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50-70 white ibis in the backyard :wacko:.  sounds positively frightening

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They're there again today- they're taking over! Very fascinating to watch, they're very synchronised in their movements. Pretty typical bird flocking behaviour but because they're so chunky it's quite impressive seeing this massive fleet of curved beaks and flashes of black and white moving as one.... I'll try get a photo if I can get a good shot in!

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Posted (edited)

Got 'em! Well, managed to get most of them in frame anyway. Note the ducky atop the lopped tree right of centre :lol:

In previous years that paddock has belonged to the ducks, it seems that the ibis (please tell me they're ibis, hahahah!) are making their move now- perhaps this is the avian equivalent of annexing and acquiring further territory?

_MG_7118.jpg

Edited by Tøn
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Ibis fo sure.  Not 100% sure theyre white ones though. Much prettier than the poor rundown city slickers we have here. 

 

Quite the backyard you got there!  That duck sure looks lonely.  

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It seems that there's a few white ones hanging out with the majority being these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw-necked_ibis

 

If I can get a bit closer at some point I'll try and get some detail of those beautiful iridescent feathers on the wings. I think I need to calibrate the lens as well so I can draw a sharper bead on them when they're in flight. Many projects up in the air at the moment!

 

While I'm thinking of it, if anybody shoots with a Canon DSLR, have a look into a firmware hack called Magic Lantern- it unlocks and adds several features such as an intervalometer for lower-end cameras without that feature and exposure ramping, so you can automate a series of shots of say, the day turning to night by slowly increasing the shutter speed. In regards to da boids it also adds a 'trap' shot mode, so you set your focal point and the shutter fires automatically when something enters the frame.

On top of that, it allows for raw video shooting (which requires a fast SD card and is limited by the data transfer rate of the camera itself,) and FPS override-- so basically, it lets you shoot at up to 8000fps from memory (theoretically, you need the highest of high-end DSLRs for that...) It blows the thing wide open and allows you to turn a low-end Canon into something with a feature set that rivals their higher-end, full-frame models.

 

With great power comes great responsibility though, it's finicky as hell and you CAN brick your camera if you have the misfortune of losing power as it loads the firmware in or out. Much research required, I've been testing it on my 1100D (the 6D I shot the above photo on I'm not so keen on at the moment, I've only had it for a couple of months!) and everything works wonderfully except the video modes, which cause the thing to lock up and require a reset/battery out-and-in every few minutes while you're trying to figure out how to get the thing to work. It's allegedly much more reliable on full-frame models, the 1100D/Rebel XTi support has only been added recently and is stated as being very much in alpha state.

 

My head overflows with these ideas but I'm planning on using data from www.suncalc.org (fun for everybody!!) to plan time-lapses and try to keep the lighting consistent which I look forward to sharing in the future.

 

For those interested in Magic Lantern:

https://magiclantern.fm/

There is a very handy online calculator which allows you to figure out the limits of your camera- the raw movie mode is limited by the transfer rate and buffer on the camera, so you can shoot at x FPS for y seconds at z resolution/bit-depth. This little dealy allows you to plan shots out based on the limits of your camera's hardware:

https://rawcalculator.netlify.app/calculator_desktop

Mentioned above, Suncalc is an online map overlay which allows you to pinpoint where the sun will be, the angle and shadow length thereof at any point in time, anywhere in the world. It's the most useful thing I've ever been introduced to for the planning stage of permaculture designs, and for the photographer/nature lover it allows one to calculate, say, the most epic place to enjoy a sunrise or camp out (when we're allowed to again :() from the comfort of your own home.

https://www.suncalc.org

 

Can you tell I've been cooped up inside for too long? :unsure: I do hope I'm not flooding the place with my posts too much :slap:

 

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Bit of an old thread, but i'm interested in the topic and feel I have a worthy story to share. I'm new here btw, been a long time lurker, applied for an account but wasn't approved until just recently.

Normally I wouldn't share this story with strangers but i've seen that the general vibe is good here and it will be well received.

