One part of the family was off to Sydney for a holiday. So how about we leave our car with you and go to Avalon airport? Now the cool thing about saying yes to the request of course is that Avalon is but a mere 5 minutes from the WTP. And well, we’d have to come back that way after all the farewells, and book ins and security checks, and stuff.
So we found ourselves on the Beach Road in the middle of the afternoon on a not too brilliant for photography day. The folk at the farm had taken the opportunity of the change in the weather to conduct some control burns in some of the bigger fields. And off course the raptors simply couldn’t resist the chance of fried or roasted or bbq locusts, mice, grasshoppers, lizards and the like.
As we travelled down the Beach Road, the sky was awash with larger birds. Perhaps as many as 20 Whistling Kites, twice that number of Black Kites, at least two Australian Kestrels, and an assortment of Ravens, several squadrons of Australian Magpie and innumerable Magpie Larks.
From a photography point of view, the light was wrong and the birds too far away, but the old D2xS on the 300mm f/2.8, stepped up to the challenge. So the big birds swept over the still smouldering ground, or made a landing and picked up a morsel or two. Their friends sat on the fence line and the Whistling Kites kept up a constant call. In the end, we just watched, and enjoyed them enjoying themselves.
A Black Kite became a target for a rather aggressive Whistling Kite and a sky wide battle ensued. At first the Whistling Kite was much faster, could turn quicker, gain height faster and generally outfly the Black Kite. Quite a number of direct hits from above, below and the side ensued. In the end, I decided that perhaps the Black was just taking it all and wasn’t really concerned by the output of energy by the Whistling Kite. It ended by the Black gaining height and just sailing away. The Whistler settled down for a rest on the fence.
On the other side of the road a Black-shouldered Kite busied itself in finding mice for its evening snack.
We also found a large family of Flame Robins. The males looking a treat in the sunshine. But far too far away to do them justice.
As we drove around Lake Borrie on the return home a pair of Cape Barren Geese were feeding in an open area. Really perturbed by our audacity to encroach on their feeding spot, the male gave me a lecture and wing-waving display. I apologised and we parted in good company. Just have to be more careful about sneaking up on him.
With the light finally drifting into greyness, it was considered time for home.