Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Morning Excursion

With rain forecast for the afternoon, I decided on a quick visit to the Peter Murrell reserve at Kingston on Monday morning. Well, to be truthful, the 'quick' part was forced on me by the rain arriving early! Before that, I wandered round the upper pond, just enjoying listening to, and identifying the many birds calling, including a number of our endemic species--Yellow Wattlebird, Black-headed and Yellow-throated Honeyeaters, and saw a few Native Hens scuttling off into the reed beds. I got rather less enjoyment out of the 'domestic' ducks that seem to have taken up residence there. I walked across the crest of the earth dam, noting that the 'resident' pair of Tawny Frogmouths were occupying the same nest site that they have for some years. It was here too, that I heard, then saw, several Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes, apparently a favoured nesting site in recent years. I could hear, Pallid, Fantailed, Shining bronze and a solitary Horsfield's bronze, cuckoos, calling. I spent some time seeking out the Horsfield's, to no avail. On down the fire trail. I watched the local Masked Plovers on the nearby paddocks, rise and give battle with a passing Swamp Harrier, which regularly quarters the area. No sooner had it disappeared, than I could hear the unmistakable raucous call of a Brown Falcon. It flew at speed out of the woodland beyond the second dam, pursued by an equally vocal Forest Raven. Just time for a quick shot, before they both disappeared into the woods to the East. The accompanying shot, (unfortunately shot against a "hot" sky), was the only one I had time for. I think by the size comparison of the 2 birds, that the Brown Falcon is probably a male. I suspect that both of these birds are nesting in this area of woodland, and probably come to blows fairly often.
Excitement over, and dark clouds gathering to the West, I only had time for a quick look for Forty-spotted Pardalotes a little farther down the trail. By chance I flushed one from the bank along the path, and further inspection suggested that it may be nesting in a hole in that bank. Any chance I might have had to watch the site was dashed by impending rain, and as I was carrying my new camera gear (yes I can't resist buying more gear) I was anxious to beat a quick retreat to the car. A worthwhile trip for all that and I thoroughly recommend a visit at the moment.


Duncan said...

Great shot Alan, and about flamin' time too. ;-)

BirdingTas said...

Hi Duncan,
Thanks for the compliment (and the brickbat!). I deserved that. I'm still taking many shots, but making the effort to publish....that's another matter. It's only getting comments, like yours, that keeps me bothering. I really need a website to publish images on, as well, or perhaps instead.

Anonymous said...

Make sure you keep publishing them here, too! We all enjoy them.

(Oh, and welcome back)

BirdingTas said...

Hi John & Shirley,
Many thanks for your comments. I find the writing more difficult than the photography, which is my sticking point quite often. So from that perspective, a website would seem the easy solution, but sometimes the story behind the images, is more interesting than the photographs! So I'll probably plod on. BTW,I haven't forgotten your latest contribution either.

Graeme said...

fabulous photo!!! a really wonderful shot

BirdingTas said...

Thanks Graeme, if you're out there, you can occasionally see some exciting event, and if you're lucky, get a shot of it.