Ballet of the Black-shouldered Kites

Black-shouldered Kite
Umbiram Road, midway  between Wyreema and Southbrook, Queensland.
August 26, 2011
Nikon D300 + Nikkor 80-400mm VR

Thank you for viewing and commenting on this blog in 2011.

These photos were taken in a 3 minute period, (between 2:41 and 2:44pm) on August 26 and are of two Black-shouldered Kites. I first saw one hovering behind a tree and we stopped the car to take a look. I couldn't get closer because of the fence along side the road and didn't really think of it as a good photo opportunity. My luck changed when the kite looped around the tree and started hovering closer but with its back to me. Suddenly, it flew off in a blur as another Black-shouldered Kite came from behind me and attacked it. The two flung directly towards the sun tumbling about fighting each other. I was too slow and both birds were too far away so I was almost going to give up and turn around when the attacker, seemingly satisfied with the scolding he gave my original subject, turned back and came directly over me. The last two shots are among my favourites for the year.

Black-shouldered Kites are common but graceful little raptors around grasslands in Australia. I am concerned however about the effects of mining on their populations and niches in general.

Have a good 2012. 

A Line of Painted Ladies

Darling Downs, Queensland, 2007
Pentax K10 + Sigma 28-300mm

Some snaps of Cockatiels taken just the last few years. A popular pet, it is nice to see them in the wild. Like many parrot species, they are so social. 

Your eyes..

Apex Lake, Gatton, Queensland, 2008
Nikon D300 + Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR

Cockatiels on a dull day.

Oakey, August 2011
Nikon D300 + Nikkor 80-400mm VR

Mass Camouflage

Plumed Whistling-Duck
Jondaryan, Queensland, August 23, 2011
Another sighting on the August 23 outing with Kevin Williams. Luckily, not much gets by Kevin and he sighted these Plumed Whistling-Ducks taking shelter by this small dam near Jondaryan. As you can see by the pics, lighting conditions changed dramatically by the moment but I think that adds to the spectacle.

Wild Expectations

Bean Geese
Fukushimagata, Niigata, November 27, 2011

Today I met up with my friend, Mr Honma for a day of birding at Fukushimagata, Niigata. I've just uploaded what is a pretty normal fine day's birding there, this time of the year.

Common Kestrel above and below

Grey Heron

Peregrine Falcon

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Great Cormorant

White-tailed Sea-eagle Above and below
...all I could get after a car chase from the wetlands.


Greater White-fronted Goose

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Bean Geese

..More Bean Geese

Grey Heron

Northern Goshawk

Whooper Swans

Shapes of Swans

Whooper Swan
Hyoko, Niigata, November 4, 2007
Pentax K10 + Pentax smc 400mm f5.6

Two common swan species found around Niigata in the cooler months. These photos are consecutive frames taken at Hyoko, Niigata. The Whooper looked so thin after its autumnal migration compared to the compact Tundra Swan below. 

Tundra (Bewick's) Swan
Hyoko, Niigata, November 4, 2007
Pentax K10 + Pentax smc 400mm f5.6