A bit of Behaviour

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detritus's picture
A bit of Behaviour

I've been zipping down to the Onkaparinga estuary in my spare time lately, as it's a convenient distance and pretty reliable for something interesting each trip. Just haven't had the time (or weather) for a more earnest excursion.

Tonnes of shots of birds in flight and on various perches, but here's some more behavioural stuff from the recent weeks. Lots of courting and nest building is going on, and a fair bit of argy bargy between the more cantankerous residents. None of these are new birds for me, but it's interesting seeing what they get up to in the Winter months.

Magpie Lark being a bit unsociable.

And still at it!

A bit of BSK "activity"

Nankeen Kestrel performing the "In Flight Meal" manouevre

The BSK couple squabbling over a rodent. I wish they'd been a bit closer, but I'm glad I could catch a bit of detail. 

A bit of nest building

A fairly disastrous looking Superb Fairy Wren. Not sure if he's moving into or out of breeding plumage. There are still plenty of males zipping about in their finest feathers and a fair few completely eclipsed, so I don't know who is doing what at the moment!

Some more nesting going on. Interestingly, I've noticed that the male seems to be doing 90% of the nest building. The female is generally sitting about doing not much, while the male is running back and forth all morning with sticks and twigs. Every so often he deviates from his court to engage in more of the activity pictured further above, then gets back to work.

Not sure if it was the male or the female who disappeared and caught the rat - I'd lost track for a moment there.

One of the locals was also telling me he'd witnessed the Black Shouldered Kites have an almighty spat with "the brown ones" which I can only assume means whistling kites or the Sparrowhawks. I've seen both down there, but the last WK I spotted was months ago. The Sparrowhawks seem to prefer hightailing it away from the BSKs whenever their paths cross, so I'm guessing it was a bit of a duel between the kite species. Would have loved to see that. 

Anyway, I usually take a lot of posed perch shots and flight shots against boring skies, so I'm happy to share a bit of activity instead!

edit: forgot to link the files to flickr so they could be viewed a bit bigger. They're viewable here, if you'll forgive the shameless plug: https://flic.kr/ps/aF4bq

There's more from the Kite mating and squabbling sequences, too. Didn't want to flood too many images of the same thing in the one post.

timrp's picture

Wow, great shots. I love all the flight shots, you have so many good ones on your Flickr photostream!

laza's picture

Brilliant shots mate

In my neck of the woods its usually the Lark getting bullied so love that first photo

Like Tim , i love flight shots especially Raptors with their in-flight meals

Great stuff

Dont take life too seriously, it never ends well

oconnore51's picture

Great photos and great commentary too.


detritus's picture

Thanks everyone!

laza wrote:

In my neck of the woods its usually the Lark getting bullied so love that first photo

The larks around here have got a lot of attitude. They'll chase and swoop any of the raptors they come across, even the harmless ones like that poor kestrel. 

Sometimes I find it's easiest to find raptors by listening for whatever ruckus is going on somewhere. If it's not a lark mouthing off at them there's often a crow chasing them around or even the wattlebirds will have a go at defending their turf. Must be a hard life having the big talons but forever being chased around by the small fries.

Devster's picture

Agree, they are a great photos especially love the BSK shots.

I am following you on Flickr so have already checked them out ;)

Those Magpie Larks or Pee-Wee's as we call them have a serious attitude problem up hear as well.

They chase anything that moves, except the local Willy-Wagtails and butcherbirds which they seem to get on with.

Even kookaburras get harrassed by these guys.

We have a female that craps all over our verandah everyday and attacks itself in the windows. 

Needless to say, my wife is not a fan of them

detritus's picture

Cheers, and likewise on the Flickr!

Pee-wee is a fitting name for these little nuisances! I also have one that spends the daylight hours hurling itself against our back window. Right where the dog likes to sit and absorb the afternoon sun. Drives him utterly insane. I need to look into a good way to put a stop to it, before the bird bashes its own brains out or the dog's head explodes.

Devster's picture

I used a possum trap with a mirror in the end. It caught her but unfortunately I didn't take her far enough away because in 2 weeks she was back and at it again. My wife was very annoyed.

detritus's picture

Devster wrote:

I used a possum trap with a mirror in the end. It caught her but unfortunately I didn't take her far enough away because in 2 weeks she was back and at it again. My wife was very annoyed.

Pretty ingenious. But I'm not surprised the little bugger found her way back haha. Maybe I'll accept defeat and just hang/mount a mirror out in the yard which it can terrorize to its heart's content. Would solve the window situation, at least. 

Would that be cruel? I'd rather find a way to stop it getting at the windows but I think the only option would be blocking them entirely from the outside. It or its kin have been going at it every day for a year or two.

HelloBirdy's picture

Awesome pictures here and on Flickr. Plenty of action and raptors down your way!

Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

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