My mate, Mr An Onymous and his family had also travelled up for the week and we met up and chatted over a few cold sherbets as to a plan for the following day.
Seeing as there were a few pressing family events that needed attention, and because it was going to be a hot day, we decided an early morning start at Goschen would be the go. By 6:30am the car was loaded, with drinks, cameras and bodies. We set off. The simplest run, is to follow the sealed roads, but we opted, (well I was driving) to go out past the Airport and then pick up one of the backroads to Goschen. From yesterday, you’ll recall that we travelled that way often on pushbikes in the sweet savour of youth.
Besides from previous years, we’d had a bit of raptor success out near out mate Steve’s place and nothing ventured…
We had just turned past the airport when I spotted an Australian Kestrel, in the early morning sunshine. At this stage the sunlight was running horizontal with the ground. “Fishfryer” lighting for the studio buffs. Hadn’t realised, we parked on the major highway to somewhere, as the amount of cars going by was a bit awkward both from parking and photographing points of view. Mr An, got busy, while I tried to park the car off the roadway. No mean feat on a tiny country road, built for tractors and harvesting toys.
I’d also been ‘clever’ enough to attach a TC1.7 to the 300mm to ‘save’ time, and now was having trouble handholding the 500mm resultant lens. In the end, either because of boredom with the game, or because it saw prey, the Kestrel departed, and we moved on to Goschen.
Mostly the pictures tell the rest of the story. A huge flowering gum near the old tennis court played host to a variety of honeyeaters, and we spent quite a bit of time just enjoying their antics.
Then back on to the main road and a detour to the Little Murray Weir. Another of my childhood pastimes. Last year we’d been lucky and got some great shots of a Sacred Kingfisher on a wire here, and to both our surprises, as we stopped the car, a blue flash went by and there on the wire was. A Sacred Kingfisher. How do you account for that bit of co-incidence.
On the way back to the main road, I saw a number of small birds dive into a box-thorn bush, and slowed, then stopped. Look as I might, I couldn’t see any, and Mr An was getting coffeitis by then, until. Out from the tree behind the bush, rose a beautiful Wedge-tailed Eagle, before I could say, “Did you see the Wedget…..” He was out of the car and had the first 6 shots off. It took a circuit round the paddock, located a thermal, and before you could say, “It’s found a thermal’, the black and brown bird had risen on those wonderful wings to an amazing height.
Suitably impressed we retired for coffee.