Saturday, June 16, 2012

Australian Kestral and Black Falcon

Spent a bit of time stalking this cute little Kestral which was sitting on an old plough at a mates farm the other day. Got to within about 8 metres from it and was taking plenty of photos when all of a sudden it went from nice and relaxed to low and frozen, not moving at all! Wasen't sure at first what had alarmed it until I heard a fast clap of wings from a Crested Pigeon as it nearly met it's doom to the talons of a Black Falcon! just 50m away! Happened so quick I didn't get a chance to photograph any of it, only a shot of the Black Falcon as it resumed circling after missing it's target. Needless to say with the threat of the Falcon and with me being so close the Kestral didn't hang around too much longer!
Check the photos below and you will see how the Kestral goes from relaxed to in alarm mode right in front of me!

Nice and relaxed a bit of preening even!

Not to worried here!

Crap... I hope that falcon dosen't see me!

A nightmare on wings for a lot of other birds! The Black Falcon after it just missed the Crested Pigeon.

Phew.... that was close! I'm outta here....


  1. Great stuff Chris. Had one at Arid Lands that sat on a light post and seemed totally indifferent to how close I got! There's a picture of it on my blog. Mike

  2. Thanks Mike,
    Isn't it funny how they re-act! I can stalk one like this and get to nearly arms reach from it... but then another bird from the same location will fly at about 50m? Don't know!
    Pretty little birds all the same!

  3. What an experience & great to have the camera for some beautiful photos. I've never been that close to a kestrel - I think of them as a pretty toey sort of bird. Thanks for sharing!

  4. They certainly can be Pete! but i've even surprised myself on occasion how close I can get to even toey birds when I put the time in to do a proper stalk! My stalking technique is: 3 small steps.. 1 in front of the other then pause for 20sec then another 3 and so on, no jerky movements, no sideways movement and most importantly I don't break my outline with my camera! Dosen't always work but for birds which won't come to me like the Kestral it's the only way to get close without a hide! Always a good technique for parrots..