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.
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.