2019's Top 10

A few months into 2020, and I’ve finally finished processing nearly all photos from last year. As a reward, I’ve decided to curate a “Top 10” from last year. Self-indulgent I know…

So here goes, in no particular order…

A Christmas Tawny Frogmouth

We found this tawny in suburban Melbourne while on a post-Christmas-dinner walk waddle in the reserve near my in-law’s place. We found three tawnies (a family, I gather) in one tree, probably waiting for their Christmas dinner to appear. See if you can spot the photobomber.

A Christmas Tawny

A beautiful form of one of my favourite plants

A Ptilotus in flower, ANBG Mt Annan

A very fruitful cemetery

In winter 2019 we did a trip up to Cairns, my first time to the proper tropical north of Australia. Ironically, of the more photographically fruitful spots of the trip was the Cairns Settlers’ Cemetery, in the middle of town. In addition to the below Stone-curlew and Bee-eater, there were Grey Goshawk, a variety of swifts, and a huge range of butterflies.

A collection of curlew

Bush Stone-curlew are an endearing bird of tropical Australia. Their comedic movement and bloodcurdling screams alerted us to their presence in a cemetry across the road from where we were staying in Carins, in far-north Queensland. These three were kind enough to line up in front of me, seemingly conviced I couldn't see them if they stayed still enough.

A Rainbow Bee-eater

We found this Bee-eater while investigating a cemetry full of curlew just across the road from the hotel we'd stayed at in Cairns, Queensland

A beautiful dinosaur

It’s easy to forget that birds are just the dinosaurs that made it to today, but Cassowaries are a strong reminder. This one on the beach at Etty Bay was a particularly beautiful old lady.

Too many good herps to pick just one

This year we went on our red dirt trip to central Australia. Two weeks madly herping yielded some of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken. In particular, HOW GOOD ARE GECKOS! So good I can’t just pick one, so here are two of the best: a Centralian Knob-tail Gecko (Nephurus amyae), and a Pernatty Knob-tailed Gecko (N. deleani).

A Knob-tailed Gecko, near Woomera, SA

An Australian Christmas (card)

This year I finally got a wireless flash transmitter. Coincidentally we’d also been to Bunnings the day it arrived, and had bought a beautiful Anganozanthos. So of course I spent the evening playing around with off-camera flash. We ended up using this image on our 2019 Christmas cards.

The year of Macro

Speaking of splurging, early in 2019 I finally invested in a macro lens (the 90mm Tamron), and so 2019 was really the year of me learning macro. This hoverfly at Mulligan’s Flat was very cooperative, and so I managed to get a reasonable photo of it.

A roosting hoverfly, Mulligan's Flat, Canberra

One last birb

And it wouldn’t be the end of the year without a summer bird. White-throated Gerygones are awesome little things, and you know it’s warming up when you hear their descending call as you walk through the bush. I found this one in October at Mulligan’s Flat.

A White-throated Gerygone, Mulligan's flat, ACT