The 2015-16 BirdLife Photography Annual General Meeting was held at BirdLife Australia Headquarters at 7:30PM on Wednesday 25 May. Graham Cam (President) and Rob Parker represented the BirdLife Photography Committee, and two of our members braved the cold, wet evening in Melbourne to receive the reports and engage in discussion.
Four nominations for the new Committee were received; since this did not exceed the number of vacancies no voting was necessary, and all nominees were appointed to the Committee. We welcome Jennifer Carr, Glenn Pure, Mary Wheeler and Kim Wormald to the 2016 BirdLife Photography Committee. Their input will add a further level of vibrancy and expertise to the Committee.
In 2007 a Bar-tailed Godwit was recorded as having flown from Alaska to New Zealand (over 11,000kms) non-stop in 9 days. Saturday, 14th May was World Migratory Bird Day, and what better way to celebrate these remarkable birds than with our new photo competition: Migrants, Nomads & Seasonal Visitors!
Whilst most birders can name a few of the international migratory waders, such as Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints and Great Knots, it is not as easy to identify other Australian migratory birds. You might also be forgiven for asking what constitutes a nomad or seasonal visitor. Well... it's a jolly good question! I confess I'm not entirely sure myself. That's the bad news. The good news (for me) is that during most of this competition I will be migrating to Vietnam and Cambodia! In my absence, Graham Cam will lovingly and diligently address all your questions - when he returns from his visit to New Zealand.
Broadly speaking 'bird movements' can be categorised as Resident (movement is short and localised, eg Fairy-wrens), Migratory (regular annual return movements at the same time each year), Dispersive (expansion around 'home area', especially post fledgling: eg Noisy Scrub-bird), Irruptive (expansion 'away' from 'home area') and Nomadic (unrestricted wandering following resources).
For the purposes of this competition, we are concerned only with birds that are at least part of the time migratory and/or nomadic. Images of pelagic birds are not eligible for this competition. Migratory birds include, but are not limited to, migratory waders, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers, Dollarbirds, Black-winged Monarchs and Oriental Cuckoos. 'Seasonal Visitors' is my own non-technical description of birds that migrate within Australia, such as the Sacred Kingfisher, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, Fairy Martin, White-winged Triller, Orange-bellied Parrot and Rufous Songlark (to name a few) who tend to turn up every year at certain times. Nomadic birds are an exciting lot. Amongst the better known are Budgerigars, Chats, Pied and Black Honeyeaters, Princess Parrots and - wait for it - the Night Parrot! Others may include the gorgeous Inland Dotterel, Bourke's Parrot, Gibberbird, Painted Honeyeater and Ground Cuckoo-shrike, to name just a few.
Most bird guides will tell you whether a particular species is nomadic and/or migratory. Many nomadic birds will also be 'irruptive'. It may be a good idea to make a note in the Comments section as to which Field Guide you have consulted if there may be any doubt. If you are not sure, please email the Photo Competition Co-ordinator for an opinion before submitting.
I did have a question from someone who asked if this competition includes vagrants. Though not technically in the theme, I have decided to include Vagrants as well because there will be few other competitions where these birds will qualify for entry. Plus, I am very curious to see what poor critters have blown onto our shores, such as the Hoopoe discovered near Roebuck service station - imagine looking around the outback and seeing a Hoopoe!
The competition is open for submission of entries from Monday, 16 May 2016 until 9am (WST) Monday, 13 June 2016. Images must have been taken within the last 24 months (that is, from 16 May 2014 onwards). The current competition rules are available here; and guidelines on which level of the competition you should enter are available here.
So get all those Night Parrot photos flowing in - we can't wait to see them!
The Mystery Reviewer’s choices from the Intermediate and Entry levels of the 'Cockatoos' competition are now available.
Intermediate Level – Juveniles & Immatures
Here are the top 6 images chosen by the MR for the Intermediate Level:
The full Mystery Reviewer's report for the Intermediate Level competition is available here.
Entry Level – Juveniles & Immatures
Here are the top 6 images chosen by the MR for the Entry Level:
The full Mystery Reviewer's report for the Entry Level competition is available here.
Congratulations to all these photographers, in both categories, for their quality bird images.
Member voting for the Cockatoos competition, which closed for entries on 20th April and for voting on 9th May, has been analysed and the results for the top 5 (or more, in the case of tied scores) images in each category are listed here. In line with many other bird/wildlife photo competitions, we present the results in the following manner: the Winner is the image which received the most votes; and we also show the next four highest placed images, rating them as Highly Commended if they received at least 90% of the votes for the winning image, and Commended for scores less than that.
Advanced Level – Cockatoos
This category attracted 46 entries, from 19 photographers. 40 members voted, with the following result:
Intermediate Level – Cockatoos
This category attracted 73 entries, from 24 photographers. 43 members voted, with the following result:
Entry Level – Cockatoos
This category attracted 50 entries, from 16 photographers. 41 members voted, with the following result:
Congratulations to all these photographers for their quality bird images.
Our next Digital Photography in the Bush event will be held at the Deakin University Waterfront Campus, Corio Bay, Geelong on 11-12th March 2017. For some States this will be the Labour Day long weekend.
Geelong is approximately 75km south-west of Melbourne, and is the gateway to world class surfing beaches and the Great Ocean Road. The birding is pretty good too!
However you intend to travel, Geelong is easy to get to: Avalon Airport is about 25km from Geelong; Geelong railway station is about 400m from the Campus, and the road trip from Melbourne is about one hour (from the CBD).
There are plenty of accommodation alternatives in Geelong and surrounds - numerous hotels/motels, and at least three caravan parks within 4km from the Campus. See http://www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au for more information.
We’ll keep you updated as planning progresses. As usual, we will be providing outings both before and after the event itself.
Our Forum website for members, which was operating on a trial basis for over a year, has now been closed. With our site update we have taken the opportunity to incorporate the Forum into this site, and all members can now participate without needing to request a separate registration. At its close, the trial forum had over 90 registered participants. While this is pleasing, it still represents less than 15% of our members; we'd love to hear from many more of you! Please join in the discussions on the forum on this site. All the content from the trial forum has been migrated to the forum on this site. Access to the new forum requires you to log-in to this site; usernames and passwords from the trial site are no longer in use.
The most popular topics for posts are News, Improving Your Images, and Videos of Australian Birds; the latter allows you to post links to short video clips, something which you cannot do (yet) on this site. Our president is using the News topic to keep members updated on current initiatives and those under consideration by the Committee; you can post your thoughts on what we're considering, and we can get immediate feedback on what you'd like.