Monday, January 18, 2010

Raptors of the Darling Downs.


Back on December 28, 2009, went for a look south-west of Toowoomba, Queensland. The gateway to the sweeping plains known as the Darling Downs. As it turned out I remember seeing the same species in the same area 20 years ago. A good place for parrots and raptors. Unfortunately, the light wasn't nice for photography. (Dark clouds on every horizon). It was exciting however to see the Spotted Harrier (above and below) bounding through the fields. The first one I've seen and photographed in some years. It is a world class beauty. Better on a sunny day but I was happy to see it. I'll get better photos another day.




Above and below: Two different versions of Brown Falcon sighted just 10 minutes or about 4 kilometres apart. Both are females and had mates of similar plumage to their own. The lower one had me going when I downloaded it. I thought it could have been the rarer Black Falcon. I followed up that notion with wiser birders, but all said and done, it is a Brown. The light was so bad when I photographed it I could only see a dark blob but such are modern digital cameras that the image yeilded more detail than I expected.



Below: Black-shouldered Kites are fairly common small, but beautiful little hawks and are a part of the landscape there. (Usually alongside Australian/Nankeen Kestrels).



Below: This is a Brown Goshawk (I think male). He was photographed on the eastern side of Toowoomba on December 27th. Directly overhead, again with dark cloud and back-lighting. -I touched this up a bit by lightening it and uping the saturation.