A piece of advice on the Hunter Birder Yahoo Group to a visiting ovverseas birder alerted me to the potential of this location, To summarise that message "brillant birding, plus a good place to see koalas and kangaroos". It sounded very promising and it was only one hour from home.
We arrived at about 7.30 am and immediately were made to feel welcome. As we drove the short distance up the track to the picnic grounds we passed some bird feeders at the back of the owners' residence. There were a number of King Parrots, Brown-cuckoo Doves, White-headed Pigeons and Wonga Pigeons on the ground and the surrounding trees. We spent at least an hour photographing the differnt pigeons at the feeder location. The natural billabong and surrounding bush was good for other birds with Rufous Fantail, Red-browned Finch, Bar-shouldered Dove, Black-face Monarch, Azure and Sacred Kingfisher seen. While at the feeders Robert Bignell (owner), pointed out a Koala that was in a tree only 20 metres from where we were standing.
Lake Wollumboola is a relatively small shallow brackish lake. The water level of this lake varies depending on rainfall in the catchment and how recently the lake has opened to the sea. It is one of my favourite locations to photograph waders/waterbirds as it attract a lwide variety as well as big numbers.
Bird List and general information can be found here; Presenting the Birds of Lake Wollumboola
The small coastal town of Harrington is on the mid-north coast of NSW, about 20 mins east of Taree. It has several attractions for birders/photographers. They include the Manning River estuary with its extensive sandbars, spits etc , Crowdy Bay NP. and a small littoral rainforest pocket on the north side of the town.
Playing recorded bird calls to attract birds for the purpose of photographing them, is a widely used technique to get a target species to come in to range in a controlled setting.
If you want to get close to your subject, using a hide will be an enormous benefit. Even with a small focal length lens you will still capture plenty of subject matter.
Spend time thinking about the best location for the hide; give consideration to the light direction and background. If a suitable perch cannot be located then it may be worth introducing one.
I've listed the what I consider to be some of the more important considerations when investigating the purchase of a tripod for large lens support.
Kaikoura is a small coastal town on the north eastern coast of New Zealand's south Island. It is about 160 kms north of Christchurch (2 hours drive). In recent years it has become a hub for ecotourism, with whale, seal, dolphin and bird tours all available. It is not only the marine wildlife that draws the tourists, but the wonderful coastal scenery and the spectacular mountain backdrop.
You don't necessarily need to take a pelagic to get close to the wildlife as there are some great spots close to town that are worth exploring.
Willie Retreat is in the middle of the Macquarie Marshes in central NSW. The closest town with facilities is Warren, approximately 110km to the south. Willie Retreat is a small farming property with some remanent bush. The area behind the camping is a good spot to look for bush birds. It also makes a great base from which to explore the surrounding marshes.