Tag Archives: wildlife photographer

She Married Her Stalker – Wildlife and Photography


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Penelope got married.  This was a news that is no longer news because I was reluctant to share it. Penelope the goddess (see other duck stories) married her stalker. The male duck (pictured with her) lurked around our backyard for weeks as she was growing up last year. He has a tall slim body and deep grey feathers. His head was the darkest amongst all the other ducks. I had not seen him before Penelope was born.

I think I kept chasing this male duck away because subconsciously, I believed he would take her away. None of my threatening moves scared the duck and I was surprised by its persistence to stick around.

Each time I yelled at it, I was scolded by my sons. They argued that the male duck could be Penelope’s father.

“Oh really, you’re serious?” I would say, knowing the duck wasn’t her father.

The dark headed stranger would wait in our yard, in nearby trees and bushes and watch her. I had a name for it, but this blog is G rated so I won’t say it. As she got older, Penelope became silly and stubborn. Her behaviour changed in the evenings, she wanted to stay up and outside the coop. This is the story of Penelope, the baby duckling we raised. I guess I could not say Penelope grew up, got married and lived happily ever after. Not yet, as her story has not ended. Pictured here the feathered couple sat away from the pack and watched the new ducklings swim.

“I am afraid they are getting new ideas”, I said to my own children.

“Mum, stop messing with duck-business”, my son Nathan said.

Standing under the hot Brisbane sun, I watched Penelope and thought of her when she was tiny and had a broken foot. She grew up too quickly and being able to fly in November last year, she left home and disappeared for a few days. Then she returned home with ‘him’.  I was not impressed at first, but after a while, I watched the way they spent the day and it melted away  my anger.

The male duck serves the goddess with his love and patience. Penelope is very demanding and seems to bark orders at him. He obliges and keeps calm. Most times, he just follows her. Yesterday, she took him to my second garden near the neighbour’s yard. None of the other ducks go there and I was surprised to see the pair. But, that was where she and I used to spent most times; me pulling out weeds and she eating them.

I am okay with them spending time in my garden. She is happy and she is still here in Bellbowrie and that makes me happy.

I was laughing as I wrote this story, but I did get really annoyed in the beginning with Penelope and this male duck. If you think this post is ridiculous, say so, but I needed to get it off my chest.

First Day in the Water – Wildlife Photography


Ten ducklings had their first day with their mother in the water yesterday.  The Pacific Black duck pair had been living in our backyard this last year. These are their first hatchlings.

The test begins now to see if they would all survive into autumn. Last night, between 7pm and 9pm, Nathan, Chris and I barely managed to put them into a safe enclosure for the night.

At 4:30am this morning, I woke up to some loud scrapping sounds only to find, it wasn’t the usual suspects, the possums, but the local rascal, the wild cat that kills birds in our neighbourhood. The cat tried to get into the enclosure. I got out, just in time to chase it away.

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The Dance for Love


Here is a documentary (49 mins) by Tadashi Shimada about the Birds of Paradise, one of my favourite creatures on earth.

New Guinea is a true garden of Eden for birds. Some of the most unique are birds of paradise. With plenty of food such as nuts and fruits and very few natural predators, they’ve been able to leisurely hone their courting skills. The ribbon-tailed astrapia flaps its long white tail feathers, while the blue bird-of-paradise unfurls its feathers to create a pulsating eye-like shape. Since they live deep in the jungle, their courtship displays have long been steeped in mystery. Tadashi Shimada, a wildlife photographer who’s made numerous visits to New Guinea over the years, has for the first time ever captured images of the blue bird-of-paradise’s courting behavior. This program delves into the fascinating world of these beautiful and mysterious birds.

Published on Jun 25, 2014 – For more please visit NHK World.