Tag Archives: Whistling Kite

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

Nervous Birds at the Pooh Farm

Over the last 3 months I have been making regular visits to the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee, near the Avalon Airport. The local fields, irrigated by the recycled and treated water have recently been harvested and ploughed. This has brought many Raptors to the   WTP particularly Whistling and Black Kites. These two species are regular visitors and resident at the lagoons and nearby fields anyway but huge numbers have come in including many juveniles. We also found a nice pair of Musk Ducks  – the male has a large bill lobe that becomes inflated in the mating season. The two below were happily sunning themselves in one of the overflow canals.

Juvenile Black Kite, WTP, Victoria

Juvenile Black Kite, WTP, Victoria

Whistling Kite, WTP, Victoria

One of dozens of Whistling Kites on the prowl

White Fronted Chat, WTP, Victoria

Nervous and very wary White Fronted Chat

Musk Ducks, WTP, Victoria

A female (left) and Male Musk Ducks

Female Musk Duck, WTP, Victoria

Female Musk Duck

Female Musk Duck, WTP, Victoria

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Nesting Season at Werribee

As the migrating shore birds slowly build up in numbers at the Western Treatment Plant lagoons, I have been making a series of visits with a few friends to watch and photograph the spring nesting. There are many species building nests and raising young. The highlight was finding two separate Brolga nests.

Swan nesting, Western treatment plant

Swan nesting, Western treatment plant

Swan nesting, Western treatment plant

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Nesting House Sparrows, Western treatment plant

Nesting House Sparrows

Masked Lapwing nesting, Western treatment plant

Masked Lapwing nesting – I was a bit worried about this nest, the water rose quite high after a good rain fall a day earlier.

WHistling Kite nesting, Western treatment plant

Whistling Kite nesting

Whistling Kite guard, Western treatment plant

Whistling Kite  – on guard duty a tree away

Whistling Kite guard, Western treatment plant

Whistling Kite guard

Nesting Brolga, Western treatment plant

Nesting Brolga – two large eggs on a small island in a lagoon.

Flight

A few images from one of the recent visits I have made to the Western Treatment Plant in the last month. It is a great place to photograph birds in flight – always a tough subject. There are many raptors always on the prowl that are constantly spooking the flocks on the water giving you opportunities to practice. The reaction of the flocks tell you that something good is above and you have to quickly spin around and look for the raptor that is causing the fuss. Some are ignored like the Black Shouldered Kite and others are taken very seriously – like the large mature Whistling Kites.

Click image to enlarge.

Pink Eared Ducks,  Western Treatment Plant

Large flock of Pink Eared Ducks (aka Zebra Duck), Western Treatment Plant – one of my favourite ducks  – very photogenic and quite strange looking, and no other Aussie duck sounds like it.

Black Shouldered Kite, Western Treatment Plant

Black Shouldered Kite on the hunt – beautiful wing structure and displaying its black shoulder.

Whiskered Tern,  Western Treatment Plant,

Whiskered Tern – two were flying and hunting along the lagoons and one would keep dive-bombing the other. This pic is of the lower tern avoiding its hunting partner that had just dived past it.

Black Kite, Western Treatment Plant

Black Kite – a different angle

Whistling Kite,  Western Treatment Plant,

Whistling Kite prowling the lagoons.