Eastern Water Dragon laying eggs

Physignathus lesueurii The eastern water dragon is one of my favourite photographic subjects. I have a favourite place for finding these lizards that is very near to Hornsby. On Sunday whilst chasing the small juveniles that are abundant at this time of the year I came across a adult female digging. I have been down to this location many times and haven’t seen this behaviour before. My fiancee and myself sat and watched (turned out to take an hour and a half) to see exactly what she was doing. After digging the hole the female turned around and squatted over it. Raising her hind legs she released her first egg of the clutch. Approximately 5 eggs followed. She then proceeded to move sand, pebbles and parts of plants with her feet to cover the hole. After a couple of scratches she would go back and check on the eggs. By the time she had finished the nest site looked like any other. Below are 5 photos (of many) that illustrate this behaviour, the first digging the hole, the second laying the eggs, the third, covering the hole, the fourth was when she was watching the surrounding area and the fifth shows the patch covered up. eastern-water-dragon-laying-eggs

On a photographic note, the light was very low when these shots were taken and an ISO of 1600 was used to allow for a small aperture and correct exposures (30d, 180mm, ISO 1600, f8 approx 1/160 and fill flash). High ISO is something Ive always tried to avoid, rarely even venturing up to ISO 400. In the past week I have done some experiments using higher ISO and am very happy with the results. Whilst not preferable, using ISO 1600 on the 30D does come out fine (as long as exposure is correct), particularly in prints. I found a combination of the the high ISO and fill flash very valuable when in dark creeks. I will post soon with some recent shots showing portraits of other water dragons.

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~ by adamrose on December 2, 2008.

One Response to “Eastern Water Dragon laying eggs”

  1. wicked sick! Keep up the good work!

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