A day at Montecasino Bird Gardens with my son

I spent last Saturday morning at the Montecasino Bird Gardens with my son Jarrod. He is just over 2-and-a-half years old and we love to spend as much time as possible with him, as he was born with major challenges and his prognosis at birth was 0%! The complication he was born with was an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in the Vein of Galen in his brain.

After six months in ICU during the first year of his life, seven brain surgeries (and numerous other surgeries) he forges on and beats every challenge thrown at him. He has taught us so much: Most importantly the joy of life; and at the same time how precious and tenuous life can be. We’ve learnt to appreciate everything around us and try and share it with as many people as possible. I share my tweets (follow me @norwin). He has a weekly blog that you’re welcome to subscribe to at http://norw.in/jb.

The photographer

I have loved taking pictures since I was about seven or eight, when I got my first instamatic camera. Needless to say that in those days photography wasn’t as advanced as today, and not as commoditised as today. The first ‘good’ camera I got was an old Kodak Retina IIB my Mom bought as a birthday present to herself in former East Germany on a holiday! I still have it, and it still works.

Just before Jarrod was born, my wife Lynn and I agreed that an investment in a good camera was essential to take pics of our new bundle of joy. The camera has paid for itself over and over again! So all these pics were taken with a Canon EOS 40D.

The birds

I don’t know the species of each bird. Taking photos and looking after Jarrod at the same time was a challenge in itself. 

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Look at me! I can fly, even with this massive beak - I surprise myself every day! Tango the Toucan
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OMW! These landings are getting more and more difficult, and so many cameras!
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So tell me again, who wasn't applauding me?
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Oooo, oooo, oooo, mouse! Excuse me a minute!
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Um no, Polly doesn't want a cracker. I don't like crackers. Romany Creams? Yes please!
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Look, as usual Sam is hiding behind something - he's so camera shy!
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Pick me, pick me, pick me!
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Guys, pretend to eat. Are we all on for poker at Polly's tonight? Stakes are big, ante is three sunflower seeds each.