Friday, 11 October 2013

Cairns Pioneer Cemetery

We were given a tip about a pair of Brahminy Kites nesting in a tree in the Cairns Pioneer Cemetery. When we got back from our day at Kuranda there was about an hour of light left so I decided to go and investigate.

On arrival I counted five Bush Stone-curlew skulking around the graves.

Bush Stone-curlew, Pioneer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

More intriguing was the interaction between a Laughing Kookaburra, perched on a low branch and a Willie Wagtail that clearly objected to it being there.

Laughing Kookaburra + Willie Wagtail, Pioneer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

The Kookaburra refused to fly away and the Willie Wagtail persisted for at least 20 minutes giving me time for a range of shots. Mostly this is just luck as the action happens so quickly you just have to try and predict when things will happen and fire off a short burst, hoping to catch something interesting.

Having seen enough of this, and with the light fading, I went off in search of the kite nest, soon finding it in a fork of a large pine tree. One bird was sitting on the next, almost totally obscured from sight.

Brahminy Kite, Pioneer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

As I walked around the tree looking for a better viewing angle, a pair of Pied Imperial Pigeons landed in a palm nearby.

Pied Imperial Pigeon, Pioineer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

Just as the sun was setting and clouds came over the western sky, the second kite landed on a dead branch at the top of the nest tree. It was so dark, I popped the flash on to brighten up the bird.

Brahminy Kite, Pioneer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

Almost immediately, a Magpie Lark that had previously been feeding on the ground at the base of the tree, did it's best to discourage the kite from staying.

Brahminy Kite + Magpie Lark,
Pioneer Cemetery, Cairns Qld

As with the Kookaburra and Willie Wagtail, this interaction went on for some time with neither giving in.

1 comment:

  1. HI Ian Great that you eventually saw the Kite and the last photo is brilliant. I once took a video of the Wagtail harassing a Kookabburra. Glad you meet John Seale


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