The other day I’d been up on Mount Brown (which is a grand name for a moderately sized hill) looking for interesting birds to photograph. The conditions were great, but the birds uncooperative so I gave up and started driving home. At the bottom of the hill I caught out of the corner of my eye a nankeen kestrel hunting on an empty block. It swooped down into the long grass and quickly took off again obviously holding something. So I did something I’d never thought that I’d do. I’ve just been really getting into this bird photography malarkey and have been watching YouTube videos for tips. Mostly British videos, but the occasional American one. I’d noticed that quite a few of the American ones had the photographers driving around looking for birds and photographing then from the car. Well I started to follow this bird in the car. It didn’t go far. It landed on the power lines outside of Marwick’s Barn obviously to catch its breath. It obviously decided that the power lines was no place to deal with the kicking and struggling mouse so it moved to the top of a nearby power pole. So I pulled up on to the dirt shoulder and hanging out of the driver’s side window I photographed madly.
There were no niceties, the kestrel didn’t even both to dispatch its prey before eating – it just pulled the mouse apart. I continued snapping frantically. When everything was finished the kestrel noticed the sound of the camera and gave me a hard stare. Rumbled! With a look of disdain it flew off.
The other day I had to take the car into be serviced in Victoria Park near the Causeway. This meant I had time to kill so I decided to take a walk along the northern bank of the Swan River Foreshore. I hadn’t been along there for ages and there has been some recent redevelopment of the area so I decided to have a sticky beak. These are a few of the pictures I took as I wandered around.
*Swanning around and swanning about mean to move about aimlessly, irresponsibly and in a carefree manner. Related terms are swan around or about, swans around or about, swanned around or about. When the terms swanning around and swanning about first appeared in the late nineteenth century, they simply described the process of swimming like a swan. Today’s meaning of the term swanning about has its origins in World War II, interestingly. At that time, swanning around and swanning about described the movements of tanks in battle, in seemingly aimless maneuvers. The term made its way into mainstream English to mean anyone moving about in an irresponsibly carefree or aimless pattern. Swanning around and swanning about are primarily British terms, they are rarely seen in the United States.