Abby's Big Year 2021

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sue818
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Wow, Swift Parrots, well done. I'm still looking. Love you flight shots of Swifty & Shelducks. 

Alex Rogers
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Congrats on the Swift Parrots :-) 

AbbyGrace
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Thanks guys, in amongst my excitment of seeing the Swift Parrots, I forgot to put a couple of of photos of some Tawny Frogmouths I saw at Braeside Park.

156. Tawny Frogmouth

Then last Saturday at Parkrun in Pakenham we saw a family of Gang-gangs Cockatoos fly into the trees along the creek, which was neat, even though I didn't have my phone or camera on me. (I have heard that people had seen them there, but hadn't any luck until now.) Took my camera down this afternoon/evening and had about 5 fly in. 

157. Gang-gang Cockatoo

Devster
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Oh I just love the Gang Gangs. A bird I so deperately want to see some day. Your family of Tawnys is great too!

sue818
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Love those Gang Gangs. Stay strong & safe, Abby

dwatsonbb
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Also like your Gang Gang, and Tawnies are just so cute.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

AbbyGrace
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Thanks everyone, and Sue hopefully we are out of lockdown soon.... I did have a nice visitor on our first day of lockdown, a pair of Australian King Parrots visited our backyard, we do usually see them along the street in the trees, but not sitting on our swing. So heres a replacement shot of the AKP.

sue818
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What a lovely visitor and some nice Little Corellas to boot!

Devster
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How special to have them in your yard! Not so much the Corellas as they can be a bit destructive

dwatsonbb
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The King parrot is on my wish list, as are some 600+ other Australian birds! That's a nice photo, well done.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Oh lucky you with the gang-gangs, I'm like Dev, never seen one and would love to. Nice shots :-) 

TommyGee
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Gang-gangs in Pakenham! I never would have guessed. Nice one :) 

AbbyGrace
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Thanks guys.

On Thursday we went for an afternoon walk at the Cardinia Aqueduct, not a whole lot out, but we saw a pair of Peregrine Falcons which was neat. I haven't seen them there since late last year.

158. Peregrine Falcon

On Saturday with restrictions easing.. it was nice to be able to get to Cranbourne Gardens, unfortunately didn't see any of the Glossy Cockatoos that some people saw over lockdown, but did see a lone Hardhead.

159. Hardhead.

160. Eastern Rosella

We see these quite often out the front of our house, but to get a decent photo of one well thats a different story. :)

karentwemlow
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It's great you can get out and about a bit more. I love the Peregrine falcons, I've only ever seen them in flight and way up high, would love to see them perched on a branch like that. I think you are the first to get them this comp too?

Devster
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Very nice Abby. I have only seen the PF once at a water tower not on a nice perch like this one. I love the colours of the Rosella. Another bird we don't really see up this way.

dwatsonbb
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Glad your restrictions have eased. Yet to see a Peregrine, they are a nice looking bird.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Well done on the Peregrine Falcon, Abby. Pleased restrictions have eased and that you can get out and about more now.

Alex Rogers
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Oooh, great to see a Peregrine! I found some on the sea cliffs here a couple of years ago, but the last time I saw them was a year ago - on a construction crane at the local supermarket! I've been looking unsuccessfully for the m a few times. 

TommyGee
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I'm jealous! Whenever I head down the Aqueduct trail all the bigger birds go into hiding. Maybe I need to time it better :) 

AbbyGrace
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Tommy - (I park at the Thewlis Carpark) I usually see them at the 4th corner from the carpark (going across the road, not on the loop), and sometimes they are on the dead trees on the inside of that corner, usually there is alot of yellow robins there too.

AbbyGrace
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Last week I took the opportunity of being able to go into the city, and I took my son to the Melbourne Zoo. Got a replacement photo of a Nankeen Night Heron, was very close while we were eating our lunch. 

Today we went for a trip down to the Nobbies on Philip Island, managed to see one Little Penguin under the boardwalk, hopefully you will agree that there is enough for an ID. Also got a replacement shot of Cape Barren Goose.

161. Little Penguin

Hope everyone is keeping safe and staying sane.

karentwemlow
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That's a pretty cool close up of the Nankeen Night-Heron, was it after your food?? And yep, can defiitely tell that's a Little Penguin there under the boardwalk, very cute :-) 

Devster
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Thats very cool. Love the Night-Heron shots

dwatsonbb
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Some nice portraits of the Nankeen and Cape Baron. The only other option for you Little Penguin, is another Penguin species, but given the location, I would say it has to be a Little. Well done. I went looking for Little Penguins last week, but I was there before they got out of bed, and again before the came in from feeding - was on a tight schedule, so couldn't hang around at either time.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Great shots, Abby but love the shy Little Penguin.

AbbyGrace
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I think it was keeping an eye out for any unattended food Karen. 

Got a lifer during the school holidays, even though unfortunately I didn't get any great photos of them. Saw a bunch of Diamond Firetails just out of Maldon, Victoria, we had stopped to looked a few SC Cockatoos in a shrub (had my parents from NZ with us) and noticed the Diamond Firetails in the grass! 

162. Diamond Firetail

Replacement shot of a Yellow-Rumped Thornbill (68.), at the Woodlands HP out by the airport.

And finally got a shot of a Eastern Rosella visiting our backyard. (160.)

Hope everyone is keeping safe and staying sane.

sue818
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Great news getting a lifer in these crazy days. Dug in and keeping safe here in Sydney but have now completed my vaccinations as has my husband. Please keep safe in Victoria, so sorry your state is caught up again.

AbbyGrace
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Quick question, what program would you suggest for photo editing? Just got a new laptop. Thanks in advance. :)

sue818
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Great to see you back, Abby. I hope you can get out more soon. We are freer here in Sydney but the weather is awful!

I shoot In RAW rather than JPEG and use DXO Photolab and Adobe Photoshop Elements but a lot of people like Adobe Lightroom. Photoshop does have a facility to guide or do a lot for you.

DXO offers some great noise reduction and sharpening tools but the processed files can be large. I choose to produce TIFF and a small JPEG file or produce the JPEG in Photoshop. I used Photoshop and did a course when editor of a little magazine but a friend suggested DXO for the benefits I mentioned and it is less cumbersome with Raw files. It has some powerful tools and offers online teaching.
 

Whatever you choose, try to do a course or be guided in the order of processing and remember that nothing beats getting a good shot in the first place. I am sure others will come back with different ideas. Just enjoy yourself.

Alex Rogers
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Sue's advice is spot on. If you want to try something easy, free and high quality, you could also try FastStone. It is so easy and I get results very quickly that are just fine for online/web use, to the point that I don't bother using my paid Lightroom subscription like I should. It is super easy to  view all your shots and delete the poor ones. Then for the keepers, crop, edit out any of Dev's sticks, adjust levels, then adjust lighting (high & low separately), contrast, saturation, sharpen it up a bit (all in RAW) and then save JPG and resize a smaller JPG to post up here. That's pretty much my workflow for all the pics I post here, and takes about 5 mins a picture for the keepers. 

One day soon I'll go through the effort of getting fully up to speed on Lightroom, as it is very powerful, but to date I haven't really felt the need .

AbbyGrace
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Thanks for the help guys.

I noticed that I'm the only one who hasn't put up a photo of a Laughing Kookaburra. Do love hearing these guys. Usually see one at the carpark for the Cardinia Aqueduct Trail.

163. Laughing Kookaburra

sue818
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Nice one, Abby... so easy to overlook the locals. Looks like you'll be out of lockdown soon. So pleased to see you back & posting... looking forward to more.

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