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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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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.

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Film Diary / 12.10.2016

We started the new night filming season in The Knoll with walk 134. Jaap and Lumart were the crew. Although the night was cooler than we would have liked, we were expectant of some night life because the weather last week was warm. I can’t readily recall a more felicitous season opening. I filmed a weevil, a moulting spider, a moth, a damselfly, a mayfly and, wonder of wonders, the dwelling of a log cabin case moth larva – the last three on a stand of young palms. The dwelling had seven layers and lacked the extensions of the one I photographed in April this year, which had eleven layers. I never expected to see its like again, yet barely six months later one turns up at night in our beloved rainforest. We saw female and male harvestmen, some very large spider burrows, several moths, a semi-slug, two leaf-tailed geckos, some beautiful fungi and two huge giant water spiders.

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Film Diary / 07.10.2016

For the second time this week I stopped to film three Masked Lapwing chicks on my way to the bower (see the post for 23 September). They were foraging in a small, unfenced orchard in my street. I had seen the parents for some time on a vacant block on the other side of the park in front of my home. The chicks were older than the ones I filmed in SD, which were being nestled by their mother. The chicks I filmed this week were very quick on their legs. Today I was able to get closer to them.

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Film Diary / 23.09.2016

In five attempts since September 12 and after many hours of waiting and with a few near misses, I at last shot about 4 ½ minutes of footage of a female with a male Satin Bowerbird in its bower, located in a  secluded garden. By near misses I mean occasions when the female was close but not close enough, calling volubly but remaining out of sight and this morning, hopping onto a branch overlooking the bower but then flying away before returning, touching down and remaining. This afternoon I watched the footage, which turned out well.

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Film Diary / 05.09.2016

For the first time since June I took some photos with my PANCAM and two months later than I would have liked, inaugurated the PANCAM 2016 B folder of my image library. The subject was close ups of the flowers of Zieria collina, a shrub which only grows on the mountain and is listed as vulnerable. Spring officially started on the 1st of September. The zieria bushes are bursting with flowers. I also filmed the flowers and am confident that the close ups are an improvement on those of the SD footage, though they won’t match the PANCAM’s.

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Film Diary / 07.08.2016

This post is included not so much because of what I filmed but because I filmed – for the first time since my return, indeed since June 10. The location was the same, the lagoon in the sports complex, now empty of water. The subject was a small bottle brush tree, with many buds and a single, red flower. Filming again was a therapeutic blowing away of the remaining cobwebs of jet lag. It has taken longer than usual to get back to my normal sleep pattern.

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Film Diary, Other / 13.05.2016

I was thrilled and touched to receive a hand-written letter from David Attenborough thanking me for the photos of the Log Cabin Case Moth and the letter about finding it that I sent him. He wrote that he had never seen the dewlling of a Log Cabin Case Moth before and that he found it fascinating.

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Film Diary / 04.05.2016

Our 132nd night filming walk was at The Knoll. Fortunately it has been easier to muster a crew in 2016, thanks to Robyn and Jaap and the reliability of two recent recruits, Michael and Lumart. Although we are approaching the end of the season, the weather was mild, resulting in a rich haul of subjects, some not previously encountered. I filmed a native cockroach whose appearance reminded me of an over-sized wood louse. Next was a spider tending her egg sac. Thereafter a moth I don’t think I have previously filmed or photographed and the partly emerged chrysalis of a Swift Moth protruding from the compacted earth of the path, near its edge, a subject I had never even previously seen. Apparently disturbed by being filmed and photographed, the chrysalis withdrew into the ground with only its tip protruding and an antennae twitching.This season we have seen a more than doubling of our roosting bird record to tonight’s eight. As long as the weather stays mild, we shall endeavour to keep filming at night.

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Film Diary / 16.04.2016

This post is an anomaly because it is about a sequence of photographs, rather than about video footage. The subject was one of the most amazing I have encountered during the nearly 18 years I have devoted to my artwork. On my morning walk an intriguing structure on a picket fence caught my eye. It was beautifully formed of twigs, tapered from an irregular base and approximately 10 millimetres high. I asked a couple of women passers by what they thought it might be. One of them removed it from the picket to reveal a tiny caterpillar ensconced in a silk-lined bag, which I immediately recognised as a case moth larva. She placed it on a nearby fence post. I consequently took photos of the structure tilted back by my thumb with the caterpillar partly emerged from its hiding place. When I got home I googled case moth images and found one which was appropriately titled Log Cabin Case Moth. It resembled the one I had photographed without matching its structure.  I returned to the fence post in the afternoon and took many more photos of the ‘log cabin’. Two of the photos are on the last page of… Read Complete Text