One Kooka, Two Kookas, Three Kookas, Four

Fortune favours the prepared.
One kookaburra
When I opened the back door first thing on this beautiful sunny morning, a movement caught my eye in the back yard. I looked and it was a kookaburra flying up to sit on the fence. 
My camera was sitting on the table behind me, so I slowly moved inside and got it. Initially, I only had the 16-45mm (24-70mm) lens, not really long enough, but I’ve learnt over the years, take a shot. At least you’ll have something, even if it’s not the right lens. So I banged off a couple but they are not much use.
Then I realised there were two kookas.
Two kookaburras

I slowly moved back inside and got the 50-200mm (75-300mm). This time, I had the lens and got the shots. Image stabilisation and being able to bump the ISO up to 400 and still retain quality is fantastic, so even though the tripod was right there, I was able to shoot hand held.

Then I realised there were three kookas.
Three kookaburras!
The one on the left was looking intently upwards at the sound of yet another kookaburra (a fourth) in a tree to the right of the group.
I’m no expert but I think the pair on the right of the above photo are immature young ones, while the left one is a parent bird and the one in the tree chortling is the other parent.
One flew down to the ground looking for food. I think this is a Mumma or Pappa bird.
One kooka started laughing
For the benefit of my overseas reader, Kookaburras are the Australian branch of the Kingfisher family of birds. You can tell by the shape of their beak.
They are also known as Laughing Jackasses for the sound they make, which starts off as a long sequence with a low, prolonged chuckle and chortle, developing into a full blown laughing sound. It’s quite magnificent and an icon of Australia, used in the opening of the old Movietone newsreels. It”s guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of any Aussie who hears it, especially when overseas away from home.
Then Minnie came ambling slowly around from the front of the house, having heard me moving around (she’s old, but there is no loss of hearing or of any of her faculties!)
Kookaburras are quite fearless birds and will actually attack snakes, catching them in their beaks and flying up high, then dropping the snake to kill it on the ground for food. No kidding, I’ve seen this with my own eyes in the country.
So a dog is no threat to them, but they started to move away.
I think this may be the parent birds on a neighbour’s antenna.
All in all, it was a magic ten minutes or so. Thanks to digital, I’m able to get the shots in the first place, image stabilised and sharp, immediately develop them (I shot RAW as I’ve spoken about), crop, resize, sharpen and change the colour space from AdobeRGB to sRGB for the web and post this within an hour or two.
We’re living in a marvellous time.
What does it take to get a comment? I thought this page was rather nice. No-one ever says anything.