Sunday, 4 March 2012

Territory Wildlife Park - revisited

As an amateur (very amateur) photographer I follow the Gizmodo Shooting Challenges and am a semi regular contributor. The shooting challenge is a weekly opportunity to submit a photo, generally on a theme and extend your photography skills. There are no prizes, just a small amount of satisfaction, maybe some kudos, for having you pictures up on the world stage. Gizmodo has an Australian Site and a US site where one can submit photos.
Anyway this weeks challenge on the Aussie site was Birds. So I decided to head out to the Territory Wildlife Park and shoot some birds.
It is wet season here in the territory and that means much of the interior is flooded and many parts inaccessible. Actually this has been a dry wet season, but there are still plenty of roads cut and it is only in the last few days that our rail link to the rest of the country has been restored after a bridge was washed away in December.
I spent some time at Goose Lagoon, which has a bird hide overlooking the lagoon. There is an elevated walkway to the hide. This was absolutely necessary as underneath was water, in places over waist deep.
View from the walkway
It was raining lightly. I was the only one there and the area had a mystical feel about it. I can well understand the aboriginals belief in spirits being present in these lands at such times.
View from the hide
The lagoon was devoid of bird life except for 3 small ducks in the middle - too distant to be photographic subjects. But I stayed there for over an hour. It was a lovely quiet meditative spot. My mind wandered as I listened to the rain fall and I just gazed over the waters seeing but not seeing, lost in a moment of calm and beauty.
That was actually at the end of my afternoon, a lovely way to end the day. I felt calm and relaxed and at peace.
Prior to that I had been to the Billabong home to Pelicans and allegedly a rather unfriendly Freshwater Crocodile. It rained all the time that I was there and the birds were taking shelter. I too managed to shelter with a view of the water and birds.
Fishing in the rain
Shaking off the water

I saw no crocodile and when the rain eased I moved on.
The next stop was a series of aviaries that form part of a forest walk. These are walk in, via a mesh door, and in some the birds are free to roam, in others a window separates you from the birds and prevents accidental escapes. Smaller aviaries hold a range of different birds and small lizards, snakes and turtles.
A Rosella

Another bird.
The mid point of this walk is a large aviary built around a section of woodland incorporating several trees inside. A walkway gives you a treetops walk and then descends to ground level. I walked in and was confronted by a Kookaburra which took off before I could photograph it. A variety of Woodland Pigeon was the most common bird in the treetop but they were shy and difficult to capture on film.

Hiding - but I got you.
The aviary experience came to an end at this point as the descent to ground level was blocked. Not sure why but I will put it down to wet season or maintenance.
However The Bludger was well satisfied. It had been, all in all, a successful day.


  1. So which photo did you enter? (Personally I like the fishing in the rain one - if you correct the horizon).

  2. The bird behind the tree went to the Aussie site and the fishing one to US.
    Horizons- I did say very amateur.