I have been taking photos since about 1978 when my English teacher at high school (Bronwyn Stretton) lent me her Olympus SLR when we were on school camp in the Pilbara region of WA. It had only a 50mm lens on it, so the subjects (yes, birds and lizards) were very small in the frame.
In 1979, I started working in the Bird and Reptile Department of the WA Museum. The Museum was producing a series of books covering the reptiles of WA, with photos supplied by staff and amateur herpetologists. Through spending time with other reptile enthusiasts and keen photographers - particularly Greg Harold and Greg Barron - I soon learned a bit about taking photos. In those days I was using an all-manual Pentax K1000, then another Pentax - the flagship LX model, before moving to Nikon in 1994. I moved through a range of film bodies, watching with interest as the DSLR concept took hold. I made some attempts at digiscoping with Nikon Coolpix cameras like the fairly amazing 4500 and my Swarovski HD spotting scope before buying my first DSLR - the Nikon D200 in 2006. I currently own a D300s, but am eyeing off the D500. Although I've been watching and studying birds since the early 1970s, it was only in the last 10 years that I was able to attempt bird photography in any serious way, particularly with the release of Nikon's 80-400mm VR lens. I had the first release of that lens, but upgraded to the much better version 2 when it became available. Sorry if that's all too photo-geeky! :-(