Snapshots: Think Local

I know, the think global, act local is all the rage in some politically correct circles.

We have been thinking locally the past week or so. Partly because of the weather— finally getting the rain we desperately need. And also strong winds, which we could do without. 85kph gusts the other day. Seriously, if you can’t stand up in it why go out.

EE and I have had need to visit the local medical area at Werribee Hospital precinct. As it turns out, my Flickr mate David Nice, has several good areas mapped out in the area.  With Kestrels, Brown Falcon, and Little Eagles, and ‘alleged’ Black-shouldered Kites.;-)

So after the serious stuff, and the coffee in the cafe area, to recover, we’ve been sitting in the car along a couple of the roads by the local paddocks to see what is happening. Now tis true we don’t have the bird Karma of David N. but I do have EE, and that is about the best advantage I can offer.

Oh, she cries, Black-shouldered Kites,  I scan. Nothing. I scan more. Still nothing, I point the Bushnells across the sky. Nothing.
Ok, saith I, Where?
Over there, beyond those trees. What she actually means is in the next suburb! Bushnells finally lock on. Yep, those two insignificant dots, could be Black-shouldered Kites. I retire defeated.

“On the left”, the cry goes up.  Turning in my best Tai Chi move, I make a brush knee move to the left, and sure enough, as I swing up the camera, there is David’s friend, ” Georgia” the Kestrel, lining up for a hunt.  So we spent the next few minutes in the area, and saw her making a number of catches, crickets or the like, I suspect.
She then lucked out with a mouse, then another, which she stashed near a rock, and as we were geting ready to move, she flashed by with a third one, to land on the buildings in the medical precinct.  Not sure where she went with it after that.

We then moved further south, and found a male Kestrel hunting in the paddocks near the Uni.  At one point he was about three metres above the median strip on the roadway, with cars ripping past on both sides.  My heart was in my mouth. No luck, so he too moved on.

Found Arthur the Brown Falcon at work in the fields again. Every time he got airborne, the local Magpie squadron took him out, so he was contented to hunt mostly among the tall grasses and roadside.

And just as the light was going to be captured by thick dark clouds, a Little Eagle drifted overhead, and it too moved further over the freeway.

Think local does have benefits.

Locked on
Lift off.
What are you doing in MY paddock. Inquisitive Willie Wagtail just has to know.
Male, levelling into position
Little Eagle
Little Eagle on a close pass
Nankeen Kestrel, (M), hunting on a roadside verge. He is only a few metres from traffic both ways.
Arthur the Brown Flacon. He had been sitting on the fenceline for about 10minutes. Then just dropped the couple of metres.
Hard to know what he caught, but after a few minutes contemplation, he moved on.
Georgia with a mouse. She will prepare it, then take it across the paddock and tuck it away under some stubble for later on.
Her lunch is tucked away for later.

Georgia with a second mouse. She will fly to the buildings on the far side of the road.
Georgia with the second mouse. I’m unsure what she was going to do with this one, but she disappeared behind the buldings. And we headed for home.

10 thoughts on “Snapshots: Think Local

  1. Looks like a good time on ‘the patch’, David. Georgia knows that paddock so well! She has a couple of spots around the medical centre and St. Vinnies that she ‘hides’ in when the BsK’s/Ravens/Maggies harass her. I have watched Harry do the median strip thing with heart in mouth too! The BsK’s come and go, best to keep an ear out for them. I often hear them long before I see them! Art does get a hard time from the Maggies, I guess that is why he has taken to perching on the freeway lights a way off!
    Plenty of Pipits in the Sneydes Rd Paddock this week too but I haven’t seen the Cisticolas. The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes have settled in the trees over near the bike trail now, about a dozen of them and the Red-browed Finches are working the drain with the Fairywrens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was actually nice to get a bit of sunshine for the latter part of the morning. Its a bit of a tight space for Kestrels and Black-shouldered Kites to be at work. I wonder how the rain affects the mice population.


  2. A great host of raptor shots David. Good capture of the LIttle Eagle I am yet to see, and capture of Kestril with mouse great! I am itching to get to Werribee but my wife is not ready yet to go, there are other things on the agenda. The Brown Falcon wing pattern is one of my favourite, need to revisit the Capertee Valley to see them again. Enjoy the remaining week!


  3. G’day AB. Should you venture down sometime, we’d be happy to chaperone around the WTP. A magic place. Not always filled with birds, but on a good day there can be quite a variety of raptors and water birds.
    These were shot much closer to home, and its just fortunate that the building expansion, freeway development and sports/activity areas are surrounded by some workable open paddocks because of the farming research station in the area.

    Browns are the birds I started my raptor journey in photography with, and as a litle kid ‘spotting’ them on the roadside on family drives.


  4. G’day David and thanks for another vivid story. It’s a treat on this rather gloomy Saturday. I enjoyed the shots too, especially the one with Georgia dancing on line with the mouse (not sure if the mouse was dancing with Georgia ;-).
    This is really amazing that you could photograph so many raptors in that medical precinct. David Nice’s mapping is really spot on. Stay warm.


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