Today, we with a bright sunny day instore, we went to The Pipemakers Park, in Footscray. It was one of the Heart Foundation “Green Walks in the Park”, and it was nice to catch up with a group of walkers and have a bit of a chat as we sauntered about the gardens at the Pipemakers Park, and then down along the Maribyrnong River.
First time we’d been down there, and the bird life is exceptional. Two Brown Falcons sailing overhead as we got out of the car. Looked great. Also spotted several Eastern Shrike Tits among the bushes, and a host of other smaller birds. Must take the cameras and a lunch and do it justice. The gardener guy told me they often have a White-bellied Sea Eagle patrol the river, and there is a pair of nesting Eastern Barn Owls in the area as well.
We then had a date down at WTP, and with a spot of lunch at the Highway Lounge on the freeway, were well on the way to a good afternoon. The first birds we spotted weren’t even in the Permit area, but were on the roadway outside. Brilliant Flashes of Red and Brown, feeding against the black tarmac of the road. A Flame Robin family group of at least three males, and females and a few juveniles kept us out on the roadside for quite awhile. On the return journey just as sun was setting they were still there and not that fussed by our presence.
It was Pelican day as well, and no matter where we went the big amusing lumps seemed to sail by in groups or small flocks.
On the way out, we went along Beach Road, and a Black-shouldered Kite was spotted in a tree, eager to make a nice shot, I put the car of the side of the road, and was getting ready when to my surprise, and joy and delight, and amazement, the familiar “Kar, Kar, Kar”, of a hunting Nankeen Kestrel wafted down on the air. I was out of the car, and had a dozen frames away, before I had even worked out where it was happening. She, it was a female, took to a tree in a paddock, and I contemplated following, but after a few minutes, another high pitched scream from her, and she took off. There had to be a male somewhere near. She flew directly overhead, (it really was like old times), and gave him a piece of her mind, before landing in the tree and gave her begging for food call. He dutifully took to the air to find dinner for her. She sat on the tree and watched, and occasionally screamed encouragement, until a demented Wagtail couldn’t stand it any longer and chased her of the tree.
It was so nice to hear her call, and to watch the delicate wind-hover of the male. I hope they stay in the area, as we have only seen Kestrels there once before.