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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Birds of Prey photos - Alice Springs to Docker River - Wedge-tailed Eagles, Brown Goshawk, and a Brown Falcon

As I left Alice Springs early yesterday morning, I thought I'd try to count the birds of prey I saw just driving, without stopping to photograph. It worked, kind of. Along the Stuart Highway part of the drive I was expecting the Wedge-tailed Eagles to be most numerous, silly me, forgot about the Whistling Kites that scan the roadside. I got to 12 of these in the 200 kms to Erldunda. The Wedge-tailed Eagles were next with a measly 5, but I did manage to capture a couple with the camera at very close range about 10 kms before Erldunda:

Wedge-tailed Eagles

I continued on my journey and turned west toward Yulara and further on, Docker River. About 5 kms before Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse, which seems to be permanently closed now, there was some commotion above the trees and I stopped for a closer look. After checking out numerous other species, I heard the alarm calls ring out and started scanning the skies for a bird of prey. A Brown Goshawk was the culprit, and it was skimming the tops of the trees and then crossing the road. It managed 1 and a half road crossing before I finally caught up with it with the camera.

Brown Goshawk

More alarm calls, but I knew it wasn't the goshawk as it had disappeared not long before in one direction, and the alarms were being piped from the other direction. I suppose it was possible that I had been circled but I doubted it could so quickly. Poor smaller birds, they were being attacked from both directions by two different birds of prey, this time a Brown Falcon.

Brown Falcon

In a sense it was appropriate the Brown Falcon was the bird as this was by far the most prominent in number along the Lasseter Highway to Yulara and further on towards Docker River. Other Birds of Prey seen throughout the day were the Whistling Kites mentioned above, Black Kites and a Black-breasted Buzzard. I also heard a whoosh like a jet plane this morning just outside Docker River near the campground, so I am guessing that was a bird of prey also but didn't see a thing despite looking. Another experience for the "what was that?" file.

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