QUOTE – SILENCE

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.

 Robert Lynd

First sighting of a Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) on a low(ish) branch of a tree next to the local river last Wednesday.

I stood perfectly still for a few minutes silently wishing the bird would turn around so I could get a frontal shot.

Then it did (as though it heard my request).

I was rewarded with a near-perfect view.

I am exceptionally good at standing perfectly still in silence for quite some time when it comes to bird photography.

I thought I’d have trouble holding my heavy telephoto lens after a long absence of bird photography, but after a few practice shots, I seemed to manage OK.   I can no longer carry a camera bag over my shoulder or the weight in a backpack though.  My deteriorating spinal condition might be up for a 3rd lot of surgery as the nerve compression pain is worse than the hip pain – Sigh!

I stepped a couple of paces closer….

These medium-sized, mid-greyish honeyeaters with their distinctive head pattern live in parks, gardens, open forest and woodland and even low-lying scrub.   You’ll often see them on the ground near the river hunting for some tasty titbits, but can be easily scared off, so best to capture a picture when they’re up high and they feel safer.

They have distinctively rich yellow beak and legs.

Here are a couple more shots made back in March 2017 in the same location.

…..and a couple more made on the metal fence dividing the long reed-covered canal just before it flows into the river – a meer 15 feet from the tree in the images above.

NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) on the fence near the Maribyrnong River

In the photo (below), I was photographing something far off in the distance and lo and behold, a Noisy Miner landed on the fire hydrant right in front of me – May 2014 – near the Royal Botanic Gardens (located south of Melbourne city).

….and another close-up this time.   I spotted this rather tame and friendly miner in the park surrounding Ringwood Lake in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne – May 2014.   It was standing on a shady log backlit by bright sunlight.

Last Wednesday, I went for a very short walk down to the local river – all 3 of my cameras in my shopping trolley, together with the usual bottle of water, folding umbrella & scarf/gloves in case it got too cold waiting for the right time to photograph a bird (or two).

There weren’t many birds visible although I could hear quite a selection of bird calls on the other side of the path in Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve.

It can be quite chilly in Melbourne’s Autumn, although walking in the sun on a clear day can be very pleasant indeed if you’ve wearing a warm coat.

Best to head for home around 4.30pm between the river and my apartment block as my side of the river falls into shadow fairly early now we are heading towards winter.   Once the light on this side of the river valley disappears, you can be suddenly plunged into total darkness if you’re on one of the walking trails, near the river.

A golf course on the other side of the river also reinforces the lack of suburban street lights.

MELBOURNE BATHED IN SUNLIGHT DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR – JULY 2020. MY SIDE OF THE MARIBYRNONG RIVER HAS LOST MOST OF ITS LIGHT IN THE FOREGROUND

In winter I used to carry my tiny strong camping lantern to light the path while on the stretch of parkland (400 hectares) which runs up and down the river towards dusk.  Last Saturday I bought a new LED tiny torch to add to my key-ring.

I lost the old pencil torch years ago.

For the benefit of overseas readers, these 2 images put together (below), taken from the top floor of my apartment building, give you an idea of the beautiful (parkland) environment stretching along the river.   The photos were not made consecutively, and it was only yesterday, on reviewing my Local Landscape folder that I realized they almost align (but not quite  😀  )

NOTE: I live on the other side of the first floor (the U.S. calls this 2nd storey) of a 6 storey apartment building facing the road, not facing the parkland.   Wish I lived facing east to catch the sunrise, but who’s complaining when there is so much greenery on the other side of the building.

18 thoughts on “QUOTE – SILENCE

    1. Thanks Eliza.

      The Noisy Miners are just as common here as the house sparrows, but that yellow patch and the other facial colours certainly makes them stand out.

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  1. I thought the Miners look bemused, as though considering a thought that’s just come to them. The yellow eye ring certainly is distinctive. You’re right that sometimes the waiting is just what’s needed. I’ve asked a good number of birds to turn around for me, but they never seem to respond. I suppose if one ever did, I’d be so flummoxed I’d miss the shot anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL 😀

      You’ll have to practice some more telepathy, Linda. Or is it just that I have some sort of connection to birds beyond human conversation?

      I’ve always been able to sit/stand in complete silence for quite some times and not get bored or itching to move on. Helps that I always wear black or dark coat too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking of quiet, there wasn’t much in that Sydney suburb when the corellas descended on Nowra! I just saw the video on an Australian news site, and remembered the birds from your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Photos just from the archives for a while – ’til I’m (hopefully) mobile again…..one day. Good to hear from you. 🙂

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    1. Bell Miner bird expressions are also ‘sad’, Tanja.

      That photo of Melbourne is a good example of why my side of the river valley falls into shadow long before the other side and in the distance Melbourne’s city centre.

      Liked by 1 person

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