos).

    Your target birds are not my speciality, but maybe the type of food they eat dictates where they feed in the morning and these feeding areas are not normally, or easily visible when you go out looking. Waders, Egrets etc forage in the water and the shallows/mud flats and I find them visible sometimes even before the sun rises, but often once the day lights up they travel from their roosts to feed, then theywill move on to either other feeding areas or to rest. Your birds may be foragers in among the leaf litter etc and then you only get to really see them once they have had their morning meal and are resting or soaking up vitamin D.

    I can't imagine birds being 'lazy' as such, and sleeping in. They have to compete for food and therefore need to get out there and feed as soon as they can. I do agree that inclimate weather would/does effect their routine however.
    Life list - 278 species (Painted Snipe) updated 06/11/11
    2011 list - 160+ species (stopped counting months ago)
    Web site http://www.darrylluck.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    East Maitland
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    4,038

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    Depends on the habitat and time of year but generally I'd say that most species go quiet after 8-9am in Summer and 10-11am in Winter. I don't go out to shoot in good light though and only head out early because thats when I record the most species, either by sight or sound.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    1,711

    Default Re: Do Aussie birds get up late

    We do most of our bird photography while on walks in National Parks in Vic.
    We used to get really keen & get out walking early. If we went on a 10km walk
    the birds were usually more active during the last 5km of the walk. Small bush birds need to
    absorb the sun's rays to get themselves moving, particularly in Winter. We don't go out quite
    as early these days as it's a waste of time.
    Cheers Keith & Judy



    .Our land abounds in Nature's gifts. Of beauty rich and rare.


    Life list total (seen by both of us) = 440 Latest addition Tawny Grassbird Ritamada Point QLD.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •