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Lockdowns open doors for bird photographer

Gliding Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo Christopher Bruce

Chris Bruce photographed the birdlife on John Gordon’s property last week. PHOTO TWH

Recent lockdowns have de-railed careers and opened new ones, and electrician Christopher Bruce is an example of making the best of what could have been a disaster.

When COVID hit in 2020, his work dried up and he was facing the prospect of finding another job at the age of 50. He was fearful of being thrown on the scrapheap because he was too old.

But rather than dwell on his difficulties, Chris used the down time to indulge his real passion – photographing birds.

Now, he is about to publish two bird photography books, Australian Bird Portraits and a photographic tale following the lives of a family of wedge-tailed eagles, to be released soon.

From the northern suburbs of Sydney, Chris was in Bourke last week for some electrical contracting – and taking the opportunity to photograph the rich bird life of the region.

“I was on the road taking shots of a black shouldered kite, and a local landholder, John Gordon, stopped and asked me about my work,” Chris said.

“He offered me access to his property, and since then, I have been coming here quite a bit.

“The bird life at Bourke is amazing. It normally takes a lot of time to get close to any species or find out where they are, but some of the locals in Bourke have pointed me to the right places.

Ted Rice was very helpful, and the National Parks and Wildlife people have also been good.

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