Last weekend we visited our daughter at Clare in the mid-north of South Australia. She was going away for the weekend and needed us to dog-sit for her. (You can read about the Adventures of Nancy – the dog with attitude here.) On the Saturday we went further north for a few hours to visit my wife’s sister in Peterborough. It had been quite a while since our last visit.
I didn’t have much opportunity to go birding while there; just a half hour in the garden before sunset was all. From previous visits over the years I have quite a healthy list for the district, about seventy species in all. On this occasion I only saw a few of the regulars: Galah, House Sparrow, Common Starling, Common Blackbird, Australian Magpie, Magpie Lark, Mallee Ringneck, Crested Pigeon, Yellow-throated Miner, and Red Wattlebird.
One unusual bird I saw was a single Australian Hobby (also called Little Falcon). This is one species I had not recorded for that area before. This bird was continually perching on a high television antenna (Peterborough is a long way from the nearest station) and then swooping down to attempt to catch its prey. At no stage did I see it catch or eat anything. This continued for about ten minutes while I watched it, before it flew off elsewhere.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a photo of the bird as it was about a hundred metres away.