Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Australian Hobby responds to verbal request

I have been to the turnoff to Ampilatwatja a few times this year and have had wonderful bird watching experiences with Zebra Finches in particular, but Painted Finches, Torresian Crows, Crested Bellbirds, Singing Honeyeaters and Brown Falcons also. On my way to Alpurrurulam this time, I stopped off for a quick coffee and a break from driving.

The road up to this point had been pretty hard on the shoulders, (thankfully after this point it was much easier, flatter, and generally enjoyable to drive). As I pulled up into the only roadside stop for 300 kms, I noticed a largish bird sitting on an exposed branch across the road. Initially my main concern was the coffee, I know, shameful bird-watching behaviour! As I continued to get the coffee, mug, milk and thermos out, I noticed the bird was still sitting there. Eventually I couldn't help myself and clicked off a couple of shots. Through the camera I could finally see it was an Australian Hobby. I started back towards the picnic table, before deciding I might as well see if I could get some better shots. I closed in to within about 20 metres of the base of the tree, and still the Hobby just sat and looked at me. Click click click, more photos, and then it fluttered about half a metre from the branch before settling back down.

Normally I don't talk to the birds (some would think it a bit strange) but on this occasion I said aloud but fairly softly "Sorry, didn't quite catch that on the camera, could you do it again please?" The Hobby stared at me. Obviously it thought I was a bit crazy. And then it took off. I followed it as it flew around a clump of trees about 50 metres away, and to my amazement it came back and sat on the same exposed branch. I clicked off some more photos as it came in, alas, wasn't quite expecting it so the blurry photo man returned, but did manage to get a few of it settling onto the branch. I decided that I had probably talked and photographed enough, and walked back to make and drink my coffee, blown away by what had just happened. The Hobby was still sitting there as I walked back. After making my coffee, I sat down at the picnic table and looked back at the branch. The Hobby had gone. Below are some of the photos from the whole experience, I think I'll be making more requests from birds in the future!

Enjoy your Bird-watching!


  1. birding can be an amazing hobby

  2. Amazing photos, Richard. I had a similiar experience with a hobby 20 years ago. I remember it vividly but didn't get the results you did. Super birds!

  3. Wonderful story! Makes one wonder!
    That was lucky to have such a cooperative subject!
    I think you should try that again!
    Brilliant pictures!