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  • Stubble Quail

    Stubble Quail.   Photographer: Harry Charalambous

  • Crimson Rosella

    Crimson Rosella.   Photographer: Stephen Garth

  • Australian White Ibis, Royal Spoonbill

    Australian White Ibis, Royal Spoonbill.   Photographer: Richard Smart

  • Crimson Chat

    Crimson Chat.   Photographer: Trevor Bullock

  • Eastern Rosella

    Eastern Rosella.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

A theme such as behaviour has so many facets that it can be difficult to single-out one specific behaviour, which captures the viewer’s attention.  After considerable deliberation I congratulate the owner of image #15727 as the winner for this competition, followed closely by image #15684, which is highly commended for its overall composition.  Three images, #15589, #15628 and #15630, are to be commended.

Winner: Red-kneed Dotterel - Ofer Levy (Image #15727).  A superb image capturing yet another intra-specific aggressive behaviour.  The aggressor is beautifully sharp and the colours super saturated.  The background enhances the silhouette of the birds although there is the slightest noise observable – possibly due to the fading light, which is just gorgeous.  I might have been tempted to remove some of the distracting ‘shoots’ in the foreground but as in other images – this is part of the natural world.  Other photographers may also have removed the mud fragments dislodged by the leaping bird but these enhance the realism of movement in the image.

Red-kneed Dotterel (Ofer Levy)

Highly Commended:  Major Mitchells' Cockatoo - Tim Van Leeuwin (Image #15684).  You may wonder why I have chosen this image as depicting bird behaviour.  Yes the image is more sedentary than the others in this selection but it is a beautifully composed image of a glorious bird and as for behaviour – I keep on coming back to this image and wondering what this bird was thinking as it sees its reflection in the water.  The beautiful pink and red tones highlighted by the intense blue of the water and the dappled light make this image a definite ‘keeper’.  There is little I can suggest to improve this image – perhaps try cropping a little more of the image on the LHS; a squarer format for this image may well enhance it even further.  The shadow areas on the back of the bird display the more intense blue tones of the water – it may be worth using local adjustments to colour correct these areas more to a neutral grey.

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Tim Van Leeuwen)

Commended: Forty-spotted Pardalote - Andrew Brown (Image #15589).  An endangered species displaying a rarely observed intra-specific aggressive behaviour is well captured.  This image has good composition, beautifully sharp with just sufficient wing-tip blur to enhance movement.  My only suggestion is a slightly tighter horizontal crop and perhaps the slightest of local post-processing in the head of the upper most bird to extract shadow detail and highlight recovery along the upper surface of the branch.  Horizontal branches are always a little less exciting than obliquely orientated ones – but the natural environment is what it is.

Forty-spotted Pardalote (Andrew Browne)

Commended: Intermediate Egret - Tony Ashton (Image #15628).  A super action shot capturing two egrets fighting over the spoils of the hunt, especially as the ‘lost opportunity’ is also captured in the lower part of the frame.  The upper bird is nicely captured wing-tip to wing-tip.  Overall the image is exposed reasonably well – white birds always pose an issue with feather detail.  The lower bird does show some detail loss in the lightest areas and should benefit from local highlight recovery.  The upper bird displays a slight degree of blue hue in the under wings most likely due to the reflected light from the water that is presumably below.  A purist would likely correct for this colour cast – it doesn’t bother me as much as viewing two stark white birds.  The background is an interesting and somewhat pleasing addition to the image.

Intermediate Egret (Tony Ashton)

Commended: Rainbow Bee-eater - Tony Ashton (Image #15630).  This image is beautifully composed with a delightful background.  The exposure is good, capturing good colour saturation in the birds’ plumage.  The angle of the branch adds to the character of this image although I would suggest a local reduction in the highlights on the upper surface of the branch.  This image would have benefited from a greater depth of field as the rear bird is just a little less sharp than the bird in the foreground.

Rainbow Bee-eater (Tony Ashton)

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