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Film Diary / 28.12.2016

This morning I took the Canon into Palm Grove National Park to film the aerial roots of a Bangalow Palm, the fallen Moreton Bay Fig tree, volcanic rocks on the slope above the school path and a male harvestman on a rock where I once filmed six in close proximity. The greatest benefit of a fully functioning camera was accurate focus from wide to zoom. The sunlight created strong contrast which I tried to overcome by adjusting the exposure, but the controls are not as handy as on the Sony and will take some getting used to.

This evening two guests made for an extra large party on our night walk in The Knoll. The old crew of Mark and Dan only lacked Jaap’s presence to be fully reunited. This was the first opportunity to try out the Canon at night. Because it has a better sensor than the Sony, the focused beam of the spotlight resulted in over-exposure, particularly on wide shots. Resorting to a version of manual exposure improved the image quality without getting the exposure right. I filmed a great barred frog, a female poinciana longicorn beetle depositing her eggs in a tree, two resting northern… Read Complete Text

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Other / 27.12.2016

I have just uploaded the 300th image to my Moths Album, following an excellent run of new species at the garage, since the new owner of the property replaced the bulb in one of the two lamps three weeks ago. The moth is yet to be identified. It has strange antennae which have tiny serrations on both edges and a black and white-banded tip.

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Other / 19.12.2016

This evening I picked up a Canon XA 35 demo camera from Steve. It came on the market a year ago. It shoots in HD, but not in 4K. Steve has entered the basic settings. We shot some trial footage and checked out some of the features. The instruction manual has 188  pages. The camera is much smaller than the Sony and lighter. It will be a relief to have a fully functioning camera once more.

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Film Diary / 14.12.2016

Mark has retired from teaching and joined Lumart and me on the 138th night filming walk. We paid a return visit to MacDonald National Park, having failed to complete the circuit in mid-November. There was plenty to see, for instance skinks, a variety of snails, spiders and cockroaches, fungi, Giant Stinging Trees, and some beautiful ascending and descending vines. Even after so many walks I always find compelling subjects to film; this time an Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly, a katydid instar, a moth, a Greengrocer Cicada completing its moult and a Short-beaked Echidna up against a tree before it slowly waddled off into the black.

PS  I photographed a second moth on the 11th which I recognised as probably the same species as one I had filmed a few years ago. Only my expert had got the species wrong and had to consult a colleague who specialises in the Lymantriidae family. An email awaited me after tonight’s walk which contained the specialist’s verdict.

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Film Diary / 11.12.2016

One of the moths I photographed on December 5, was new to me. The following day I got the best close up of a moth I first filmed with my SD camera and later, at night in rainforest in HD. On December 7 I saw and phtographed for the first time, a moth described as one of the most common in Australia. And today, I photographed another new moth. What a difference a fully lit garage has made in such a brief time.

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Other / 05.12.2016

Yesterday on my walk, I introduced myself to the new owner of the property whose garage has for many years been my main location for filming and photographing moths. To my great delight he told me that he had replaced the bulb in one of the lamps which for ages had been out of action and shunned by insects. Today, I saw a splendid yellow and brown longicorn beetle which had been attracted by the newly re-lit lamp and photographed two moths.

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Other / 22.11.2016

This afternoon I shot the last footage of my last tape in a garden which has yielded an abundance of material. This evening I handed it over to Steve for capture and generating a time-coded DVD. Meanwhile, I am using an early tape which was dedicated to logging changes to open space on the mountain and the skylines of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I only shot half of it. Part of the balance was used to record bird sounds and traffic which Steve transferred to his hard drive this evening. I have about 34 minutes of footage left. There is still no release date for the new Panasonic camera.

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Other / 16.11.2016

The migration of plague like proportions of Caper White butterflies from west of the Great Dividing Range to south east Queensland in search of food, has boosted an already much stronger than usual late Spring butterfly presence. The migration is due to exceptional Winter rain allowing the Caper White’s host plant, the caper bush, to thrive, and strong westerly winds. There have also been plenty of Australian Painted Lady and Meadow Argus butterflies, Cabbage Whites and Monarchs. I have uploaded photos I took this morning of a Painted Lady and a Meadow Argus butterfly to my ‘Other Fauna’ album, having unsuccessfully attempted to photograph these species on several previous morning walks.

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Other / 02.11.2016

Steve and I have uploaded another five videos. With the last tape in the camera I am running out of new subjects. This batch is worth mentioning because one of the videos contains rare real time footage of a female Satin Bowerbird at the bower with the male trying to win her over with dancing and a gift in its beak. She was present for 4 mins and 26 secs before flying off.

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Film Diary / 26.10.2016

On checking out Jaap’s sighting of a pair of Whip Birds near the pond in the Land Care Depot the other day, I caught sight of a peewee, as the Magpie Lark is known in Queensland, feeding on the ground. I have never filmed this bird, though I have seen it over the years when I didn’t have my camera with me. I returned a day later, but found it too difficult to film the bird. Yesterday, I made a start, with some distant shots and improved the record this morning. However, on returning this afternoon I noticed a nest in a gum tree which the adult birds had frequented. There were two almost fully fledged chicks in the nest, which the adults visited regularly; the visits lasting from a few seconds to half a minute or more.