Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jardine's Harrier

Jardine's Harrier
Circus assimilis

Murphys Bridge, Queensland, Australia



I was still just a very small child when I loved searching through an old British Children's Encyclopaedia printed in the 1930s. Of course, my favourite section is still, "Birds of Prey of the World". The photos were small and sepia or black & white and the names and stories are from a time when large ships had sails. It was enough to stir my imagination. I remember Jardine's Harrier, the Korean Sea-eagle (just like Steller's minus the white shoulders) plus the Monkey-eating Eagle and pages of others.


I was older when I discovered newer books with clearer illustrations and found the mysterious 
"Jardine's Harrier" was really called Spotted Harrier. A less adventurous name. 

Regardless of its name, the Spotted Harrier is a very beautiful raptor and I recommend the adventure of  seeing one in the wild.

This harrier was spotted by Kay William's last New Year's Eve. I don't mean Kay put the spots on it, I mean she saw it first. Kevin and I were sitting in the front seats of the car and we didn't see anything and Kay was sitting in the back and called out "Spotted Harrier!" Sadly the grass on the side of the road was too high for me to get a complete view. 

Does anyone want a spoilt dog? I'm tired of typing with one hand.







Spotted Harrier

Murphys Bridge, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2013

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Accipiters a Plenty

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

November 30, 2014


Here are some of the results from my walk around Fukushimagata last Sunday. I've been thinking of buying a Nikon D7100 as my full-frame D800 is rarely close enough for the wetlands. Most of these pics are heavily cropped and I've already filled up my 2 terabyte computer hard-drive with photo files in just two years. I usually take RAW files as well but just went down the j-peg path with these...but I'm disappointed with the quality.

Apart from the photos it was a very warm day for that time of the year and birds of all kinds were a plenty.

Today is snowing heavily with a maximum forecast of 2 degrees Celsius so I'm inside doing my blog!



Japanese Green Pheasant

I disturbed 3 pheasants in the long grass under foot...first, one, then I took another step and two more burst out over the water....within two seconds the goshawk below appeared hot on their tails, just failing as they made it to the reeds on the other side of the water.
Northern Goshawk
Waterfowl at Fukushimagata
At first, I thought this largish raptor was a goshawk.
It attacked the large resident peregrine just before I got this shot but now I realise it's a sparrowhawk. Sparrowhawks are not so common in Niigata. 
Northern Goshawk

Adult goshawks are not so easy to get close to, but I saw at least three different ones within a couple of hours.

Eastern Marsh Harrier


lots of harriers too

Eastern Marsh Harrier
scanning over the water for unaware quary

Bean Goose
Mallard

Male