A Bird In The Hand

………is much easier to photograph than in flight.

Along with a posse of photographers  we headed up road to Garibaldi (just a hop, skip and a jump from Ballarat).  We had planned a private shoot with the birds of prey from the Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary.

Little Eagle

‘Tyriel’ the Little Eagle

Martin works to release injured or surrendered birds back into the wild, but he also keeps several rehabilitated raptors.  Birds that wouldnt survive in the wild, hence they are well cared for in ‘captivity’ available for events like this.

We had booked an afternoon session (to work in with nocturnal Barn Owls).  So surrounding Martin and the birds, around 18 of us were snapping away like crazy.  Ever heard 18 ‘togs on fast continous.. all at the same time? LOL.  While I was very happy with my sitting on the glove shots, flight was another story.  Trying shot get an in flight shot of a bird that seems to move as fast as a bullet was problematic.  I either had a photo of empty air, or it was blurred,  and yes I had my shutter on 1/1500th. Its just my eye doesnt work that fast 😉

birds of prey

‘Tyriel’ the Little Eagle

We were treated to a Wedgetail Eagle, Little Eagle, Australian Hobby, Nankeen Kestrel, Barn Owl and Peregrine Falcon.

For around 90 mins we ‘shot’ the birds on Martins glove,  and tried to shoot them in flight.   The Barn Owl didnt get the memo to be awake and ready to fly but rewarded us with a pass or two.  Then she  posed like a star for the glove shots.  End of show, we  thanked Martin and his fabulous troupe of birds of prey, and retreated into the warmth of  the hall for afternoon tea.  While I need a lot more practice (and slower moving birds) it was a great afternoon


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