Monday, February 6, 2012

Holiday Happenings...

I’ve recently returned from three weeks in Queensland, Australia, visiting family and friends. I had a great time back in the ‘mother land’, and spent a great time on the coast fishing, relaxing and soaking up the good old Queensland heat! Although the purpose of this trip was time to spend with the family I couldn’t help take my camera equipment in case a photo opportunity showed itself.

Every morning started with the deafening song of the rainbow lorikeets and crows which seemed to take the lead vocals in the dawn chorus. I am always amazed when I return home at the variety of Australian birds – you only have to compare the Australian and New Zealand bird field guides to notice the big difference in species diversity. I found myself constantly referring to my Australian bird book as I saw and photographed unfamiliar species of bird – very exciting for a wildlife nut like me :) 

My uncle who works as a groundsman at a local school told me of a pair of bush stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) who had been nesting on the school ground for the last few years. Naturally I had to take my camera and see these amazing birds for myself! These lanky legged birds were hard to spot at first as both birds were ‘frozen’, lying stick-like flat against the bush floor with their long necks extended. It was quite comical to watch these shy birds as they lay deathly still at my feet in hope that I hadn’t spotted them. As I walked along the section of bush I was startled when one of the birds appeared behind me and started ‘growling/hissing’, the sound resembled a hissing angry cat! WOW it was actually intimidating as the stone-curlew stood tall as can be making these weird aggressive sounds! This could only mean one thing; I thought to myself, there must be eggs or a chick nearby! What timing! I had a quick look around the immediate area and found two well camouflaged ‘dark-brown blotchy’ eggs which sat on the bare ground. Not wanting to cause any stress on the two birds I quickly took a couple of snaps and left them to their two well hidden eggs. 

I returned a couple of weeks later to check on the pair and their eggs; I was really excited to find and photograph an adult bird and a small curlew chick!!! Sadly, one of the school grounds staff had found a dead adult curlew on the playing field that very morning – a victim to a fox or cat attack! I only hope that the remaining adult and chick will survive!!

Ten days of my trip were spent on the sunshine coast at a place called Buderim, where I spent time exploring the beautiful coastline around Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Noosa as well as the hinterland behind the sunshine coast at places like Eumundi, Montville etc. I was amazed at the birdlife present, in particular the species of egrets and herons. One thing that really drew my attention was the frogs and lizards! One thing that the South Island of New Zealand doesn’t have too many of!! 

These are a few snapshots from my Australian holidays. Being there on holidays didn’t give me enough time to get a feel photographically for the place, although it did whet my appetite for a return photo trip sometime in the future :)

At the moment I am working with a designer friend on getting a 'Jonathan Harrod Photography' website up and running. which is very exciting for me! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. These are amazing images,loved the Curlew shots,the frog is my favourite.

  2. You call these SNAPSHOTS???!!!

  3. Hi Jonathan, came via your site after seeing your photos on Hedgehoghouse's site. (I also submit there, although it's a annual event) I dabble in bird photography, but clearly lack the patience and skill you obviously have to get the shots that you do! I loved the kingfisher video. What do you use for your hide? cheers

    1. Hi Tony! Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed looking at your photos on your website! I use a double-man hunting blind from hunting and fishing NZ (they have them at the Tower Junction Store here in Chch), I saw a single man blind for sale at Smith City off Colombo Street the other day, which would also work well. Have a great day. Cheers Jono