Sunday, 25 October 2015

Bird of a Brown Land

Brown Falcon

Falco berigora

West of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia


Here are three different Brown Falcons that I saw with Rod Hobson in 2014 and in August 2015.

Brown Falcons are the most common large falcons found in Australia. I'm not a fan of their bland name though, as I think they are more beautiful than just "Brown Falcon" implies. Over the years I have seen incredible variations of this species especially in central Queensland. I have seen very pale, sandy coloured birds, one or two like large kestrels. I have also seen all black birds like Black Falcons and red-barred birds that had me running down the street screaming "Red Goshawk". When I was photographing one flying around with a large snake (Altona, Victoria 1990s) I was attacked by its mate. They appear to fly with less zest than other falcons but I believe they are pretty aggressive hunters too. I have watched them in serious dogfights with other falcons and raptors such as harriers.

I think they are true spirits of the Australian landscape and are dramatic and variable. I think they would be better named, "Australian Falcon". What do you think? 

(this is the above bird in flight and below)

Another Brown Falcon west of Toowoomba, 2014. As well as the three shots below.

We encountered this Brown Falcon north-east of Toowoomba this August (2015).
Maybe Flagstone Creek Road.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Hyoko with Billy

Bewick's Swan

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

October 17, 2015

Post Edit: Stu from Hakodate Birding correctly corrected me as identifying the swans in this post as Bewick's Swans. I had incorrectly labelled them as Whoopers. There are usually two species of swans at Hyoko in the winter; Whooper Swan and Bewick's Swan. As Whoopers seem to outnumber the Bewick's most years I usually assume that everything is a Whooper. Thanks for keeping me on my toes, Stu.

Billy and I enjoyed a few hours at Hyoko this morning. I'm keen to brainwash him about birds. The weather was beautiful and clear. I usually wait and visit Hyoko when it is grey and dull in the midst of winter. We found a few arrivals for winter and I enjoyed getting some portraits in nice light. We also saw one peregrine and a young goshawk which stirred up the ducks at the back of the lake.

Bewick's Swan

Tufted Duck

I took a number of similar portraits but I like looking at them. They are all different.

Spot-billed Duck

Northern Pintail


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Red Eyes

Black-shouldered Kite

Kingsthorpe, Queensland, Australia

August 2015

An up-and-under shot of a Black-shouldered Kite as seen with Kevin Williams back in August. It's a messy shot and up-and-unders are not recommended but I like it's face. Black-shouldered Kites are stunning little raptors.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ducks and Hunters

Northern Goshawk

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

October 7, 2015
 The weather was beautiful today and I managed some time off work so I headed where I expected to find some action. This is an exciting time of the year as good numbers of waterfowl return to the wetlands. I visited Fukushimagata last Saturday and saw lots of ducks. Just a few days later and I saw lots and lots and lots of ducks. On both occassions I saw Goshawks and Peregrines but today also added Eastern Marsh Harrier to the raptor count. I also saw a lone swan flying high and calling. I'm sure the rest of its clan will arrive tomorrow!

Mostly Eurasian Teal

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Northern Goshawk

A Northern Pintail in there

Peregrine Falcon

A lone Swan. I guess a Whooper Swan

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Russell Gorella


Little Corella + Galah cross

Lockyer Valley, Queensland, Australia

Another discovery on my outing with Rod Hobson in August. A Little Corella, Galah cross.

It looked like a Galah but the voice was that of a Corella.

Sorry about the post title. There was a running joke in Japan earlier this had to be there...