: : wildlife photography through the lens of an animator : :

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Of course, they are not! But they looked a bit like Vultures from the distance.
Great Cormorant, Tasmania
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Australian Shoveler

This isn't a great photo, but as I very much doubt that I'll see another Australian Shoveler soon, I'm posting this to have his first appearance on the blog.
male Australian Shoveler, Tasmania
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Home Sweet Home

Musk Lorikeets, Tasmania
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Attenborough warns on population

I heard this a week or so ago on BBC. I'm glad to know that the great David Attenborough speaks about the problem of overpopulation.
My personal opinion is that any responsible family should stop at two. And if they stop at one it would be even better. Humans are breeding like rodents, but there aren't many predators left that would eat that extra population. May be viruses are planet Earth's hope to stop this imbalanced and irresponsible growth...

here's the article from BBC's website:

Attenborough warns on population

The broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has become a patron of a group seeking to cut the growth in human population.

On joining the Optimum Population Trust, Sir David said growth in human numbers was "frightening".

Sir David has been increasingly vocal about the need to reduce the number of people on Earth to protect wildlife.

The Trust, which accuses governments and green groups of observing a taboo on the topic, say they are delighted to have Sir David as a patron.

Fraught area

Sir David, one of the BBC's longest-standing presenters, has been making documentaries on the natural world and conservation for more than half a century.

In a statement issued by the Optimum Population Trust he is quoted as saying: "I've never seen a problem that wouldn't be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more."

The Trust, which was founded in 1991, campaigns for the UK population to decrease voluntarily by not less than 0.25% a year.

It has launched a "Stop at Two" online pledge to encourage couples to limit their family's size.

Other patrons include Jonathan Porritt, chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, and Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall institute.

BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said population was a fraught area of debate, with libertarians and some religious groups vehemently opposing measures by governments to influence individual fertility.

In turn, the Trust accuses policy makers and environmentalists of conspiring in a "silent lie" that human numbers can grow forever with no ill-effects.

In January 2009, Sir David revealed that he had received hate mail from viewers for not crediting God in his nature programmes.

His most recent documentary focused on how Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution and why it remained important.

Great Cormorant

This is the first Great Cormorant in this blog!
Great Cormorant, Tasmania
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Be sure not to miss: American Dux!

Dear Australian Readers,

Have a peek at a fantastic post about American Ducks - Dux Delux, part II
Dave Lewis is showing some of his favorite ducks of which only the Mallard and the Mandarin duck would be well-known to us.


ps. And there are some cool Woodpeckers too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stop Australia's Wildlife Slaughter!

A petition that all of you might want to sign.

I came across this site [Protest against kangaroo slaughter in Australia with photographs by Ray Drew - http://www.kangaroolives.com] accidentally and was shocked again even though I knew about the slaughter last year. (warning: disturbing images) 6.5 million kangaroos are shot annually in Australia.

I wish I could say something nice or optimistic here, but I can't think of any. Maybe the fact that it has already been signed by 1143 people in less than three months. I don't know... :( All I can do is add my voice to those 1143 and hope there will be many more.

[edit: 4 Jul 2009] - I wrote the text below in another post, but it is relevant to the topic here, so I make it a part of this entry too.

I have found out that Australia commits large scale wildlife slaughter and is extremely hypocritical in this respect. I don't see moral right to talk against whaling, if you can't ban a medieval anti-humane industry in your own country. Using Kangaroos to attract tourists, sell products and brands and at the same time killing millions of them in the same way they used to kill Koalas, Tasmanian Tigers and tens of other species is truly disgusting.
I will keep the link to the online petition at the top of this blog at least until the end of 2009.
Looking at the signatures one can easily notice that most of them come from overseas. Australians, in their majority, do not care. Of course, if they did care the situation would have been very different.

I have traveled a lot around the world. The amount of animals killed alongside Australian roads is incomparable to any other civilized country. There are too many people here who just love running over a possum, a wombat, an echidna or a roo.

There is an ugly face of contemporary Australia, very well made up and hidden from the world. I thought that things have changed a lot in the post WW2 era. I have been very wrong. Environmentalists, wildlife carers, normal good people paint a plausible and acceptable facade, unintentionally hiding the crimes against Life.
The world often sees melodramatic images of rescued baby koalas, wombats and wallabies. Twenty babies are saved from the pouches of their dead mothers, killed in road accidents, photographed and faxed to every newspaper on the planet. Thousands, who have their healthy mothers shot for meat and skin are beheaded or beaten to death. No one mentions it. Why disturb the good sleep of the voter.

I don't want to offend readers by generalizing and saying Australians. But if there were enough responsible and caring people in this country, things would have been different. Kangaroos do not belong to Australians, they are a part of Earth's Fauna, a very unique part.

Australia is marketed as a Wildlife Paradise. It actually is Wildlife Hell.

[edit: 13 Jul 2009]

I'm trying to give more publicity to the problem through the Nature Blog Network and its members.

If you would like to know more about the problem, you can continue with these two sites:

[edit: 2 Oct 2009]
I'm not happy how NBN responded to my request, posting the info about the petition at the end of a long Community Bulletin Board behind all kinds of other irrelevant news.
Decided to leave NBN.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Extremely cute: Tasmanian Native Hen

info from Wikipedia: The Tasmanian Native-hen (Gallinula mortierii) is a flightless water hen, one of twelve species of birds endemic to Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Native-hen is a stocky flightless bird between 43 and 51 cm in length. The upperparts are olive brown with a white patch on the flank. The underparts are darker with a bluish grey tinge. The short tail is close to black and mostly held erect.The legs are thick and powerful, with a grey scaly appearance and sharp claws. The eye is bright red. The bill has a small frontal shield and is a greenish yellow colour.
Tasmanian Native-hen, Tasmania
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Magical Swamp

I don't usually manipulate the images out of the camera. In 99.99% the only processing done to photos is cropping and resizing + slight sharpening if necessary. Wildlife photography should be true to life and realistic, but also emotionally intriguing and involving...
After all my attempts to close the aperture and get a deep DOF where both birds are in focus failed, I decided to play with Photoshop and create a composite image out of the two photos below. Of course, the result looks artificial, but I think there is certain appeal and strangeness in it which make it a bit magical. It is still true to life, just an image that my lens was incapable to produce, a montage not a collage.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

White Goshawk: second encounter

The second time I spotted the White Goshawk was in the middle of last week. This time there was no window between the lens and the bird. Again he (I think it's a male bird as the females are supposed to be quite big and this one is only slightly bigger than a Cockatoo) didn't stay still for more than 15-20 seconds. Obviously this is his way of hunting. He scans the area with his sharp eyes and moves to the next lookout. A beautiful bird. I'm sure the local Turtle Doves and Blackbirds would disagree...
I find the claws on the last photo very impressive. Grey Goshawk (white morph), Tasmania
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