Response to Russell Woodford in regard to my recently released DVD serie

Subject: Response to Russell Woodford in regard to my recently released DVD series Australia-Discovering the World of Parrots
From: "Donald G. Kimball" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 15:46:34 -0700
Russell thank you again for your phenomenally helpful site here at

I wanted to briefly address a couple of points in your warm letter to me
publically so that I could share with some of my other mates here at
Birding-Aus some of the hi-lights of creating the film.  First of all to
address your question "What gave you the greatest reward, finishing the
filming, or finishing the editing?"  That is an easy one to answer:  Two
years of editing was mostly just hard work and fighting with sound tracks
and agonizing over less than perfect footage.

The greatest reward was simply the joy and wonderment of discovery while
behind the camera!  Here I was in a country with amazing new sights and
sounds and I became 13 years of age all over again. With heart in mouth not
knowing if I would evenget to see certain species let alone have filming
opportunities!  The planning, flying to different habitats, searching and
just the reward of finally seeing in my viewfinder what I had only dreamt of
seeing for decades.  I get so emotional about it all now its kind of
embarassing to be honest.

I mean I still cant contain myself when I think of it all!  Here is an
example:  After flying, driving, hiking and planning since August by January
I had been to every corner of the country it seemed.  And now here I am in
Adelaide pacing back and forth, the sensible practical Don vs the 13 year
old excited Don. Arguing about the cost of flying out of Adelaide to search
for Scarlet-chested Parrots.  I was given sighting and directions by 3 mates
here at Birding-aus.  But should I spend the money to fly out of Adelaide
and rent a vehicle and head to the remote desert regions in SA?  Even
experienced birders here told me essentially that Scarlet-chests are
notoriously hard to find.  But being the optimist that I am... (After
encountering and filming Princess everything is possible right?).  Then I
decided to risk it and I got on that little plane and flew to a little town
in SA.  Rented a Nissan Patrol from the only little car dealer in town and
headed out in the desert.

The first two days I saw nothing but Galahs and some Mulgas.  I was hot and
being harassed constantly by swarms of blowies.  I began to think.. well
this was a remote chance and its not going to happen.  But then I refocused
and simply began to enjoy drinking in the habitat.  Woodswallows panted
while perched on exposed areas, honeyeaters sang cheerfully even in 47 C
heat, and I just hiked and drank in the beauty of the mallee scrub desert as
far as the eye could see.  On day 3 bingo!!! A flash of color beside the
trail! A gorgeous little Scarlet-chest male in superb plumage feeding on
mulga pods! it was like God himself just handed everything to me as a gift.
 I went back to this area for the next 4 days and EVERY TIME I encountered
This little male or one of his mates.  At one point he was at my feet like a
tame chook.  Overheated he just wanted to be left alone in the little sand
burrow he had dug in the shade.  I left him there with his eyes half-closed
resting in the shade after 4 hours of filming!  I had risked lots of money
and time and with a strict one week only allotted for this area it came
together like I couldnt have ever dreamed.  So the most rewarding is simply
being in the presence of such gorgeous birds and getting to know them and
discovering where they live.  This was such a stunning adventure I will
certainly never forget it anytime soon!

How can I begin to thank you all enough...



*Hi Donald

Congratulations on this fabulous achievement! You must have an incredible
sense of achievement now that the DVDs are finished. What gave you the
greater reward, finishing the filming, or finishing the editing? I'll take a
guess at the editing, as I've done a little myself, and know how many
hundreds of hours it takes. Filming in the the wild can be exhilarating, and
your must have had a sense of wonder at the birds themselves, and I'm sure
it was often frustrating. I think that the extreme highs and lows of filming
are in contrast with the humdrum same-ness of editing - even if you enjoy it
like I do.

Thanks very much for your kind words, and I am humbled to see how many
people were able to assist you while you travelled around this country. I am
indeed sorry I missed you. I hope we have the opportunity to do a spot of
birdwatching together some day, somewhere (sorry if that sounds like a
Sondheim lyric!).  I also hope you get plenty of orders for your DVD set -
it looks fabulous  and I will certainly be getting a copy for myself. I'm
going to be managing a school library over the next 6 months, after my
mid-life career change, so I do think the school would benefit from your
DVDs :-)

All the very best

Russell Woodford*

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