Was down at the Werribee River Park, otherwise known euphemistically as “The Office”.
Happened to wander, (not necessarily accidentally), while looking for a quartet of male Flame Robins, into a Brown Falcon territory. This pair worked around the area last year and were able to fledge two fine looking young birds.
I first heard this one off in the distance, but then noted it was making a run along the tree line directly toward me. Whether intentionally or not, it used the cover of the tree line to get quite close before launching out into the open straight toward me.
Early on in my bird photography career, I used to have the opportunity to photograph a very comfortable pair of Brown Falcons out on the Cumberland grasslands at Woodlands Historic Park. Often they would sit while I approached, or come in for a closer look as I traversed the grasslands. However all that changed when she went to nest, and I’ve some pretty awesome photos of a Brown Falcon that passed overhead so close I could hear her go by. She also on another occasion fly down behind a stand of trees, picked up speed with the wind behind her and belted out of the treeline about head height,(mine not hers), and I have visions still of a brown streak coming at me at around 70+kph. I took the hint and retreated.
Yet once the young were fledged they again went back to being quite relaxed.
So as this one bore down on me, I had a as Yogi Bera was wont to say, “Here comes that De Ja Vu feeling again.” As it approached I was impressed with the bird’s ability to turn its wings and body in the air, and to keep her head level.
It passed by gaining height as it went over my head, turned and I thought for a moment it might ‘stoop’ me as that is their way of dealing with intruders. But, it was a simple one time pass, and the bird streaked away across the paddock.
As I left I found it sitting on a wire fence, completely ignoring me it went about its hunting business. I’m happy with the ignore, and I hope that it might mean a beginning of working with the bird a little more closely. Time will, as they say, will tell.