Snake Hunting with Brown Falcon, Alfred

I just about know this bird well enough now to give him a name, so Alfred it is.  I haven’t really met his lady as she is quite hidden amongst the tree with  a nestling.

Alfred has a tree at the end of the Office carpark, and will often be seen looking out over the paddocks.  Such was the case on Friday afternoon.

He is pretty dismissive of the human kind and simply sees them as passing traffic. So its not to hard to move around to get a good angle on this lovely bird’s rich coat.  Almost from the moment he landed, twas obvious that something had his attention. No preening, just a constant scanning. At first I thought it might be he was a bit wary of the resident Black-shouldered Kites.

However after about 10 minutes or so, he dropped quietly off the tree and whiffled down on to the bike track opposite.  After standing on the track for a few minutes, he stepped into the grass and again seem engrossed in an area just near him.

Then.

He struck.

And immediately lifted off with a small snake as prize.  Off to the nearest perch, the fence line, and a few minutes to enjoy his meal.

I am pretty certain that I can conclude that not long after he landed in the tree that he spotted the snake, and then worked out a best place strategy for his attack.  Then again once he landed on the biketrack there was some fine tuning of his planned approach and then finally the single stroke attack.
As Mr An Onymous said, “What incredible eyesight to spot it from that distance.”

Alfred just sat in the afternoon sun, grinning.

Dropping into his well sited lookout
Dropping into his well sited lookout
Alfred and his lovely markings. Looking out over the paddock, I think he has already spotted the snake.
Alfred and his lovely markings. Looking out over the paddock, I think he has already spotted the snake.
Pondering the right moment of attack.
Pondering the right moment of attack.
Ready to attack
Ready to attack
One single movement. Strike, grab and lift off.
One single movement. Strike, grab and lift off.
Closest perch is the best.
Closest perch is the best.
Now to settle down for a well deserved meal
Now to settle down for a well deserved meal
Time for a pose for a photo from his adoring fans and then a break for a little rest
Time for a pose for a photo from his adoring fans and then a break for a little rest
I reckon he is grinning
I reckon he is grinning
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