Birds. The feathered variety, that is! I always admire photos taken by Dan Fellow, especially the cleverly timed snaps he’s taken of birds in Tasmania. Wish I was that creative. But wishing won’t make it happen, so I’ll just have to get out amongst nature to get a magic shot of my own.
Birds in a Cage
However, before I invest my hard-earned in a pair of gum boots and a tripod, and head for the wilderness, I thought I should start somewhere a little less daunting. As I found on my recent trip to Bicheno, there is a place where some birds are a captive target for the camera lens. And some even welcome you with a cheery hello!
East Coast Natureworld presents some great opportunities for meeting birds. Once you’ve paid your entrance fee, you’re welcomed into the grounds by a very confident cockatoo. With a cage near the souvenir shop, this bird is clearly used to posing for the camera.
Wedge-tailed Eagle Enclosure
Not far away, there’s an enclosure housing two magnificent Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles. According to the information board, these birds have been injured and rehabilitated, and can hardly fly. I’m sure the creatures roaming the grounds, including other birds and wallabies, are pleased about that.
The grounds are peppered with informative signs describing the origins and feeding habits of the wildlife. As shown, there’s a big variety of birds calling the park-lands home. And there’s no wonder really, when customers can buy feed to give to the animals. The 150-acre wildlife park and lagoon is located on the east coast, one of the state’s most picturesque regions.
Cute Chicks and Fancy Feathers
The East Coast Natureworld Facebook page boasts a photo of a Cape Barren Goose with her four new babies. Although this breed could not be considered glamorous compared to some birds, the chicks are definitely a big bundle of cute!
Much more glamorous and found strutting his stuff in the farm enclosure at the park, is a peacock. As if on cue, Mr Peacock seemed quite proud to shake a tail feather or two, and put on a nice display for the assembled photographers. He did have to compete for attention with some rather cheeky piglets tearing up their muddy paddocks, so it’s lucky he had those shiny feathers to shake.
Near the farm enclosure are more aviaries, the sort you can wander through and get quite close to the birds. As they flew around over my head, I did wonder about the chances of receiving a dollop of bird poo on my head. And when I say dollop, I don’t mean a dainty splash that could be easily wiped away.
Fortunately I escaped poop-free this time, and managed to take a few photos. The parrots are very colourful birds and make great subjects. It’s especially good when you’re actually inside their cage, so there’s no unsightly wire spoiling your auto-focus. Now there’s a good reason to brave the poo!
Birds: Light As A Feather
I did comment out loud that the cages had a way of ruining a perfectly good photo opportunity. It’s hard enough to get the right light, without having to worry about wires. I was swiftly reminded that they were, after all, birds. There was a pretty good reason for the cages!
But it doesn’t matter, it was only for practice anyway… until I venture out in Tassie; into the marshes with my whistle and my binoculars, and do some real twitching. That’s bird-watching, you know! Or maybe I’ll just stick to admiring the work of professional photographers?
Think Tasmania visited as guests of East Coast Natureworld.