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Satin Bowerbird

Satin Bowerbird

 O'Reilly's, Lamington NP, Queensland, Australia. 18 October 2017
EOS 7D mk II with EF 100-400mmf5.6 II (at 170mm)
ISO 6400 1/80 sec @f5.6

O'Reilly's is a great "forest retreat" up in the hills of Lamington NP, south of Brisbane. It is a superb place for photographing birds as they are so tame. However during our 3 night stay, conditions were really challenging with almost continuous rain and poor light, especially in the forest.  During our first day's guiding we were told of the site of a Satin Bowerbird bower that was currently occupied and was close to the central buildings. Its owner was apparently famous, having starred in a David Attenborough programme for which the camera crew had been in residence for a month! We on the other hand only had two, mostly rain filled days!

After the guiding, this is the first place we headed. We easily found the bower and its builder was in residence. We also came back here the following day, but both times the conditions were poor (rain and bad light). It is a remarkable testament to the capabilities of modern digital cameras and lenses that any worthwhile images could be obtained hand-held. The high ISO ability of the 7D Mk II, the four-stop IS and the variable focal length on the Canon 100-400 Mk II lens all played their part in allowing this photo. Many of the photos were blurred by the birds movement but for this one, it was evidently still for long enough. In this photo, I like the way the birds posture complements the curve of the bower behind.

Note the collection of mainly blue plastic objects the bird has collected to adorn his bower. I wonder what they did before humans started filling the environment with plastic!

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