Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some days ...

... your luck's in.

G'day Readers,
Yesterday, on my way back from DF's in Maffra, I just happened to be passing the Glenmaggie Flora Reserve. People who know the area will appreciate that is a little off route, but that's another story.

The reserve is situated in a bit of dry Box - Ironbark country and it has a small waterhole in the centre that sometimes concentrates the birds if there is some water in it. A little recent rain made me think it was worth a chance!

My first bit of luck came as I slowly moved down the track and was followed by a Grey Fantail. I'm guessing there was a nest nearby, as he kept his eye on me for some distance. The luck bit was that from time to time, he sat still enough for a picture. I seem to manage lots of pictures of twigs that a grey-fan was sitting on moments before.

The second bit of luck came straight away. While I was sneaking about quietly trying for the fantail shot, I sensed the presence of a raptor overhead. The track is fairly overgrown and there was only a narrow view of the sky, and I only got occasional views of it as it disappeared from one side to the other. I managed a quick shot or two and discovered when I enlarged on the screen that it was a Square-tailed Kite.

This bird is described as widely but thinly distributed and rather uncommon. The barring right out near the fingertips, palish head and of course the square tail are good identifiers. Just for comparison, here's a recent shot of the far more common Whistling Kite ...

A third lucky break happened a little earlier in the day when I was spraying some greens. As I approached the 18th, a pair of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flew out of a nearby tree. I followed them from tree to tree for a little and finally managed to get off some shots.

While I'm in an educational mood, this second shot is helpful in showing the difference in the sexes. The male has a duller cheek patch than the female and his eye ring is reddish and hers is grey.

("There will be a test next week". Strewth, that brings back memories).

PS: My luck has just run out - Blogger won't let me change to my favourite font!?


  1. You've done well Gouldiae, notable to see a STK in our area let alone photograph one.

  2. Hi Gouldiae your not alone we all have photos of sticks where once a bird sat great photos.

  3. Good kite find. Prompts note of caution for raptor chasers. Beware ID solely on square tail. Just today saw Black Kite with very squared tail. Not too uncommon.

    But I'm not standing for sitting tests!!!

  4. G'day Eileen,
    Thanks, and thanks for dropping in for a look.