Not a great fan of distant birding. I've never possessed a decent telescope. And far-off birds don't mean a lot when photographed.
But distant pictures may help tell a story or two. Take these two Black-necked Storks. Carrying across the reed flats yesterday morn came a plaintive little call - to put it unkindly, a whining 'peeee, pee-pee, youoooo'.
I surveyed all likely areas for the 'small bird' source. Nothing. Finally realised it was standing 60 or so metres in front of me. The juvenile Jabiru was begging. Didn't do it any good. The female above marched distantly straight by the youngster and left it to fend for itself. Fair enough, too. It's long past need of babying.
Can't say I've heard the like before. That said, my hearing, though still sharp enough, isn't matched by good aural memory. Bird songs and calls often fool me.
And here's another bird about 60 metres away. It's a male Little Bittern (dead centre: don't strain eyes too much!) at the edge of a Scleria (razor grass) island in the main lagoon at Tyto today.
The bird launched from one island and alighted on another. Four minutes later it flew into grass and weeds on a one-paperbark island. Soon after it flew back into the Scleria. And then it retraced the way it originally came and plonked down out of sight.
Four relatively extended sightings of the chocolatey-custardy back of the bittern, and not a single blurred in-flight shot! It's frustrating, trying to photograph distant bitterns. On the other hand, I've never had a string of four flights before.
To make up for such long-range views, here's a closer look at a Wood Sandpiper, taken yesterday near the Jabirus, from a distance, but without too much camera shake (shooting at 1/2000sec). The bird was alone, as usual. Most Woods appear to prefer to remain apart from others of their species. Distant, is what they are.