Walking on Water

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Sometimes you get lucky when what looks like being a dog of a day comes alive when out of the blue a kind bird floats in and positions itself in good light right in front of the lens. Well, today was one of those days.

It was a cool 15 degrees when we arrived at the hide at Buckley’s hole this morning. The hide is surrounded by tree’s that shades the water early in the morning. The openings in the hide did nothing to shield the fresh breeze, and inside it was cold. Looking out, apart from a few ducks way out in the water, there was nothing to photograph. Absolutely nothing. It looked like it was going to be one of those dog days. But Buckley’s Hole has surprised in the past, so we hung around drinking tea to warm up, hoping that as the sun climbed the birds would fly in. After 30 minutes of still nothing my mind was thinking whether we should just pack it in.

Just then a pair of Comb Crested Jacanas ambled across the lillie pads in front of the hide, getting closer and closer, to both the hide as well as patches of early sunlight filtering through the trees. Even a dummy could not fail to photograph these guys. This is the bird photography I like. No heavy lifting and tough hikes. Just park it and shoot. Perfect, absolutely perfect!

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Comb Crested Jacanas are found all the way up the Australian eastern seaboard and across the top end. Like all Jacanas they spend their time wading across water lilies using their wide toes to spread their body weight while looking for small something to eat. With a reddy-orange comb capping their heads they are quite photogenic guys. Definitely worth freezing the crown jewels for!

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As they always say, photography is all about composition and light. Today, the birds were accommodating and the light was perfect. You could not have shone a spotlight more accurately if you wanted to.

Twenty minutes later, the birds ambled off and so did we, photos in the pocket!

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