A search on the Bureau of Meteorology website, has quite a bit of info on the lack of rain in mid of Australia. See here http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/
At the bottom of the page is a couple of graphs that begin to put it all in perspective.
And as it dries out, it seems, that quite a number of birds are moving south. Or toward the eastern coast.
And we’ve seen quite a change in the numbers of smaller falcons and kites in our area. In the space of a 10 minute drive the other day we saw 14 Nankeen Kestrel.
So we took a trip to the Western Treatment Plant on a sunny morning.
We’d be chatting, Mr An Onymous and I, about the history and development of Greek Drama and Tragedy. And the role of Satyr as a political statement. Among the playwrights were Sophocles, and Euripides, and how they used the stage to create the Spectacle and allow the characters and drama to develop. Anyway, you get the idea.
“The Rise and Rise of the Brown Falcon in Unfamiliar Territory”
All good plays need a title that might throw the unwary viewer in the wrong direction.
Scene 1. A roadway somewhere along the Western Treatment Plant. Single treeline along roadway. Magpies embedded in trees carolling among themselves.
Enter Stage Left. Single Brown Falcon, flying about tree height toward the roadway. Point to note. Brown is flying slowly and deliberately.
Scene 2. Brown approaches treeline directly toward Magpies. Still slow and deliberate.
Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons learned from silence and the actions taken without striving.
Went to The Office for a bit of afternoon therapy in the warm sunshine.
Bernie the Brown Falcon was also out in the sunshine. He is a bit busy as it turns out. He is busy letting everyone know that he and Bernice have claimed a nest loction and everyone, including everyone, is not welcome.
And at the same time he needs to begin to feed her up in preparation. A one-armed flying paperhanger, wouldn’t have it this busy.
Normally he is somewhat intolerant of my presence, and no more so today, I suspect. However, I am pretty certain we are on the “ignore, and they’ll go away” list.
What a difference to mood a bit of sunshine makes.
We were looking for a day out at the Point Cook Coastal Park with Graham Harkom and the Meetup Bird Photography Group, and as usual Graham managed to put on a picture perfect day.
We arrived in good time to find the park gates still locked, and so we stood around discussing the day’s activities and soon enough the gate was open. Just as well we were a little late starting as a few late-comers thought they’d arrived on time.
Within a few moments of getting out of the car, EE had discovered “Brown” the resident Brown Falcon, and he seemed quite happy to sit in the sunshine. Then, for reasons falcon, he took to the air and patrolled along the treeline by the carpark. Much of course to the chagrin of every magpie in the area. So we started with some good views of Brown in being harassed by first one, then another magpie.
Through the gate and along the track out to the Monument, we also managed some Flame Robins, White-fronted Chats and a particularly good view of several Striated Fieldwrens.
From there we wended out way back along the beach-line and found a small flock of Blue-winged Parrots sunning themselves on the fence-line. And we managed to get some pretty good shots for the photographers. Then one of our more alert spotted a flash of red, and a Flame Robin males spent the next ten minutes entertaining us flying from fence to track to feed. He seemed the least concerned by our presence and again it was a photo opportunity.
Add a couple of Whistling Kites, and several Black Kites that seemed quite taken by our presence and made low passes to get a good look at us. Perhaps they were doing a “People Count” or a “Camera Type Count”. Whichever it was nice to see the sunshine glinting on those rich deep brown wings.
By the time we’d made it to the Homestead area, the tide was well in, several Australasian Gannets were working in the waters further out, EE managed some White-faced Herons, and Pacific Gulls while she had waited for us to turn up.
A large flock, (300+) Little Black and Pied Cormorants were working on a fish shoal out beyond the reef, and every-time the shoal moved a large black mass ascended to the air to catch up with. Very impressive.
A walk back to the car through the farmland revealed some more Flame Robins, several White-browed Scrubwrens and a loud-voiced Singing Honeyeater.
After lunch a few of the group continued round to the RAAF Lake Lookout and spent some time at a pond with circling Welcome Swallows. Where are you Rodger Scott!!
Graham then spotted first one, then a second Little Eagle at work over the Lake, and we were discussing the presence (or lack of) Goshawks, when over the treeline a bullet shape with longish tail appeared and at first I’d picked it for a Goshawk, and we were both amused we’d been discussing the same. Then as the bird drew closer, it pulled up its wings in a most ungoshawk manner and revealed itself as a Peregrine Falcon, and it was most intent on making the Little Eagle’s life just a bit miserable. Several close stoops had the Eagle moving on thank you.
Thanks to Graham for organising the day, and to all the grand folk who turned up to add such a delightful companionship to a glorious sunny day. Really, after the past week or so, the weather just seemed to make the air sing.
Brown Falcon, being seen off by an Australian Magpie
Brown Falcon, being seen off by an Australian Magpie
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.