The Return of the Black-shouldered Kite

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Woko
Woko's picture
The Return of the Black-shouldered Kite

Before our revegetation on the south eastern slopes of the Mt Lofty Ranges in SA I regularly saw Black-shouldered Kites & Australian Kestrels patrolling the grasslands. As the trees & shrubs matured these raptors were rarely seen.

About four years ago I began to see signs of what have turned out to be Australian Swamp Rats. Now there are frequent sightings of Swamp Rats. Their holes & galleries are all over the property. And lo & behold for the last three weeks a Black-shouldered Kite has been observed most days. Today a Black-shouldered Kite rose from the grass about four meters from where I was walking. On investigation I found the fur & intestinal remains of an Australian Swamp Rat. 

Ain’t nature grand? 

ajanderson25@ho...
Ashley Anderson's picture

Good to hear!

If you remember, our local patch had been revegetated over the last decade or so too. 

BSK and Kestrels are regulars there and watching them hunting is amazing at times.

Saw a Kestrel ACCELERATE into a dive to the ground and bounce back up a foot or so. Was quite amusing!

(Ground being marshland/reed matting).

Woko
Woko's picture

Yesterday there was an Australian Kestrel about the place, another species which has declined markedly since our revegetation got under way about 30 years ago. Not only that but I notice Southern Boobook calls are more consistent over the last couple of years. I strongly suspect a connection between the general reappearance of these birds & the presence of the Swamp Rats. 

ajanderson25@ho...
Ashley Anderson's picture

Agreed. 

Bandicoot are plentiful here, though probably generally too large for these two species.

Many other small furry animals, lizards and frogs abound as well.

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