Years ago, during a tumultuous period of my life brought on by an unfortunate series of circumstances and exacerbated by general emotional ineptitude, I found myself with my arms raised to the heavens begging for elucidation as to the knowledge that had hitherto remained hidden from my mind. I was adamant that there was something greater than the ins and outs of the capitalism, consumerism and materialism that permeated the culture I had been born into. Absolutely surrounded by this vapid culture I had been struggling to survive; emotionally and physically, and so I found myself at the end of my rope with my arms outstretched in a desperate and defeated attempt to extract some grain of truth amidst the perverted falsehood of my environment.

 

One night, not long after my appeal to The Great Unknown, it seems I had my wishes fulfilled and I found myself in a state of what I can only describe as bliss. This state was characterised by a curious mixture of extremes. At once, I was both very relaxed, having no need for anything and with no urges or impulses appearing within me, yet i was also very energetic and passed the night without sleep. I found myself without fear and even felt that if I was to be threatened with imminent death at that very moment I merely would have smiled and accepted it as it was. It seemed to me on this night that there was nothing to fear in this life and that death itself was but a journey in itself.

 

I honestly cannot explain what I did in my room that night as I cannot remember doing anything in particular and only remember the realisations I have just explained. My memory returns as the sun returned that morning. I left my room and walked to a local man-made nature reserve; Tempe Lands, a sad little section of environmental mimicry situated atop an old dumping ground that had been sealed, to some degree, with concrete. Between the sounds of the Princess Highway and the Sydney airport it would have been difficult to have heard the sounds of the wildlife. Luckily that wasn't a problem as there simply was no wildlife to be heard. Although the ponds had been filled with water, the embankments planted with Lomandra and surrounding area covered with Eucalypts life had simply refused to be so easily swayed into returning to the land. In my previous ambles through the area I had found myself grateful for the opportunity to escape the suffocating mass of concrete, antennas and exhaust fumes of the greater inner west, yet I was always left with a feeling of emptiness that matched the emptiness of that ecosystem. However, on this particular morning, as the suns rays shone through the branches of the trees, I found myself in a world of absolute beauty, as if I was reborn as a child, enamoured by the wonder of the world. I explored the delicate details of the bark, I savoured the swelling sounds of the leaves as they danced in the breeze and I stood in awe at the incredible sight of creation.

Then it happened. As I circumambulated the perimeter of one of the ponds I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as three yellow-tailed black cockatoos swooped through the vicinity, alighting upon separate trees. One cockatoo in particular chose a branch just above where I myself was standing and as it sat, watching me, I soaked in its beauty, before it flew on, right over my head, spreading its wings and tail feathers in a display of such impressionable beauty that the stunning yellow pattern of its tail feathers are forever burnt into my memory. 

Needless to say I was left standing under the tree in amazement, unsure of what I had just experienced but grateful nevertheless. Not long after, I found myself sitting in the grass on a hillside overlooking the airport and watching the sun rise higher into the sky before I was visited by an exhaustion so suddenly that I fell asleep right there and then for a few hours. Upon waking I found myself to be in a state that more closely resembled my usual state of mind. No longer was everything soaked in dazzling beauty and no longer did I find myself devoid of all impulses. yet I hadn't forgotten the hours before my slumber and I now looked upon it as one does a very strange dream that feels more real than reality itself.

I Never forgot that black cockatoo and I always cherished the memory of that night. Over time I began to wonder if there was a reason I had met the cockatoo, a reason it had sat there so still and looked deep in to me with its little black eye. I found it a peculiar place for such a bird to be, surrounded by a city of 5 million people. After all i'd never seen or heard of anyone else who'd seen a black cockatoo in those parts before. I decided to investigate what the black cockatoo could mean. I found myself on a site called wildspeak.com. Now I don't know who the author of this website is, or from what authority they write from, but I was amazed to find that the attributes given to the black cockatoo reflect perfectly the emotional and spiritual state I found myself in that night.

 

The first line reads "The black cockatoo represents the power of spirit come into your life." The last section explains that "Black cockatoo tells us that everyone has beauty on the inside, everyone. Even people in prison, even those who have committed unspeakable acts. Black cockatoo reminds us that no matter how ugly we feel, or how corrupt, there is a space of beauty inside every soul that is incorrupt and pure. Through the presence of this great bird, we can learn how to access it, to transform our opinions of ourselves and the world in general."

Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it, as I enjoyed writing it and recalling the experience in detail. If you have any thoughts please share them.

Edited by Lostinthebush
I a word along the way
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Hey man.  Welcome.  And epic first post.

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