BSK Beach Patrol

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laza
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BSK Beach Patrol

Bunbury's Back beach

oconnore51
oconnore51's picture

Wow!

elizabeth

Devster
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Looks like you managed to get in very close. Well done

Jhnkellett
Jhnkellett's picture

Fantastic pictures. One of my favourite birds. Have not seen many here in the Perth norther suburbs for a few years. Only one last week.

They used to be the most common bird of prey locally.

Woko
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Any thoughts on why the drop in numbers, Jhnkellett?

Jhnkellett
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Woko wrote:

Not a clue really.

I used to see them along the west coast highway every day and every couple of kilometres. My local hepburns heights conservation area had a pair of resident BSK.

The only one I have spotted for the past two years is one last week on the west coast drive  at the Whitfords nodes.

It seems to be the same with Kestrels.

The local pair have vanished this last 9 months or so.

I used to watch one search and hover over my backyard most days , but not for the last 12 months.

Any thoughts on why the drop in numbers, Jhnkellett?

Woko
Woko's picture

Has there been any change in habitat or landscape?

Increasingly extensive revegetation where I live means less open pasture land & a subsequent severe decline in Black-shouldered Kite & Australian Kestrel numbers. I  rarely see either species these days. 

Jhnkellett
Jhnkellett's picture

No change.

Where i live has been built out for the last 20 years or more. There is a nice conservation area 100m from my house. There used to be a resident pair of Kestrals and BSK, but not seen them for a good year or more. I have seen Brown Falcon, Peregrin Falcon, Sparrow Hawks all in the last 6 months, but no Kestel or BSK.

The west coast highway has been built up for 40 years. The BSK used to be very common hovring or perching on light poles dropping in the area between beach and road. This is only 20m in places.

I saw an Osprey the other day over the beach and sand hills, near to where I did see my most recent BSK. There is an Osprey nest on a Telstra mobile phone tower. It's strange to think I see more Osprey now than BSK.

Woko
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Most interesting, John. I wonder if other Backyarders have noticed a similar phenomenon in relation to Black-shouldered Kites & Australian Kestrels. 

laza
laza's picture

Down here in Bunbury and the south west, the areas that I hike Kestrels are a dime  a dozen. Little bit harder to find BSK but definately not a rare sighting. Plenty of farming land and in the case of this particular bird plenty of coastal dune area habitat. The back beach of bunbury where this picture was taken  you will normally get plenty of sightings of both birds

Dont take life too seriously, it never ends well

WhistlingDuck

All awesome shots laza -  i really like the last one with the talons extended and ready to grab something.

laza
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Thanks WD,

Though the bird wasnt actually in attack mode.

A gust of sea breeze knocked it out of its  hover and the BSK was using its legs to stablize.

The close up shot above it was also part of the process but wind also caught me by surprise and I only got half the bird in the frame

Suffice to say though I was pretty happy with that breeze :)

Dont take life too seriously, it never ends well

Woko
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Lazy, open habitat seems to be a factor in Black-shouldered Kite abundance although this doesn't explain Jhnkellett's observation. 

HelloBirdy
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Nice close ups. Could the wet conditions inland have had anything to do with it? Could have gone with all the waterbirds

Ryu
Canberra
Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

Woko
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Perhaps, Ryu. I understand the Black-Shouldered Kite & Australian Kestrel both respond to irruptions of mice which respond to the production of seeds which responds to the production of grass which responds to rain. In fact, there are warnings out about a potential mice plague in SA's Murray Mallee following relatively high rainfall there.

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