While watching the Rainbow Bee-eaters yesterday morning there were plenty of distractions – high above and down below!
Wedge-tailed Eagle, Sandon State Forest, 16th December 2017
These two Nankeen Kestrels, last featured on the 28th November, are growing fast. They are now almost fully grown and look very much like the adults – the fine dark streaks on the crown and breast a feature of juvenile birds.
Nankeen Kestrels, Moolort Plains, 10th December 2017
Caught by a puff of breeze
This young Collared Sparrowhawk caused some consternation amongst the Nankeen Night-herons roosting along the Loddon River last evening. One of them even alighted briefly below a River Red-gum in front of me to allow a hasty shot.
While I can’t imagine sparrowhawks (even the larger female which I suspect this individual is), taking an adult night-heron, their reputation is enough to cause alarm amongst large and small birds alike.
Nankeen Night-heron, Loddon River @ Newstead 2017
Collared Sparrowhawk (juvenile), Loddon River @ Newstead, 3rd December 2017
A nervous night-heron!
Sounding the alarm
Night-herons are safe from this ruthless hunter of small birds
I visited my favourite Nankeen Kestrel family this evening.
Two nestlings, perhaps three weeks old, popped their head out of the hollow to greet the adult female returning with a wolf spider.
Nankeen Kestrel nestlings, Moolort Plains, 27th November 2017
Adult female Nankeen Kestrel with wolf spider prey
Alighting at the hollow
Off to hunt again …
It was a good evening for raptors – Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Falcon, Whistling Kite, Black Kite and an unexpected highlight … a pair of Square-tailed Kites drifting east across the plains. Not their usual habitat!
One of the nice things about getting home from a holiday is the chance to catch up with ‘old friends’.
Nankeen Kestrel (female), Moolort Plains, 27th October 2017
Late yesterday afternoon I took a stroll at Cairn Curran in search of sea-eagles.
Alas, not an eagle in sight but a party of four Whistling Kites were patrolling the shores on a gathering wind.
Whistling Kite, Cairn Curran @ Welshmans reef, 11th September 2016
Better light and a closer approach this time.
These images were collected just moments after I witnessed a thrilling encounter between two White-bellied Sea-eagles and a lone Wedge-tailed Eagle that had apparently transgressed into their territory. More on that later.
White-bellied Sea-eagle (immature), Welshman’s Reef, 14th August 2017
Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea-eagle duelling