In early August 2014, my friend Matt and I decided to take a trip to Girraween National Park with two goals. To photograph birds and to take some night shots from the top of the Pyramid, a granite formation within the national park. Due to the distance from Brisbane, we only got to spend a little over a day there but it was a great trip with plenty of birdlife seen and amazing skies photographed!
We saw just short of a 100 species in our time spent there and got plenty of great photo opportunities.
Above is a yellow-tufted honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops), quite common in this area. I was happy to get that shot where the tuft can be seen very clearly.
Spotted pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus) like the one above are always a great sighting, their call is so powerful for such a small bird.
On one of the open granite areas, we came across a group of variegated fairy-wrens (Malurus lamberti), this is a male in non-breeding plumage. He is most definitely showing us his ‘better’ side.
The crested shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus) was a new species for me. This image shows a female, they have an olive-grey throat whereas the males have a black throat.
A scarlet robin (Petroica boodang) posing for us on a fence. We saw him from afar while driving and at the great distance and with his back turned, I thought it was a hooded robin. He then turned around and I saw the scarlet color! He was a truly stunning specimen.
We saw a few other people on our way up to the top of the pyramids. I took a photo of them while waiting for the night to set properly and the star show to begin.
We tried out the photographic technique called light painting, using our head lights to light the tree and get the colors back. Having a flashlight is not only a necessity while out in a national park at night but also a novelty.
This is my favorite frame from that night. The moon was perfectly placed to light our foreground with the wind bent and stunted tree. By this time of night and with the wind, the temperature had dropped below 0 degrees Celsius! I recommend anyone visiting this National Park in winter to be well prepared as it can be very cold. We descended slowly with our headlights (please be careful if you go there at night, it is quite steep and high).
In summary a short but great trip with my birding and photography buddy Matt. I am looking forward to going back in summer to discover the reptiles of Girraween.