Interludes: Wings Out

We stopped briefly this morning at the Black-shouldered Kite nest in a pine on a now disused piece of road.

The last few times we’ve visited it was apparent that the young birds were getting close to fledging, however as it turns out we were pretty much completely wrong.

When we arrived they were already sitting high up on the tree and one moved from one branch to another with a skill of a seasoned flyer.
And not long after two of them took to the air and circled about the paddock around the tree, eventually returned and settled in.
A third one came by just as we were leaving so it must have been resting in a tree further down the road.

On return the young kite had to run the gauntlet with an enraged Australian Magpie. Unfortunately it happened all so fast and so close in that we didn’t get much of a result, and to it credit the young kite was easily able to avoid the attack. Which further shows they have been airborne a few days at least.

The female turned up and spent quite a bit of time ‘tail flicking’, which I’ve always taken as either a pair-bonding  or a territory maintenance movement. Given a second pair of Kites have a nest somewhere further down the main road, it might be safe to assume she was giving warning that her young were out and about and not to be messed with.

Here are a few from the excursions around the nest.

 

 

Young Kite defending against the Magpie attack. The feathers might look out of control, but I suspect it has set up the feathers to give it both control and the ability to avoid the magpie. A good indication they have been out for a few days.

10 thoughts on “Interludes: Wings Out

  1. Great images, David. Great to know the are well on the wing. I had been hoping to get down there today but dealing with the details to finalise the sale of the business took precedence. I might be able to have a look on Friday, if the rain holds off until lunch time.

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    1. Had been thinking of going on Friday morn, but now that I can travel I’ve an appointment at Monash Uni that goes back to the day of the lockdown in July, so. I’m not taking any chances and will be on the way first thing Friday. (Finally)

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    1. Hello Eleanor, but you do get Eastern Yellow Robin regularly.
      Raptors might be big and bold and active, but Eastern Yellow Robins have class and elegance.
      I do miss working with them. All the pairs we’ve had access to have moved away over the past 18 months.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful action shots against a clear sky David. Love the Maggie’s attitude, it is amazing how intent they become in their facial expression, and effective they are in their endeavours. You did well to get these, and so good you are both out and about again, as we now are again. We had our first decent walk in the Nasho since 4 months and enjoyed an extra long walk catching up with all our Spring birds. I finally had my hair cut today, and thankfully the lady remembered me and how it is cut, so that was a relief. Enjoy the warmth and any freedoms. We are still hoping we will get away on the 1st Nov when the regions reopen, unless our new Premier moves the carrot again. Stay safe my friend. 🙂

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    1. Hi Ashley, it came as a bit of of a surprise that they were so adept on the wing. We’ve been monitoring them every other day or so, and they must have snuck into the air while our backs were turned.
      Good to hear that you can stretch your legs.

      We have been contemplating what to do for travelling and at the moment, at least, have decided that we don’t really need to get much beyond our usual 30km self-imposed limit. Also don’t feel that much inclined to be out and about too far from home.

      EE is fully Vaxed, and I’ve 12 days to my second, so there is no real hurry to go long jaunts.

      Stay safe

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a feast, David. I really miss these birds in Braeside . I’m not sure if the Swamp Harriers or the Magpies and Ravens discouraged them from visiting. Your knowledge of “your birds” is such an asset and a pleasure to follow.
    I particularly like the photo with the all fluffed up and crying youngster. Thanks for posting!

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    1. G’day Adam, we went through a phase of about 12-18 months when the kites were pretty much non-existent. Currently Black and Whistling Kites are also noticeable by their absence.

      No doubt some will be in the area, is just a matter of finding the location. We are I suppose fortunate to have a lot of area of basalt plain that has not been urbanised (too much), so there is still plenty for the kites to feed on.
      However the local water retarding basin has had a family at work there for some weeks now and it is suburbia on either side.

      I gotta be careful that I don’t turn anecdotal into science based, but have to say we have accumulated so much observed data over the 8 years out here, that it does have some significance.

      Keep takin photos.
      We do.

      Seeya

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