Blue Skies of a Winter August

Black-shouldered Kite

Gowrie Junction, Queensland, Australia

August, 2015

(Above and below)

Here are some pics from a couple of outings with Kevin Williams in the second week of August. The mornings were cold but the sky was blue and incredibly clear. The days warmed up and were very comfortable. I certainly wasn't bored with beautiful birds everywhere. 

These pics were with the Nikon D7100 and Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm VR. I think they are nice and clear but I was having trouble framing them with a smaller viewfinder than the D800 and I kept chopping off the bird's wings when they flew... It was the first real run I've had with the camera since I got it. On other days I felt birds in Australia were too far away with the full-framed D800...

Getting back to the birds....aren't Black-shouldered Kites just superb up against the blue?

Thanks for the outings, Kevin!

Australian Kestrel also known as Nankeen Kestrel

Oakey, Queensland, Australia

Black-shouldered Kite

Gowrie Junction, Queensland, Australia

and below..

Black Falcon

Toowoomba tip, Queensland, Australia

and below...

Black Kite

Toowoomba tip, Queensland, Australia

and below..


Toowoomba tip, Queensland, Australia

Guardians of Westgate Park

Brown Falcon
launching from a stone sculpture with the
Westgate Bridge in the background.

Westgate Park, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Here are some photos from the Kodak Photo CD made on May 13, 1999. All these shots were at Westgate Park, Port Melbourne in the 1990s. I don't know why I wanted these scanned. I think they had landmarks. I often visited the park in the 1990s as it was the best place to find raptors near the Melbourne CBD. 

I have many nice memories and loads of negatives and slides. Nothing worth hanging on the wall but I think I have some nice historical records for the end of the century. 

Apart from these pictures I also remember photographing a Spotted Harrier having a dogfight with a Whistling Kite in the middle of a 45C day. Who in their right mind would be out birding then?

I also had a close encounter with a young Black Falcon cutting through the park (winter). Well out of its recorded area but I'd been photographing them a week earlier in Queensland and felt they were following me around.

I watched a Nankeen Kestrel grab an Indian Myna in flight and the two cart-wheeled to the ground. I got two shots of it. It would be nice to find them. The birds disappeared behind a hedge in a business property next to the park so I couldn't go in. Neither bird appeared again, leaving me to imagine the outcome.

Other raptors included, Australian Hobby (regular), Brown Goshawk - I watched being chased away by a team of Black-shouldered Kite and Peregrine Falcon (on one occasion), Collared Sparrowhawk, and Swamp Harrier. 

Pretty cool for a major urban environment!

For more information about Westgate Park please visit: Friends of Westgate Park

Nankeen Kestrel

Little Eagle

Peregrine Falcon (above and below)

Black-shouldered Kite

Fox and Australian White Ibis

Australian Nankeen Kestrel

Australian Nankeen Kestrel female

Darling Downs near Kingsthorpe, Queensland, Australia

March 28, 2013

These pictures were taken on a drive with Kevin Williams back in March.

My first field guide when I was a kid called these Nankeen Kestrels, then my next books labelled them as Australian Kestrels, (which I got use to saying) and now my new apps and books have it again as Nankeen. I usually just call them kestrels when I'm in Australia. It just gets confusing when I want to set them apart from Common Kestrels in Japan, or should I say, Eurasian Kestrels?

Kestrel on a Fence

Australian Kestrel

Toowoomba Cemetery, Queensland, Australia

1989 (?)

 These are old photographs, I think from 1989. (It was 80s anyhow). They were taken with Kodak 1000 ASA print film using my Pentax K1000 and Sigma 70-250mm lens. (I used to call ISO, "ASA"!) 

Pretty grainy huh? I remember I was happy with the top photo and decided to go back to get more shots of the fence. Surprise, surprise when I got back there and found the old fence had been replaced with an shiny new steel and wire one. Pretty lucky to get the shots that I did. I wonder how old the fence was?