As the temperature mercifully dropped below 40ºC on Saturday evening I took a run across the plains in search of raptors – the approaching storm clouds promising some nice light.
My regular route takes me past Picnic Point, west towards Moolort and then back home via Rodborough. While raptor numbers were not great, I won’t complain about the variety – Nankeen Kestrel, Brown Falcon, Black Kite, Whistling Kite and Black-shouldered Kite, plus two highlights along Clarke’s Road. First, a Spotted Harrier that paused for a minute or two in the stubble on a partly stripped cereal crop, then a lone Black Falcon which left its perch on a fence post just as I spotted it … bugger!
Many birders would give their eye teeth to see either a Spotted Harrier or a Black Falcon – out on the plains they are encountered on perhaps one trip in three at this time of year.