December 30th – Seven little ducks went out one day

Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus)

As the nursery rhyme suggests, only 6 little ducks came back.

It was a bit of a mystery, and needless to say my mother-in-law was rather perturbed to have lost one of her pretty white ducks.

“Was” being the operative word.

I was headed down the driveway en-route to town when I noticed this bird retreating to its perch. This vindicates my obsession with carrying my DSLR everywhere – I jumped out and fired off a few shots before continuing on my way.

Despite initially being branded a Chicken Hawk, following a small amount of investigation I’ve settled on this being a Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus). Their favourite hunting grounds are farms and wetlands, so one can only assume a farm that is still wet from recent rain is a perfect match.

I read that the Brown Goshawk will nest in the tallest tree on a horizontal branch, and on one of the extremities of this photo (cropped out of the final image), there was what looked to be a nest. There are a number of tall pine trees where this photo was taken, so well worth having a closer look.

So we’re one duck down, but every cloud has a silver lining. The Brown Goshawk is also known to pick off rabbits and reptiles – hopefully with an appetite for brown snakes.

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