In June the club held an excursion to Mannum. Frances and I spotted Chris and Ashley in the main street, enjoying lunch at the bakery. We joined them for a coffee before wandering down to the ferry to meet the rest of the crowd. We had a lot of photographers and a battery of cameras. There we 3 main parts to this excursion. A walk through the town. A walk past the bird sanctuary and a trip across the river on the ferry. Perhaps the highlight of the trip for me was spotting a whistling kite circling lower and lower over the lagoon before stretching out and grabbing a fish from the surface of the water. There were 3 cameras capturing the moment. Unfortunately Chris and Richard outgunned me and took much sharper images of the crucial moment. (see the article on driving a big lens) I misidentified the bird as a marsh Harrier (stupid when you look in the bird guide).
Graham had found a darter sitting nestled in a willow tree. It’s quite tame he announced and took several snaps of the sunning bird. Later he declaims—I didn’t realise it was injured. On the photos there is a hook and fishing tackle dangling from it’s right wing.
I was disappointed that the Marion paddle steamer was not in its berth. Anne and Ken had found the Murray Valley Queen further dawn stream. As we were chatting the Steam powered Marion came puffing down the river, did a U-turn in front of us and berthed just yards away. Fantastic! Check out the photo Caroline took on her phone. (Camera batteries had gone flat)
The township is an interesting mix of old and new buildings. The waters of the 1956 floods had engulfed many of the older buildings. We broke into small groups. I walked with Graham and Chris Peck. It was interesting to climb the old steps to the top of the cliffs and overlook the town.
Frances during this time was hold court on the banks of the river with the other photographers partners. (widows and widowers as some would say.) A good day all said and done.