Little Journeys: Meet Spot the Harrier

It has to be said.  They are indeed magnificent creatures.
Totally efficient at what they do, and with an sense of total air control.
We had the good fortune to find one out on near the RAAF Base at Point Cook just recently.

“There,” she cried. And across the paddock in the distance, the familiar wafting flight of a Spotted Harrier rose and fell as it diligently seached the paddock. Anything of interest was re-examined by a turn of the great tail and a flap or two of the wide wings to bring the bird into the best position.

We waited.

Can’t do much more than that with these birds. One of the field guides describes their action as “Languid”.  And it’s safe to bet they are not in a hurry to carry out their meticulous work.

I’m not sure what fascinates me most about them. The wonderful body patterning, or the wing patterns that look like spiderweb, or the stern, but interesting facial mask, or perhaps it’s simply the ease at which they maintain station over the field. We don’t see them often, but the few times we do are alway memorable.

Slowly Spot made its way across the paddock. Would it come close enough, or shy away. They are another bird that I think has the area mapped in great detail. Anything out of the ordinary is either possibly food, or it to be avoided.  Dudes waving cameras about fit in the the latter catergory.

So we stood, nailed to the spot, and waited for Spot.

Must have been a slow food day, but eventually those awesome wings carried the bird in our direction. It sailed along the fenceline on the other side of the road, and… was gone.


9 thoughts on “Little Journeys: Meet Spot the Harrier

  1. Stunning images, David. They are a magnificent bird and wonderful to watch. Can’t say I have ever seen on in that area before. Might be time to get over there – another place to add to the ‘when time permits’ list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi AB, getting a sighting of them is quite rare for us. During daylight hours they seem to spend most of the time propped on the ground among grasses or crops. So the chances of seeing one in the same way as say a Brown Falcon is a bit remote.
      A touch of sunlight for these would have lifted the day completley. Never mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You were well rewarded for your patience and thank you very much for your generosity in sharing these stunning photos with us. What a bird! I am very familiar with my “local” Swamp Harriers so to see the “spider web” is mind-boggling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adam, your recent views of the Swamp Harrier in early light really do bring out a side of those birds that is not often seen, as they always seem to be the other side of the pond.

      Keep up the good work..


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