Hope you survived the little tirade in the last post. All is forgiven.
EE and I thought, based on the last couple of adventures to The Office, that we needed to make a quick looksee if the Black-shouldered Kites had settled.
Many will remember Kitty and Kalev (The Brave), and their nesting attempts over the last couple of seasons.
They are fairly tolerant, and as she makes some of the best, most secretive nests, the chances of interrupting her on nest are pretty slim. And he has no problems about bringing mice in for her virtually above our sit spot.
So it was with a bit of an expectant parent looksee, that we turned up on a mostly cloudy day and looked around the carpark. And there they were, clever pair, way down the range, and out of camera reach.
“Perhaps he’ll come over to hunt along the river edge,” says she. So we meandered on along the river bank.
Been beavering away here at the Website trying to find ways to improve the overall look and experience of visiting, and trying to give expression visually to the site’s dedicated title. “Birds as Poetry”.
Sometimes its easy to find clever words to describe a moment in time with the birds, or to cover over the fact it was just another day on the job making images of very fine birds. But that is not the visual feel. And above all I guess my main goal for the web pages.
Been doing as you’ve probably gathered a bit of introspection on what the bird stories should show, how relevant that is to those who have graciously signed up to follow along here and at the same time not making it so esoteric that even I find it hard to reach those heights of expression.
And at another level, the pure old photographic know how and application needs to still satisfy both viewer and creator. And of course in this day and age wrestling with the ever-advancing technology that so readily leads us onward with banners waving from one vantage point to the next, without even taking the time to notice the journey across the plain.
Along with photography, poor writing and a love of Russel Coight’s All Australian Adventure tv shows (skits please), I also offer Tai Chi as another of my dizzying weaknessess. What I like most about this ancient (art) is the definiteness of purpose and deliberateness of movement. And in that is the edge of my photography with the birds, and hence the constant need to find expression of Birds as Poetry.
One part of the family was off to Sydney for a holiday. So how about we leave our car with you and go to Avalon airport? Now the cool thing about saying yes to the request of course is that Avalon is but a mere 5 minutes from the WTP. And well, we’d have to come back that way after all the farewells, and book ins and security checks, and stuff.
So we found ourselves on the Beach Road in the middle of the afternoon on a not too brilliant for photography day. The folk at the farm had taken the opportunity of the change in the weather to conduct some control burns in some of the bigger fields. And off course the raptors simply couldn’t resist the chance of fried or roasted or bbq locusts, mice, grasshoppers, lizards and the like.
As we travelled down the Beach Road, the sky was awash with larger birds. Perhaps as many as 20 Whistling Kites, twice that number of Black Kites, at least two Australian Kestrels, and an assortment of Ravens, several squadrons of Australian Magpie and innumerable Magpie Larks.
From a photography point of view, the light was wrong and the birds too far away, but the old D2xS on the 300mm f/2.8, stepped up to the challenge. So the big birds swept over the still smouldering ground, or made a landing and picked up a morsel or two. Their friends sat on the fence line and the Whistling Kites kept up a constant call. In the end, we just watched, and enjoyed them enjoying themselves.
A Black Kite became a target for a rather aggressive Whistling Kite and a sky wide battle ensued. At first the Whistling Kite was much faster, could turn quicker, gain height faster and generally outfly the Black Kite. Quite a number of direct hits from above, below and the side ensued. In the end, I decided that perhaps the Black was just taking it all and wasn’t really concerned by the output of energy by the Whistling Kite. It ended by the Black gaining height and just sailing away. The Whistler settled down for a rest on the fence.
On the other side of the road a Black-shouldered Kite busied itself in finding mice for its evening snack.
We also found a large family of Flame Robins. The males looking a treat in the sunshine. But far too far away to do them justice.
As we drove around Lake Borrie on the return home a pair of Cape Barren Geese were feeding in an open area. Really perturbed by our audacity to encroach on their feeding spot, the male gave me a lecture and wing-waving display. I apologised and we parted in good company. Just have to be more careful about sneaking up on him.
With the light finally drifting into greyness, it was considered time for home.