Wildlife Excursion – Belair National Park

Eastern BannerThere were 8 of us who met at 9.00am at the Belair country club car park.  Graham had many plans , but in the end we elected to go to court 55.  This is where Graham has often gone bird watching.  A family of Tawny Frogmouths live near the barbecues.  It was noted that a walk up the track towards Sheoak road was quite good for orchids.

Greg Sara, Jen Williams, Judy Sara, Di Gage, Graham Field, James Allan, Kerry Malec

Greg Sara, Jen Williams, Judy Sara, Di Gage, Graham Field, James Allan, Kerry Malec

Graham and Judy had park passes and ferried most of those attending to the court with their cars.  Bruce and I decided to walk instead.  Court 55 is near Pines oval and we took a “round” course along the northern shore of Playford lake.  Here we spied a large group of sulphur crested cockatoos feeding in the acacia.  Bruce and I could walk right up to the tree they were feeding in.  It was one of those “flow” moments where everything happens.  After our 20 minutes of cockie snapping we walked on to court 55.

We arrived just as the rain started.  We were met by Di Gage in the rain shelter.  She was frustrated with her 200mm lens x 1.7 (340mm) that had too much motion blur.  “You need to use Automatic ISO setting”.  With a bit of fiddling we set up the camera to shoot at 1/500th of a second and saved it as user setting 1.   Not that there was any wildlife at this point, just rain drops and puddles.

Eventually a very wet looking Graham and Judy’s husband, Greg came walking across the oval after orchid hunting to collect the cars.  Several members of the group had muddy knees from getting down to take pictures.  They had had a good encounter seeing the rare hare orchid, donkeys and milkmaids and many others.

We returned to the Golf club where we ordered coffee and had an animated discussion about airports and lost luggage.  Overall – a wet but enjoyable trip.  Thanks to Graham and Jen Williams who did a fantastic job organizing this event.  It’s amazing how much we saw in just a short time.  Here is the gallery of images (to date).  I hope to add more as they become available.

I have gone back into the archives and found the article I wrote about camera settings for a big lens.  I have republished this old August 2013 edition of Camera clips if any one is interested.