wildlife photography through the lens of an animator

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Looking at the photo above, I guess I can let the Melon and the Quokka be the cutest marsupials, because the Echidna is not a marsupial.
But it sure is extremely cute!

A cute little tank. Always focused, with one thing in mind: "Find ants!".

I have seen bushfire survivors, with a few molten spines, but as determined and as lively as any other.
I've seen them cross creeks and climb hollow tree trunks up to a meter above ground.

Amazing little creatures!
Spotting one always makes my day special.

Short-beaked Echidna, Tasmania
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Tuesday, May 11, 2021


When I go up the hill I sometimes spot wallabies, esp. during the cold months.
I often wonder whether their presence is linked to the vegetation cycles or water availability. Or maybe even their yearly reproductive cycles?

I've tried to speak with other bushwalkers, but no one really seems to be interested or knowledgeable...
Sadly, most people that I'd meet up there are mad greenies, who are happy that 'finally the UN is taking over the conservation'.

This is why I like to walk and photograph alone.

Red-necked (Bennett's) Wallaby, Tasmania
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Monday, May 10, 2021


I call the Ringtail Possums "the Mousies".
It's always a joy when I hear them after sunset and see them run like crazy along the thinnest of branches.
Beautiful, agile and cute beasties, with gentle calls and amazing acrobatic skills.

When winter approaches, they carry twigs and leaves with their curled tails to build comfy warm dreys.

Here, there is also at least one Eastern Pygmy Possum, probably more. But they are literally as fast as Speedy Gonzalez, much more difficult to spot and completely impossible to photograph. But even just seeing them is such a treat!
Pygmy Mousies :)

Common Ringtail Possum, Tasmania
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Sunday, May 9, 2021


Together with the Quokka, Tasmanian Pademelons are among the cutest marsupials.

I spot them quite often when I walk through the gully, but photographing them is not easy. Almost always they disappear quickly in the thick shrubs. The gully is always shady and quite dark and my old camera struggles to expose well even at high ISO.

But a few times I've had magical moments when a mother 'melon would let me stay close while she feeds and her joey hops around totally unafraid of my presence.

And here is a Bandicoot.
It just appeared out of nowhere, while I was quietly photographing a wallaby. Walked quickly past me, sniffing under the fallen leaves. A minute later it had already disappeared.
It was so great to see a Bandicoot during the day.

Above: Tasmanian Pademelon, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Tasmania
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Saturday, May 8, 2021


I love seeing the brushies.

I often get up at night to try to spot them and I don't mind at all when they wake me up with their squeals, roars and hisses. I even recognize their individual voices.
There are 3 colour variants here where I live: Grey with cream tummy, Chocolate red, and Dark chocolate with cream tummy.

I'm told that today is Mother's day in the anglo world.
All praise and medals should go to the Chocolate red female possum on the photos below - a heroic, gentle and caring mother, whom I've known for 6 years already.

She raised two healthy, happy kids one after the other this year alone!

Brushtail Possums, Tasmania
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Friday, May 7, 2021

Signs of life

I haven't posted for over two years, it seems.

Thank you to all the hundreds of good people who emailed me over this period to ask whether I was OK and to say how much they all miss the regular updates.

It is heartwarming to know that even people who are first-time visitors enjoyed the photos that much to actually make the effort to say 'hi'.

Thank you!

I'm well.
I've been very busy with work and my other big project - Flanimate Power Tools.
I keep taking photos with my old Canon. Posting less frequently allows me to detach and choose only the good ones to show here eventually.

The last year has been the best one for Hobart in a long time. Thanks to the nasty Chinese virus, Tasmanian borders have been closed and all the tourists and international students have disappeared, so locals could regain some breathing space, some air.
The animals seem happier too.

The Robin Family

I observed a pair of Scarlet Robins build a nest and successfully raise 3 chicks.
It was wonderful!

More birdies

And below are just a few more bird photos from the last few months.

In this post: Grey Fantail, Grey Currawong, Green Rosella, Golden Whistler, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Scarlet Robin - all photographed in Tasmania.
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Monday, December 31, 2018

Some photos from 2018

2018 was a very busy year for me.
As usual I kept taking photos with my old camera, but until now I did not have the time to go through them and choose some to post. My initial intention was to make only one entry, but the oystercatchers stood out and demanded their own post.

This one will be just a collection of images. As always, each one has its own story, which I tend to somehow always remember, but these stories will remain untold.

