Little Visits: A Raptor Moment… or Two

We started out heading to monitor several Black-shouldered Kites nestings, but as the early morning sunhine beckoned when we made it to the freeway we decided a coffee at Gerry’s at the Highway Lounge and then on the WTP for a looksee for robins.

Coffee despatched, we didn’t have any success with the Robins however.

For those that have visited the WTP we headed on up toward Ryan’s Swamp.

A good move it turned out to be as there were a number of raptors working along the roadway.

Our first sighting for the day, a Black Kite among the old trees
A female Nankeen Kestrel was ‘hawking’ up the remains of breakfast. A little furball lump of undigestible rubbish.
We spotted this Brown Falcon ‘walking’ along the road, no doubt it had scored a meal, as it flew to the tree and the next 45 minutes or so we stood with it, as it slowly digested the meal. There is something special about being able to observe this bird, unstressed, and watch its various character traits.
Handsome in the early morning light with dark storm clouds building behind
A number of Black Kites were also in the same area. It looks like full on dogfight, but these big birds seem to love to play about together
Another Black from the same area, and it appears to have nesting in mind.
Yet another Falcon swept in to see what was going on.
It didn’t take us too long to find a pair of Black-shouldered Kites at work on nesting. Unlike most Black-shouldered these were nesting in the top of a dead tree in the open. Here the male has just arrived to relieve the female for awhile.
Nesting hasn’t blunted her hunting skills
Don’t mess with Mamma. She is unhappy about the Black Kite attention on the treeline
More Kestrel hunting. I missed the catch of this one.
A pair of Brown Falcons, they are not ready to mate, but are doing their best to keep the pair-bond alive and bright. He has just swept in from a few aerial stunts to impress her. She is crouched ready to accept his advances. We again spent 15 minutes or more watching their various antics, and after a lot of calls and cackles, they both flew to different perch area to repeat the performance
Hey, I think you look pretty special. Well I can’t speak Brown Falconese, so who knows what he said.