Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 9, 2009

Black-shouldered Kite

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 12:00 am

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)

The Black-shouldered Kite belongs to Family:Accipitridae and Order: Falconiformes and is distributed across most of mainland Australia, mainly near the coast but rarely extending beyond about 400 kilometres inland. They like open and lightly-timbered country and are most commonly seen on grasslands.

Black-shouldered Kite

They feed mainly on rodents, particularly mice. They also feed on lizards, grasshoppers and other insects. The Black-shouldered Kite hovers until the prey is spotted, then glides down in a graceful dive, legs extended, for the kill. They eat their prey whilst in flight or on a perch.

Black-shouldered Kite

They make a nest which is a platform built up with sticks and lined with leaves. Often, the Black-shouldered Kite may use the deserted nest of a raven or a magpie. The female sits of the eggs for thirty days and when the eggs hatch the chicks have soft down covering them. The chicks are fed by the male.

June 25, 2009

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photography 090625

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:13 pm

Bird Photography at Belmont Lagoon 25th June, 2009

Well, this story starts yesterday afternoon. I went to Belmont North swamp and parked at Lenaghans oval on Wommara Avenue at Belmont North. There were a bunch of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters in the flowering eucalypts and a couple of rainbow lorikeet. I followed this creek into the swamp but there was nothing much about. I followed the edge of the bush after that and saw only some Chestnut Teal and Australian Wood Duck in an artificial pond at some estate they were building. It was a major disappointment. I could not find my way into the middle of the swamp so that maybe better. I don’t know.

This morning I went to Belmont Lagoon and wandered down Cold Tea Creek. There were a mob of Little Black Cormorants roosting on the wires as well as a Little Pied Cormorant and a few Spotted Turtle-doves. Further up in the reeds there were some Yellow Thornbill, Brown Thornbill, Superb Fairy-wren and Southern Emu-wren. I could not get any decent photos of the Emu-wrens as they kept behind the bushes and would not come out into the open. I was most disappointed.

I turned right at the end of the creek and saw a heap of White-cheeked Honeyeaters, and some Crested Pigeons. In the distance towards the beach, I saw a Black-shouldered Kite on a dead tree. I walked up the road to get closer, and ended up bashing through the bush to get a closer look at him. I finally got pretty close and got some lovely photos.

Black-shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite(Elanus axillaris)

After that I went towards the peninsula and there were some Little
Wattlebirds and a pair of Striped Honeyeaters. The wattlebirds were trying to get rid of the Striped Honeyeaters but they were having none of it. There was not much up the peninsula except some Black Swans. On the way back I saw a Nankeen Kestrel hovering near the sewerage treatment works. I went over and then say a hovering Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, which was quite weird. I have seen a white-bellied Cuckoo-shrike doing the same thing. I must find out about this behaviour.

Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird(Anthochaera chrysoptera)

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater(Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

The Nankeen Kestrel came closer and was hovering quite close to me and I got some good shots. I was stoked. After that, I went back down Cold Tea Creek where I saw some Red-browed Finches and an Intermediate Egret, some Chestnut Teals and another Little Pied Cormorant. By this time my card was full and I had taken 8 gigs of photos. I havent had time to process them yet, so I will put them in here when I get them done. I had to write this up before I forgot it all. Edit: The photos have finally been edited.

Nankeen Kestrel
Nankeen Kestrel(Falco cenchroides)

Bird Species List, Belmont Lagoon, 25/6/09

Little Black Cormorant
Little PIed Cormorant
Spotted Turtle-dove
Yellow Thornbill
Southern Emu-wren
Brown Thornbill
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Crested Pigeon
Black-shouldered Kite
Little Wattlebird
Striped HOneyeater
Black Swan
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Nankeen Kestrel
Red-browed Finch
Superb Fairy-wren
Intermediate Egret

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