Sunday, August 8, 2010


We were out walking about an hour before sunrise today, the air was crisp but it promised a beautiful day. Silvereyes were abundant, most with the rusty flanks of the Tasmanian race – they should soon be headed back south. Red-browed finches, yellow thornbills, golden-headed cisticolas, superb fairywrens and brown-honeyeaters were all in their usual spots, singing up the sun.

A highlight was a juvenile black-shouldered kite calling from a low fence as two adults hunted the grassland. The breeding season is usually August to January, so these two got an early start. Within a week of leaving the nest the young birds are capable of hunting for mice on their own, and disperse fairly widely from the nest site, so this nest would have been close by. Their nest is generally located in the canopy of an exposed tree in open country, and there are a few large trees standing high above the surrounding mangroves and grasslands here that would suit.

Following the unwritten avian law on dealing with bird photographers, they had moved out of range by the time the light was good enough for a photo. So I filled a card trying to capture a willie wagtail hawking insects on the grass.



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