Happy New Year!
Hope to see you around again some time in 2019. Enjoy the captured moments!

above: Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Green Rosella, Juv. Galah, Eastern Rosella, Tasmania
above: Red-necked (Bennet's) Wallabies, Tasmania
above: Tasmanian Scrubwren, Grey Fantail, Silvereye, Common Starling, Black-faced Cormorant, Tasmania
above: Sammy, the New Zealand Fur Seal, Tasmania
above: Masked Lapwing, Grey (Clinking) Currawong. Juv. Australian Magpie, Tasmanian nativehen, Yellow Wattlebird, Noisy Miner, Juv. Grey Butcherbird, Tasmania
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Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Sandy Bay Oystercatcher family

When I go out for my regular walks in the area, I always try to spot the resident Pied Oystercatcher couple. They never seem to venture too far away. This is their territory. There are no other oystercatchers permanently living here, so when I see one or two, I know they are the same birds. They seem to be more tolerant toward the Sooty Oystercatchers than toward others of their own species. A small flock of 6-8 'Sooties' might stay in the area for a week or two once a year. I believe that there are other Pied Oystercatcher couples, resident in the nearby bays, but they nearly never seem to come over.

My previous attempts to photograph oystercatchers have shown me that they are generally cautious and keep their distance. Until recently I could never get close enough to take good photos.

I've noticed that this couple are very successful as parents - every year they always seem to be able to protect their two chicks until they are fully grown and fly away.

This time I was persistent and tried to photograph them every time I saw them, documented the growth of their offspring and it seems that they got used to me somehow and let me much closer. Below are some photos taken between October 2017 and February 2018.

Although they are always in close proximity of one another I noticed the changes in behaviour. They started doing these little dance displays, combined sometimes with pleasant chirpy vocalisations.

Then while I was looking at the area where I suspected they may have built a nest, an alien oystercatcher appeared. It is difficult to tell whether it was a male, a female or one of the kids from the previous year. Toward me they weren't aggressively protective of their site yet, which led me to think that they still did not have eggs, but I was keeping respectful distance also.

The new arrival tried to socialise at first, casually searching for food near them. This was tolerated for a while. Later however he did some head-bobbing and dancing. This wasn't taken well and he was aggressively chased away by both residents.

Days after that they gradually became more and more annoyed by my presence. Initially they used the old distraction techniques where they pretend to have no interest in the area where I suspected the nest to be. (I never really went too close to it. I knew roughly the location and kept my distance.)

Then a little later they moved from attempts to attract me away to actively swooping and chasing me away. This is how on a foggy day I got these great in-flight shots. It was time for a retreat and for a few weeks I only looked at them from a significant distance.

One day I spotted the little fluffballs. They looked active and healthy, feeding themselves and following their parents, who were very watchful and alert.

Kids grew up fast. There were a couple of pretty bad storms when I did worry how they were doing. The little beaches they use to forage onto join during low tides, but get separated when levels are high. One provides much better shelter than the other. I was worried that they would be trapped on the exposed beach and then big waves, wind and rain would pose much danger.

But they survived the first big storms and kept growing.

A few weeks later they fledged and started stretching their wings. Soon they could fly short distances following their parents and I stopped worrying about them.

Parents were much more relaxed now and I could again get closer and take better photos.

I have some images where all four birds are in frame, but they are not as good, that is why I decided to mostly post the better ones where we have one or two birds in the photograph.

The chicks kept learning how to open shells and search for 'soft' food and as they grew they became more and more independent. I started seeing at first one of them doing its own thing - sleeping separately or walking separately; then the other one followed. They would sometimes join the parents and sometimes appear on their own. The adults started separating also. One of them even disappeared for a few days. This must have signalled that the children are ready for independent lives. Parents needed a break.

I don't know when exactly the young birds moved away and whether they had to be encouraged to do so or did it driven by internal instinct. All my attention around that time must have been taken by my work and I think I skipped a few walks. When I went back, the young birds were gone. Soon after that the adults re-united and went back to their usual routines.

The image below is one of the last ones that I have of the young birds. Both of them looked healthy, independent and very capable of taking care of themselves.

Pied Oystercatcher, Tasmania
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One year later

update Friday, January 4, 2019

There were bushfires near Hobart today and the smoke formed natural filter high in the sky. The light was soft, warm and diffuse. After the heatwave passed and the temperature dropped back to normal, I went outside to see if I could spot any birds to photograph in the unusual light.

What a nice surprise!

The tide was low and I saw the oystercatchers with their next brood. Only days after I posted the story documenting them raising their children last year and mentioned what successful parents they are, here we have two more healthy fledged young oystercatchers, learning how to use the orange can openers and already stretching their new wings.

One of the chicks closely followed the mother who extracted food from the shells and fed it regularly. The other chick, probably a couple of days older, was already looking after itself.

Good luck little ones!

I'm so glad to see you around!

Pied Oystercatcher, Tasmania
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