Category Archives: Raptors

David and Goliath

These tiny Red-capped Plovers were dwarfed by the appearance overhead of an immature White-bellied Sea-eagle … seen on a brief visit to Cairn Curran late yesterday.

Red-capped Plovers (female at front), Cairn Curran, 20th June 2017.

Male Red-capped Plover (at front)

White-bellied Sea-eagle (immature)

The hunter and the hunted

A fortnight ago I went searching for Autumn Greenhoods Pterostylis revoluta along Mia Mia track … without success. By late May I had expected their season to have finished so it was lovely to find a few on a walk in the same area earlier in the week. This magnificent orchid is common in the Newstead bush.

Autumn Greenhood, Mia Mia Track, 22nd May 2017

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It was a marvellous morning for birds – Buff-rumped Thornbills, Weebill, Varied Sitella, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola (calling) and the highlight – a party of Speckled Warblers! The arrival of a male Collared Sparrowhawk triggered a pause in proceedings as a mixed feeding flock shifted from foraging to ‘freezing’ in an instant.

Male Collared Sparrowhawk

Speckled Warbler … looking slightly nervous!

Slim pickings

It’s been slim pickings this week … but I did make it out to Cairn Curran for a quick look around late yesterday. This Whistling Kite, one of a pair near Picnic Point, was the highlight.

Cairn Curran Reservoir (Picnic Point), 28th April 2017

Whistling Kite

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Bunjil takes flight

To the people of the Kulin Nation, to which the Dja Dja Wurrung People belong, the Wedge-tailed Eagle is Bunjil.

“Bunjil is the creator being who bestows Dja Dja Wurrung People with the laws and ceremonies that ensure the continuation of life”*

Whenever I see one of these magnificent birds, such as this old adult on the plains, I reminded of how special this ancient land is.

Wedge-tailed Eagle, Moolort Plains, 14th March 2017

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* Source: Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Recognition Statement

Berigora sequence

Sadly, the aboriginal names for many of our native species are not well-known … the Brown Falcon Falco berigora is a notable exception.

This beautiful, if sometimes clumsy falcon, is widespread across the continent. Usually flighty, this one posed nicely for the camera … as I sat admiringly in the car!

Brown Falcon, Moolort Plains, 13th March 2017

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Postscript: For more information on the origin and use of the word berigora click here

Storm watcher

With gathering storm clouds last evening the raptors were alert and watchful. This Brown Falcon was spotted at a high perch on my way out to Picnic Point.

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Brown Falcon, Moolort Plains, 10th February 2017

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Storm clouds over Muckleford Plateau, 10th February 2017

Plains evening

Some nice birds on the plains last evening … hopefully a cool change will allow a little more activity in the coming week … on the part of the photographer at least!

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Swamp Harrier (juvenile), Newstead, 10th February 2017

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Galahs @ Picnic Point

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Red-rumped Parrots @ Picnic Point

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Whistling Kite @ Picnic Point