A birdyfull day at the Laverton Creek Estuary.

It’s a glorious late autumn day on Port Phillip Bay.

The Altona wetlands on Port Phillip is one of the 65 RAMSAR listed sites in Australia. RAMSAR sites are critical for supporting wetland and migratory birds around the world.

Today the birds were there in force many feeding up for migration north as the southern winter approaches.

The Pelicans hunting as a pack scooping up the shoals of pilchards in their huge bills.

Egrets were flying in to join the feast.

The Herons were also there for the hunt.

It truly was a very birdifull day to be out by the bay – to be out in nature.

Meanwhile back home summer time ends on a beautiful autumn day – time for bird watching

Summer daylight saving time has ended on the east coast of Australia.

The autumn sun and stillĀ  mild days are welcome.

I took my long lens and bicycle and went bird watching on a near perfect day.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

White Faced Heron

Spoonbill

Australian Pelican

Black Swans

And some passing ducks

Back to Queenscliff to Swim with the Seals

Finally the strong winds that had been blowing around the Rip, the entrance to Port Phillip had abated and a date to swim with the seals fixed.

The evening before the swim, on Shortland Bluff overlooking the Rip, a Kestrel was riding the last of the wind as it hunted for prey

Then he spotted me and was off

As night fell the ships passed through the heads. Mechant ships going about their business and cruise ships sparkling bright in the night.

The next morning was still and the converted fishing boat awaited us.

Most of Port Phillip is marine sanctuary these days and hence a haven for wildlife. Structures have been built to give shelter to the Australian Fur Seals that reside in the Bay.

The seals are happy to join the swimmers in the water.

Along with a largish Smooth Sting Ray.

Pope’s Eye is an artificial reef also in the Port Phillip Heads National Park. It is a significant breeding area for the Australian Gannet.

There are also forests of kelp and other sea weed and colourful and inquisitive fish.

The crew were great as was the little old fishing boat.

Nothing like lolling in the net and watching the world go by!

Day trips around Melbourne – Queenscliff

My home town is Melbourne, Australia and as summer rolls along its a good chance to do day trips and overnight stops. Queenscliff is an historic town at the entrance to Port Phillip.

Being close to the Southern Ocean the weather can be a little unpredictable. The entrance to Port Phillip is known as The Rip due to the strong currents that rip through the narrow entrance.

The lighthouses stand sentry.

They guide vessels large and small through thr treacherous waters of The Rip.

Day and night the light houses shine their guiding lights.

Standing steadfast while the stars turn.

The waterways around Queencliff are a haven for waterbirds. Even this late in summer some swans have cygnets. Of which they are protective!

The Wood ducks and Spoonbills beautiful to see.

Another feature of Queenscliff is the grand old buildings. From the towns glory days.

Along the bayside the beaches and piers are perfect places to fish or promenade.

One of the attractions of Queenscliff is being able to swim with seals. Unfortunately the strong winds meant that wasn’t possible. Therefore there will be another day trip!

Lust for a long lens

I’ve long lusted after a long lens. One of those ones that give beautiful bird photos.

I have finally bitten the bullet and invested of a 75 -300 telephoto lens.

I have to admit as I’m a piecemeal adventurer I’m also a piecemeal photographer and I’m going out on a limb here to share some of my initial photographs with my new lens

Most are really sharp some not as sharp as I would like. It’s certainly different shooting hand held with such a long lens.

In doing my research I learned a new word- Bokeh. This is the blurred background that a long lens gives. I think the next two images give a good example.

The flying tern and resting cormorants are sharp against blurred background.

While my blog has plenty of photographs, I call my style ‘words and pictures’ where I try, using these mediums, to give a sense of what I’m seeing and feeling in the places I visit.

I use Olympus (now OM) cameras and lenses. I found this blog very helpful in choosing and using my new lens; https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-day-at-frasers-hill-with-mzuiko-75.html?m=1

So friends and followers I look forward to adding some long lens elements to my next adventure blogs.

Addendum

It is still cold and blustery in Melbourne for Spring. So took another walk at the Newport Lakes Urban Forest.

It’s wonderful to have this forest and its birdlife so close to the centre of a big city.