Tag Archives: Photography

Spring’s endless demand

Along the Elwood foreshore behind the life saving and fishing clubs is a small grove of mature Banksia trees as well as wattles, sheoaks and acacia bushes and trees. In spring it is a good spot to find Little and Red Wattlebirds attending their young. The Red Wattlebird below was bringing back small insects to its pair of young.  The begging was incessant and is what drew me to the tree from the other side of the picnic ground. It was going to take many visits and small flies to make the chicks happy…

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

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Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

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A colourful hunter…

A favorite bird of mine, that is quite common in the Victorian forests, is the Eastern Yellow Robin. A quiet perching hunter that pounces on small prey on the ground below it, the vibrantly coloured robin is a regular along the tracks I walk in Greens Bush. A while back I counted 7 pairs feeding in their territories along the full Baldry Circuit. It is interesting that for such a brightly coloured bird they build such a low but well camouflaged nest, using live lichen and moss to make the nest almost invisible even when at head height.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest

Wow that guy is good!

I reckon the roo was stunned by my stalking prowess. Usually they are quite shy and will bound off as soon as they spot me trudging along the track with all my gear. I do try to walk quietly in case I find a Bassian Thrush or another ground bird on the path. More likely than being impressed, I think this tall male was quite confident that he could take me so he just waited for me to stop walking and then just ambled across the path and away into the forest.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Ruffled Feathers

On the way back down the hill from the quarry and watching the Falcons I walked along the Pardalote Path to look for any new nesting activity. On an overhanging branch above the path I found a Kookaburra staring intently into the nearby bushes. He ignored me as I walked up and under the branch and as I turned around to see what he was looking at he was dive bombed by a pair of Red Wattlebirds. Maybe the Kookaburra was a bit too close to their nest and they were trying  to get him to move along. As they attacked, the Kookaburra would fluff up its feathers to appear larger and more fearsome. It didn’t really work with the Wattlebirds but did make for an interesting photo.

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Family Falco Peregrinus

On my last visit to Moorooduc Quarry I watched as the Peregrines flew across the water and retrieved cached food. One of the falcons flew to a ledge where I suspected it had chicks. I returned to the quarry on Tuesday afternoon and immediately spotted two good size Falcons standing on the ledge watching me. At first I thought they were adults due to their size but on viewing with my binocs I saw the mottled colouring and realised that they were juvenile falcons. I spent some time watching them and then thought about where the parents might be. I turned around to look up at the quarry cliffs and the tall trees and behind me found an adult just staring at me. It soon lost interest as I was too far away to be a threat to it or its chicks. Looking further around the rim I found the other parent high up on a tall gum keeping guard. Four Peregrines in one site visit! – you can’t get much better than that…I am looking forward to dropping in again soon to watch their progress and early flights.

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

A late breakfast at the quarry

After the Peregrine Falcon took off from the cliff I watched it circle the quarry a few times and then land at the top of the cliff, under a bush on another side of the quarry. It came out a few seconds later with the remains of a kill in its beak, flew halfway across the quarry and while flying transferred the kill to its talons. It then  landed on a large tree branch for a late breakfast. This is the second time I have seen the falcons at this site retrieve cached food. The previous time the adult falcon used the cached food to entice a fledging to fly up to the branch for a feed.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Hunting the Hunter

With every visit to Moorooduc Quarry in Mt Eliza, I expect to find the pair of Peregrine Falcons that have been calling the quarry home for years. It may take a little bit of time to dig out the falcons from the cliff faces or the over hanging trees but I am rarely disappointed. I find my own roost spot and just wait and keeping watching the cliffs and trees. On this occasion I thought I would not have the time to wait but as I was turning to go I saw a bit of movement on one of the cliffs and found the Falcon (below) as it was about to launch itself into the quarry.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

The Peregrines colouring is very effective for blending into the blue stone cliffs.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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