Monday, December 6, 2010

Tell me about the Peregrine, Uncle Pete!

You haven't heard Uncle Pete tell his peregrine falcon story? was like this......!

We had all gone to the Gold Coast with the original intention of running in the 2008 Gold Coast Marathon. Injury had interfered with my training and I had pulled out of the race weeks earlier but we still went for the holiday.

On the day of the big race we were watching some of the leading runners from our 24th floor apartment.
7:02:58 AM, 6th July 2008


What was that? It sounded really close! Sure enough perched on a ledge was this impressive bird. My first thought was that it was distressed and there were legs and feathers sticking out where there shouldn’t be. Was it hurt?
7:03:03 AM


Looking straight at me now I realised that the call was full of ferocity and venom. This bird was perfectly healthy and in fact had just killed (or was still killing?) its prey.

“Wow! What did you do?” was like this...I changed lenses of course.

7:03:39 AM
Anyway then a pied butcherbird arrived on the scene behaving in a distressed manner and shortly the peregrine falcon took off with it’s kill heading inland from the coast. The butcherbird flew after in an uncertain, half hearted sort of way.
7:04:13 AM

More about the pictures:
  • In the second one you can see one of the Marathon runners competing!
  • I have only just noticed the peregrine's blood-smeared bill in the zoomed in picture!
  • The bereaved butcherbird cuts a forlorn figure on the ledge above. It cannot change a thing!
Someone in San Jose California has uploaded photos to Flickr of a much love metropolitan peregrine family. They have photos of Mum doing a mid air transfer of dinner to one of the kids:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gulls & their lippie

The adult Pacific Gull always seems to be able catch my eye due to it's size and striking markings. I enjoyed photographing this one at the Forrest Caves beach in November.

The adult birds give the impression that they have overdone their lippie....

One day I noticed a similar gull that had really dodgy lippie - only the lower bill tip had been done. This is actually a Kelp Gull. You'll have to take my word that the picture below is of a Kelp Gull (Port Fairy, 2009).

In these parts, the Kelp Gull is much less common than the Pacific Gull but now I always find myself looking twice!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Swan Lake

It was all happening with lots of water, courting, nesting & cygnets at Swan Lake, Phillip Island.

Catching a lift with Mum (or is it Dad?)*

* I have since read (Pizzey & Knight): "Male: bill and neck longer & straighter". So I guess it is Mum that is providing the ferry service!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


The silver princess is flowering and word has got around. When the noisy miners let them, we are getting close encounters with rainbow lorikeets in the front yard!

Rainbow Lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus