Smoke and raptors

I was surprised earlier in the week to see a rising column of smoke on the Moolort Plains. Stubble burning largely finished a few weeks back, prior to the autumn break.

As is often the case, where there is smoke there are often raptors.

Sure enough Whistling Kites and Black Kites were hunting above the burning stubble, a number also chasing insects across the burnt ground. The highlight though was a pair of Black Falcons, the first I’ve seen for almost 12 months. Distant views but exciting nonetheless.


Stubble burning, Moolort Plains, 2nd May 2022


Black Falcon




Whistling Kite hunting in stubble




Black Kite



3 responses to “Smoke and raptors

  1. I had the pleasure of chasing some stubble burns when I was there recently, over toward Carisbrook, would have been 50+ Black Kites and Whistling Kites, living up to their reputation of being ‘Fird Birds’. Darting through the flames to grab a snack, eat it in mid-flight and go in again, and again. I also witnessed a very speedy cameo by a Black Falcon, but by the time I raised my camera it was gone, and not seen again. I quite certain there is at least one pair of resident Black Falcons in the plains area, I have seen brief cameo’s, but unfortunately either too far or disappeared too fast to get photos. I honestly think they are harder to photograph than Peregrines.

  2. Lance Breguet

    Fantastic shots ? Do kites feed on blue tongues,I saw what I thought were remains of a blue tongues stuffed in chicken wire a long with bird feathers just interested know they take snakes

    • Hi Lance, I’m sure they would take a Blue-tongue given the chance. I’ve never witnessed it though. Cheers, Geoff

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