Category Archives: Raptors

Kestrel cameo

This female Nankeen Kestrel put on a brief cameo for me as I meandered home along Rodborough Road yesterday afternoon.

There are dozens of them on the plains at present, easily outnumbering all the other raptors.

Nankeen Kestrel (female), Moolort Plains, 4th March 2018




Flight patterns

Three different birds, three very different flight patterns.

We were especially delighted to see the Spotted Harrier (they’ve been scarce this summer), albeit distant views as it quartered in a howling westerly across the paddocks at Locks Lane. This is a favourite location for this species, if you are lucky; Black, Peregrine and Little Falcons can also be seen here.

Silver Gull, Cairn Curran, 4th March 2018

Whistling Kite @ Cairn Curran


Spotted Harrier on Locks Lane, Moolort Plains

Compliant raptors

It was a nice time spent with some compliant raptors late yesterday afternoon.

This Brown Falcon couldn’t quite decide what to do when I rolled up … it held this pose for about a minute before some brief preening and then off!

Brown Falcon, Moolort Plains, 27th February 2018


Black-shouldered Kite

Not one, but two!

White-bellied Sea-Eagles are a regular sighting on my weekly visits to Cairn Curran.

Most observations, however, are made from a distance and the birds will often depart at the slightest sign of human intrusion. This evening I was lucky and enjoyed nice views from about 80 metres of not one, but two mighty sea-eagles. The immature bird pictured in the first three images may be anywhere between 2 and 5 years it takes this long to transition from mottled brown to the striking steel-grey and white that distinguishes a fully grown adult.

White-bellied Sea-eagles, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 27th February 2018

Immature at top, adult below

A closer look at the immature

A splendid view of the adult

Anything but plain

I love the Moolort Plains at this time of year. The contrast between the big, blue skies and golden stubble makes a great backdrop for the raptors that inhabit this fascinating landscape.

Looking south across the Moolort Plains towards Smeaton, 18th February 2018

Brown Falcon

Nankeen Kestrel hunting


It seems one of my favourite local pairs of Wedge-tailed Eagles has raised one youngster this season.

The offspring was seen perched with its parents in a distant dead tree to the north of Cemetery Road during the week. The pale head, shawl and upper parts of juvenile and immature birds sets them apart from the adults which become much darker with age. Click here for a more expansive image of the juvenile coming in to land.

Wedge-tailed Eagles, Cemetery Road Newstead, 15th February 2018

Juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle



Turning for home

It’s not often that I turn for home without a single avian image in the camera.

It happened this evening … until this handsome Brown Falcon Falco berigora rescued the situation.

Brown Falcon, Newstead Cemetery, 15th February 2018

I’ve mentioned this previously … it’s my understanding that the Brown Falcon is one of only three Australian birds where the scientific name honours one of the languages of our first people. There is a terrific article about the origins of berigora here.