Birdwatcher’s heaven

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.
– John Keats

Do you have a special place that is so beautiful it’s your idea of perfection? A place where you feel totally happy?

Yesterday I went to my favourite bird of prey place. So what’s new, you say. You go there all the time.

Yesterday, my favourite bird of prey place was more wonderful than wonderful. The birds of prey were more beautiful than beautiful. And I was captivated by them for a full two and a half hours. When I finally left, I had taken more than 1100 photos.

There were more birds of prey than I’ve ever seen at one time. Whistling Kites were wheeling with ravens, and four young White-bellied Sea-Eagles were flying across the road.

A smaller dark brown bird of prey flew over my car. At first, I thought it was a Swamp Harrier, but it turned out to be a Brown Falcon (which was just as good!).

 

A Swamp Harrier turned up soon enough.

It flew low over the paddock on my side of the road, and gave me enough time to get some good photos.

For a change, I stayed right beside the car the whole time. It was a good move, because lots of birds of prey flew directly overhead. Some of the Whistling Kites circled me, or the car, or maybe they just chose to fly exactly where I wanted them to.

I saw a pelican and tore my attention from the birds of prey for a few minutes. Pelicans are some of my favourite birds because they look so huge, so serene and so prehistoric.

The bird of prey show wasn’t over, though. Sometimes there were so many of them around me I didn’t know which way to point my camera. Some of them were carrying odd-looking bits of food (is this hair falling off this morsel?).

Before I left, the young White-bellied Sea-Eagles did some spectacular aerial manoeuvres. Sometimes they were dodging ravens, sometimes they were stealing food from each other, and sometimes they were passing food from one to the other. The sight was breathtaking. I was so engrossed that I jumped with fright when a woman who was walking past spoke to me. She laughed and apologised.

I hope you have a place where you feel the way I do when I go to my favourite bird of prey place. For me, true happiness is watching and appreciating the sheer beauty and wonder of life.

Australian daytime birds of prey

birds of prey

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