Good pic. of a Wedgetail??

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 15:43
ThreadID: 31007 Views:2932 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Through all the trips we've done, we have never been able to get a good pic. of a Wedgie..they just won't stay still and pose, even when they're dining out on a bit of roadkill.
Anyhow, it's my co-driver's birthday soon- and I would like to give her a nice pic. of a Wedgie- in their domain (outback Oz).
If any of you camera experts can help, I would be most grateful. Maybe a digital image of reasonably hi-res??
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Reply By: ellmcg - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:12

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:12
I took some with great potential on someone elses camera. However 6 months down the track I'm still trying to hunt them down. I will try to remember to let you know if and when I get them...
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:14

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:14
The eagle or the photos?

Kind regards
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Reply By: bouncer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:16

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:16
Here ya go

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Reply By: bouncer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:18

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:18
Here's one more just in case you didn't like the first:

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Follow Up By: signman - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:50

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:50
Actually, it is the 'Aquila audax' variety I an seeking
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:48

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:48
The nature experts above me here missed this one :)

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Follow Up By: signman - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:52

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:52
Now that's a good pic...shame the 'detail' is lost..
Wot a tail spread!!
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Reply By: Michael B - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 17:04

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 17:04

Michael B (SA)
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Follow Up By: Member - Bware - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 02:13

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 02:13
An excellent website for shots of birds; we use them for wallpaper and screensavers.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 17:35

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 17:35
Interesting question.

I'm a photographer who has had much the same experience as you.

These guys are the most savvy and wary birds you have ever met. They have fantastic hearing and sight and seem to know what you're thinking.

I was in Mungo National Park ( wonderful place BTW) at dawn one morning and walked over a dune and there in a tree in front of me not 10m away was a massive wedgetail.

I had to take my camera backpack off my back to change lenses so slowly stepped backwards over the dune to hide and get ready for the shot - fine - it didn't seem to notice. Phew!

Put the bag down in the sand, (looking down) and quietly (I though) connect up monopod and big lens, stand up, and ... there it was - sitting higher in the tree now, watching me! Damn! I was thinking I had a few steps I could take.

Put leg of monopod down on the sand point camera at bird and off she flies through the trees damn it! so my view was obscured. OK. Weighed up the tree 200 yards off she settled in and thought I'll wander around the backside of the dunes and come around her on another angle. Step back over the hill and start walking. I've walked most of the way when I just noticed out of the corner of my eye that she had flown up to watch me!

Just incredibly savvy - I was walking away from where she was perched - certainly not directly towards her, yet she had the sense that I was interested in her, and that damn big lens perhaps looked like a gun damn it!

Or try when you pass one on the road, stopping over the hill and turning around and coming back toward them - instead of just hopping off the road like they did the first time, they fly off! Buggers! Obviously paying attention to the sound of my engine going away and then coming back, and being capable of putting 1 and 1 together.

So no - lots of pictures, but for good bird pictures, especially wedge tails, you need to be bloody quiet, more patient than Job, and have lots of time to kill as well as lots of good luck.

Ciao for now
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:09

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:09
Hello - no expert on photography but from my limited experience with birds (those not accustomed to humans) trying to get the photo you want will prove difficult with most of the 850 species found in Australia and its territories. With all due respect dont think Wedge-tailed Eagles are "especially" difficult to photograph…just challenging like the rest of them. I suspect you would have similar difficulties with most if not all of the other 24 species of birds of prey found in Australia (snapped a good shot of a Peregrine Falcon lately?). Good thing about Wedgies is they are relatively widespread and common so you can get lots of practice trying to get the “perfect” shot. You can then move on to something more challenging like a Night Parrot, Western Ground Parrot, Noisy Scrub Bird, Coxen's Fig-Parrot, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren (Mt Lofty Ranges), Swift Parrot, Western Bristlebird, Black-breasted Button-quail, Masked Owl (northern) or a Forty-spotted Pardalote just to name a few. When you get all the birds you can then move on to the reptiles, frogs etc. Fauna photography is a very specialised art, practiced (full time) by only a few..its hard yakka. Landscapes are so much easier.
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:51

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:51
You're right Greg, and Wedgetails aren't too much harder than most birds of prey and perhaps they are sometimes more common as you mentioned.

That said, reptiles and frogs are in many senses easier - easier to get close to, capable of some handling (obviously minimal), and often willing to sit where you place them.

I enjoy a the silence and solitude of a bird hide (say at the Bird Australia Gluepot reserve) before dawn, the anticipation, and the challenge - but often the rewards are few and far between.

It does take rare skill and patience as you say - actually requires some of the best equipment too!

Ciao for now
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Follow Up By: Member - Bware - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 02:02

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 02:02
Some birds are hard enough to identify with binoculars, let alone take photos, because they just don't sit still long enough. Especially the smaller birds that flit around in shrubs and dense foliage.
I remember when Jen and I first got into bird watching and while driving along one day an irridescent bird flew across our path and it took us months to identify it because we never saw it sitting on a branch like the pictures in a field guide. Also, whenever we saw it fly by it seemed to have brown in it's wings which actually confused the identification because the brown was under the wings. Finally on a camping trip with lots of time we saw one land on a branch and ID'd it as the rainbow bee-eater which in flight looks nothing like it's picture. And we still don't have a good picture of one; and that is only ONE bird
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Reply By: Member - TP M (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:09

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:09
Hi signman

Go to google , click on images , type in wedge tail eagle. some great shots on there.

: ) Ive got some at home of a nest full of chicks.Very cute, white and fluffy.

The nest was 2 metres from the side of the road right near the Moomba turn off.
Mum would sit there proud as anything.
When I get home in a few weeks I will post them up for a look.
AnswerID: 156319

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:16

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:16
I don't know if this is what you are after, but if you look in my photos, there is one my son took on our last trip to the corner. He got about 10 feet from it. the pic is better quality but I had to smallerize it for my pics....sorry I don't know how to do the pic link thing
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Reply By: Max - Sydney - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:42

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:42
This any good?

It was taken at the Alice Springs Territory Wildlife Park during their show.

I have a more distant one of a couple in the wild too - taken along the Tanami track

I've mucked up the hyperlink - can't make it work, so can you cut and paste them into your browser please? Sorry
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:37

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:37
By far the best images I have of Wedgies were taken at Mt Oxley (near Bourke). We were at the same height or above the birds as they were soaring on the updraft from the cliff face.

By sitting relatively still I was able to film two or three big wedgies as they flew effortlessly around the cliff top sometimes as close as 15 to 20 feet from me. I was using video but my mate got a couple of good shots with his SLR and was only using a 50mm lens.

Sorry I don't have any of the images with me at the moment. The stills now live near Wauchope. I may be able to lift a still from my video but I have not had a lot of success with that sort of thing.

My experience with birds is to find where they like to be, get yourself comfortable and wait for them to come to you. That's what the professional wildlife photographers do.

Hope you have some success.

ps A couple of the local artists (Broken Hill) do really nice paintings of them. Look for Wendy Martin on the web and you may be able to purchse an original of just what your after.
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