Sunshine in late Autumn at Western Treatment Plant

My friend Dieter and I planned a day down at WTP,  he because he wanted to try out the new D800, and me because I like to go down there.

We left early and beat the morning traffic, and were just getting the gear out of of the camera bags at the turn off to Point Wilson, when an explosive whistle and cry came from directly overhead in the trees, after a few seconds it was obvious it was a Whistling Kite in full voice.  Followed by an equally loud squeal from a Black-shouldered Kite, before both of them came barrelling out of the tree line.  The Whistling Kite being fairly aggressively attacked by the Black-shouldered Kite.

By this time we had the cameras out and were hard at work.  The BSK made a number of fast passes over the struggling for wind speed, Whistling Kite, and it was struck several times by its protagonist.  The shot here shows the Whistling Kite with claws out as it has just defended off the aggro Black-shouldered Kite,  it is possible to see a few loose feathers floating away.

After a heavy pursuit, the Whistling Kite gained some height and speed, and by then it was well away from the tree-line.  The Black-shouldered Kite came back and started a second pursuit of a Goshawk, but it managed to slip away without any thing more damaged than its pride. The BSK, then patrolled the treeline and all and sundry were aware of its stake to territory.

The rest of the day was nowhere near as dramatic, except for a Brown Falcon playing catch me if you can along a fence line.  But I was driving and Dieter was the one working in the new D800.

A Black-shoudlered Kite making an aggressive pass on a Whistling Kite who was doing all it could to defend itself against a constant attack. The loose feathers are from a direct hit by the BSK.