Tag Archives: Brown Falcon

Testing the flush zone at the treatment plant.

Towards the end of my last drive around the Western Treatment Plant we found several Brown Falcons using the fence posts as lookouts for their evening meals. Using the car as a mobile bird hide and watching for nervousness we managed to get quite close to a few. Depending on their age and temperament they had quite different flush distances (no-pun intended).

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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The Brown Falcon of 29 Mile Road

Two thirds of the Elwood Birding Crew aka Port Phillip Birders along with our regional member from up Knox way joined for a day at the pooh farm and surrounding roads. It was cold and grey with dim lighting but the number of raptors along the various roads was surprising and we kept our car windows down, and the heater, gloves and beanies on. We cruised the roads and lagoons, watched and photographed Brown Falcons, Wedge-tail Eagles, Kites and Kestrels. What better way to spend a cold winters day….dont tell Mary.

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Hunters of Lake Tutchewop

On the first visit to Lake Tutchewop on my two day trip into Northern Victoria, we failed to find the Orange Chats but we did find quite a few shore birds along the drying beach and mudflats. Watching them with keen eyes from the nearest higher vantage points were a pair of Brown Falcons.

Brown Falcon, Lake Tutchewop, Kerang, Vic

Brown Falcon, Lake Tutchewop, Kerang, Vic

Brown Falcon, Lake Tutchewop, Kerang, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Lake Tutchewop, Kerang, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Lake Tutchewop, Kerang, Vic

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The hunter’s perch…

One of the best reasons to visit the Western Treatment Plant over winter is the large number of Raptors that can be easily seen.  The species found all year round include the Swamp Harriers, Kites (Black-Shouldered, Black and Whistling) and the Brown Falcons. Several more stop by for a few months to breed locally or just to take advantage of an abundant food supply – these include the Black Falcon, Kestrel, Brown Goshawk, Spotted Harrier, Sea-Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Below are two regulars that I often see and photograph. The Brown Falcon and the Whistling Kite – both perched in late afternoon light on dead tree branches with great open views of the surrounding area.

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Whistling Kite, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Whistling Kite, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Under the watchful gaze of a Brown Falcon

A regular member of the raptors often sighted at the Treatment Plant lagoons is the  Brown Falcon, a striking bird that often perches on posts and signs waiting for opportunities to pounce on small mammals, rabbits, birds, snakes and lizards. Towards the end of our day at the Lagoons last week, we found our  Falcon perched and watching out for its next meal. While wary of us it remained quite calm and unlike many other raptors allowed us to approach close enough to gain a few photographs.

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria

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Emus, Falcons and a weird Giant Koala

During a drive around the various state nature reserves just outside the boundaries of the Grampians National Park I stopped at Cherrypool Wetlands along the Henty Highway. The water level was quite low and I worked my way around the edge of the scrub that ran down to the water and mud. When I pushed through some bushes I came face to face with a family of Emus. I was as stunned as they were but they had better reflexes and took off before I could get my camera into action. By the time I spotted them again they were still running but now on the other side and the adult emu was well in front of his family….the chicks were about half his size.

Emu, Cherrypool Highway Park, Wartook, Victoria

Emu, Cherrypool Highway Park, Wartook, Victoria

Emu chicks, Cherrypool Highway Park, Wartook, Victoria

Emu chicks, Cherrypool Highway Park, Wartook, Victoria

While driving back to camp I found a Brown Falcon feeding on a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. A good catch for the Falcon but very bad luck for the Cockatoo

Brown Falcon with cockatoo, Wartook State Forest, Victoria

Brown Falcon with cockatoo, Wartook State Forest, Victoria

I had driven past this bizarre sight several times in a few days and decided to pull in for a cold drink. Australia has a strange custom of building large animals, fruits, fish etc as tourist attractions. The Koala below had very hairy ears and a cool silver goatee…

Giant Koala, Dadswells Bridge, Victoria

Giant Koala, Dadswells Bridge, Victoria

Flight – Raptors and Terns

At this time of year, the number of raptors at the Western Treatment Plant are steadily building up. It can be a good place to practice your flight photography. Along with the raptors that search the ponds and lagoons for prey there are many flocks of ducks and terns .

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant,

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant,

Juvenile Sea Eagle, Western Treatment Plant

Juvenile Sea Eagle flying over the car and spooking 1000s of Pink Eared Ducks

Black Kite, Western Treatment Plant

Black Kite

Whiskered Tern, Western Treatment Plant,

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern flock, Western Treatment Plant

Whiskered Tern flock hawking for insects near the surface of the ponds