Falco hypoleucos  

Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos)
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© Vik Dunis 2010
Mount Lyndhurst Station, SA (May, 2010)

This is not a photograph of a Grey Falcon.

Well, technically it is. That blur against the sky was caused by the presence of a Grey Falcon, but just looking at the photo, it could be just about any bird.

What this photograph really is, is a memento of a birding experience.

I was quietly observing a Cinnamon Quail-thrush on the rocky and tufted grass slopes of a small hill. The quail-thrush was quietly observing me and keeping a respectable distance between us.

In this peaceful location miles from anywhere on a calm and pleasant day, a rocketing sound suddenly enveloped me like the noise of a jet passing and I looked up in front of me immediately to see two Grey Falcons veering left and right as they sped up the slope. The birds were just metres above the ground and seemed to be playing with each other.

I have never seen birds travel so fast and in seconds they were into the distance by which time I had recovered enough gumption to raise my camera and capture this image of one of them.

It was early afternoon and I'd left Larry dozing in the car. He wasn't going to believe this. I headed towards the car at a good pace, the same general direction as the falcons had flown. I could see tiny silhouettes of the birds still, now riding a thermal high in the sky towards the west.

As I came over the last rise, I saw Larry out at the front of the car with camera in hand and looking westwards.

He'd seen them. Not only seen them, but actually photographed them, the little beauty, but he can tell that story.

So this isn't a photograph of a Grey Falcon, though it is. It's my record of one of the most thrilling moments I've had whilst birding. The day I was buzzed by two Grey Falcons.

...but I still don't know how Larry managed to wake up at just the right moment.

Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos)

Grey Falcon