Monthly Archives: September 2007

Thoughts on birding…

For a while I have been meaning to write a post outlining my thoughts on bird watching/bird photography/twitching etc. This does not mean that I consider myself to be an authority on any of these topics.


Bird Watching: I have always been interested in bird watching. From an early age my parents and grandparents fostered a love of the outdoors and of wildlife. I don’t use whistles or recordings to attract birds (although others do and I don’t object). I also try not to disturb the birds in any way (although sometimes this is unavoidable).

Bird Photography: Only recently have I had a camera capable of doing decent bird photography. My first camera was a Nikon F50, which is a wonderful camera. I soon found the 35-80mm zoom lens inadequate, and the cost of buying a bigger lens prohibitive. Developing film also started to get expensive. I then moved to digital, buying a Kodak DX6490 with 10x optical zoom. This was better but ultimately the cheap construction (zoom toggle doesn’t re-center properly, main switch is broken) led me to buying a Canon 350D. This is a brilliant camera. I purchased the camera cheaply (just after the 400D was announced) with a twin lens kit. The 75-300mm zoom lens is perfect for my level of experience and is still portable enough to head bush with. Recently I have added a low end Manfrotto tripod to the kit. I recommend buying a good camera bag as well (I have a Lowepro).

I use bird photography primarily as a means of bird identification. Being able to look at the photo close up on a computer and compare it to a few field guides is invaluable (and nearly impossible to do in the field). I do rely on taking notes as well (although not as much as I should).

I am not really that much of a twitcher. I do keep a life-list and I would love to increase it but I do not go flying across the country to see a rare vagrant. My lifestyle doesn’t really permit this sort of activity (I work and have a wife and children). Twitching would be cool though (if this book is anything to go by). I believe that the data obtained through twitching has significant value.

Feel free to comment on this post!

Footy Tipping

I finished the season with 120 correct tips and won the company competition!

You are ranked 179 out of 30,766 tippers in the 2007 AFL home and away season.

The competition was hosted on the Fox Footy Tipping website.

(120 / (22 rounds x 8 games per round)) x 100 = 68% success rate!