This will be a bit different – I will try to tell a story. There will be a lot of images and I will probably have to fix up the formatting a few times. The Vasse Wonnerup wetlands are between Busselton and the Geographe Marina, and just inland. The main road goes past – you have wetlands on one side, and housing on the other. These wetlands are recognized internationally, but normally you just drive past. Today I stopped and took these images from the side of the road. (Click on these thumbnails to get the larger images).
You can see that these trees are home to a lot of birds, mainly the Australian White Ibis and the Straw necked Ibis.
This image shows that babies are not brought by the stork, but by Ibis’s! (actually it is just another bird in the background, but why let a few facts spoil a good story!
A few shots of the general area shows what is going on – lots of birds and some nice views.
This is another shot of the area.
I noticed this Whistling Kite flying around and followed him.
He landed near a White Bellied Sea Eagle who had killed some small bird and was eating it. He obviously wanted to get the left overs. There were other onlookers who had similar idea’s.
The Whistling Kite wasn’t the only bird after the scraps.
The Whistling Kite gave up for a while and left, but returned soon after.
At this point the White Bellied Sea Eagle started to get restless – I think he thought there were better food opportunities nearby.
At this stage the Sea Eagle left and hunted more prey. The Whistling Kite and others then tried to move in on his scraps. The Whistling Kite had to establish his right to the food.
The Ibis’s thought they were in with a chance for the scraps, but the Whistling Kite was having none of that.
After this the Whistling Kite joined up with some mates and went hunting.
I mentioned earlier that these are frequent visitors to our place. Here is another shot of one, presented a little bit differently.
We often get the square tailed kites flying over our property, looking for food. We lose 1-2 chooks a year to them. Once we had been to Perth, and when we returned we found this one in the chookyard. He had partly eaten a chook, but couldn’t get out of the yard because the fences were too high. Apparently they are like a jumbo jet, and need a long runway to take off. I wasn’t sure how to get him out off the yard – they have very powerful beaks and claws and could do a lot of damage. With no particular plan in mind I threw a towel over him (or her?) and he promptly went to sleep – out cold. I was able to pick him up, put him under my arm and carry him out of the yard. He didn’t stir at all. Once outside I took the towel off. He woke up, blinked his eyes, and took off.
It was an incredible experience handling a bird like that, one I will never forget.
I am in awe of these guys when they are out in conditions like this. The wind was well over 30 knots, and it was a freezing cold day with occasional squalls coming through.