Look! Up in the sky! It's a.....?

Look! Up in the sky! It's a...?

Smart Farmer News
CAPTURED: Ross Pride's brother-in-law caught some great photos of the native birds which frequent Billagal, near Mudgee NSW.

CAPTURED: Ross Pride's brother-in-law caught some great photos of the native birds which frequent Billagal, near Mudgee NSW.


When Ross Pride's brother-in-law visited for Easter, he caught up with some of the birds at Billagal as well.


Dear wife's brother (she has four, but it is the eldest, Martin, who is in the spotlight today) is a tall bloke with a steady gaze, a firm hand, an unflappable nature and an eye for beauty.

Which means when he catches up with some of the birds out our way he usually does pretty well.

Staying with us over Easter, Martin had a week of perfect weather and plenty of time to indulge in the thrill of the chase. He didn't disappoint.

My esteemed brother-in-law is a great bird photographer (even his name is appropriate), and he had brought a special camera with a lens as long as your arm for the occasion.

On several previous expeditions he had added to our tally of new species spotted on the property, now standing at almost 80, and this time he was obviously on a mission.

Most early mornings and late afternoons Martin would shoulder his camera and lens and set off, padding quietly around our hills and waterways and clicking away at feathered good-lookers.

Then he would bring back the spoils, and we would peer at the screen in the back of the whiz-bang Canon to see if he'd shot something new and whether we could identify it.

At the very least we would see plenty of old friends in quiet, busy, raucous, amorous, and nest-building moments; hunting, feeding, fishing, and fledging. And, of course, flying.

Two wrens have a cute cuddle, a big wedge-tail gives the evil eye, a tree-creeper does what tree-creepers do best, a sulphur-crested cockie screeches at an intruder, a honey-eater grins from his perch in the grevilleas, a family of silver-eyes does laps in a bird bath.

From that lot I'd say things are looking promising for a 2019 version of Martin's big Christmas 2018 hit, which was a calendar featuring his best bird pics of the previous 12 months.

He was well pleased with this Easter haul. So were we.

It's pretty satisfying to have over several years put together a spot in the bush where more and more wildlife has worked out there's reliable water, plenty of feed, refuge if required, and where the only shooting allowed is with a camera.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I've just taken a great photograph too - of the innards of a stalled water pump, to send to our plumber for diagnosis.



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