Birds of a Feather

On a recent week-long camping trip into the Victorian High Country (Bentley Plain), I had the opportunity to photograph a small variety of wildlife that accompanied us and which also visited our campsite on a regular basis. It’s actually great to get out to these more remote areas (though far from unvisited, depending on time of year) and enjoy the peace and quiet of bush life. By no means were we completely out in the boonies; as the predicted weather made certain that we had to settle into a locale that provided reasonable shelter from the anticipated storms (and storms we did get), but bush life it was (in a 21st Century fashion).

Under Shelter (the fire wok is well under control) - Bentley Plain Victoria

Under Shelter (the fire wok is well under control) – Bentley Plain Victoria

The weather on this particular week varied in the extreme, from hot bouts, to unusual mists that rolled in every night and a rather furious storm that invited itself upon us one day. Despite all of this, it was the most pleasant and enjoyable break that we’ve had for a long time. And while we had all the amenities of the modern camper, we still managed to enjoy a more rustic and sometimes frustrating lifestyle, as we were constantly challenged by less than cooperative firewood. That said, the peace that ensued as evening fell and the mists rolled in, calmed all and any frustrations (as did the odd red wine or champagne).

Evening Mist - Bentley Plain Victoria

Evening Mist – Bentley Plain Victoria

Evening Mist - Bentley Plain Victoria

Evening Mist – Bentley Plain Victoria

Even the mornings provided some pleasant surprises as the mists of the night evaporated.

Morning Mist - Bentley Plain Victoria

Morning Mist – Bentleys Plain Victoria

Now part of the introduced wildlife was easy to photograph (up to a point) and provided plenty of amusing and memorable moments. It wasn’t simply the human element that was having fun, as it was a refreshing change for the furry kids to be able to enjoy the outdoor life without being tethered to a rope and post. And, in turn, that made the trip so much more relaxing for the humans as well.

Tas & Jenna relaxing - Bentley Plain Victoria

Tas & Jenna relaxing – Bentley Plain Victoria

Millie the Pug fast asleep - Bentley Plain Victoria

Millie the Pug fast asleep – Bentleys Plain Victoria

Buster the Pug drowsing off - Bentley Plain Victoria

Buster the Pug drowsing off – Bentley Plain Victoria

Jenna & Tas at the Bush Hilton, waiting for the storms to pass - Bentley Plain Victoria

Jenna & Tas at the Bush Hilton, waiting for the storms to pass – Bentley Plain Victoria

So much for the easy targets, the native wildlife, while at times seemingly very cooperative, were a much more difficult subject to isolate. However, with perseverance and patience while observing their habits, one was soon able to work things out and be prepared. Even then, it was often a case of hit or miss, as the best laid plans didn’t always work out. But then that’s often the case when it comes to any wild or wildlife photography. Though when things did work out, the results were more than satisfying. The Robins were the most casual of the native birds, flitting in, out and through the camp all of the week, sometimes stopping and posing, wondering what that noise was, as I pointed my camera their way and fired off bursts.

Male Flame Robin - Bentley Plain Victoria

Male Flame Robin – Bentleys Plain Victoria

Male Flame Robin - Bentley Plain Victoria

Male Flame Robin – Bentley Plain Victoria

Female Flame Robin - Bentley Plain Victoria

Female Flame Robin – Bentley Plain Victoria

Female Flame Robin and young (on left) - Bentley Plain Victoria

Female Flame Robin and young (on left) – Bentley Plain Victoria

The other local inhabitants included a small swarm of swallows, which I didn’t even try to photograph as they cycloned around (literally) each night, as well as a group of Wagtails (of unknown origin) that challenged me every evening. Far more accommodating were a Rosella and Kookaburras (or was it just the one?), which didn’t appear to be all that perturbed as I sneaked about trying to get to the best vantage point.

Wagtail - Bentley Plain Victoria

Wagtail – Bentley Plain Victoria

Rosella - Bentley Plain Victoria

Rosella – Bentley Plain Victoria

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree - Bentley Plain Victoria

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree – Bentleys Plain Victoria

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree - Bentley Plain Victoria

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree – Bentley Plain Victoria

In a way, we were all birds of a feather, enjoying the quiet bush life a few weeks before Christmas. I do wonder what it’ll be like when the hordes descend on the plains, but I hope that they also make the best efforts to relax and enjoy the bush life like we did that week.

4 thoughts on “Birds of a Feather

  1. Libby Janssen

    I enjoy reading your blogs Ray and your photos are beautiful

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