Sunday, 30 November 2014

Night bird antics

A few years back it was conventional wisdom that Powerful Owls only existed in the Canberra area in the Brindabellas.  Then a bird of this species was found in the Australian National Botanic Gardens by a group on a beginners bird walk - fortunately led by an expert who recognised the bird and alerted many others.  Many folk (at least 400) flocked to the Gardens to see it.

A year or more later another bird (of course, possibly the same one) was seen in the Rainforest Gully of the gardens.  Again many people went to see it.

On 27 November 2014 a very alert COG member looked up after noticing a guano patch on a bike path past the North Canberra Bowling Club.  There was a Powerful Owl sitting high in a very tall tree.  It has been seen by many people in the following days.  I joined that number this morning.

My first view was from the back ...
 ... and then by stepping into Haig Park the front.
I have clipped the following image from the preceding one to reveal the talons.  This also shows that the bird isn't holding prey this morning.
Hopefully the following description is enough of a warning for any sensitive souls that the link in the next sentence is nature red in beak and claw.  An expert COG member has posted most excellent video of the bird coughing up a pellet and then feeding on a Ring-tailed Possum.

I have not seen this species in the vicinity of Carwoola but have heard one once.  Their call is distinctive.

Also on the night-bird front, our Tawny Frogmouths have been off on tour for a few days but were located yesterday on a roost used for the first time this year by the female during the brooding period .
This is the first time I have seen the chicks split themselves between parents.  They usually stick close to Dad during the day.

They returned to this roost 3 days later, adopting a more customary arrangement.  The arrows are added by me to highlight where the birds are, not indications of Jovian vengeance. 
At least one of the chicks is trying a camouflage pose: he didn't hold it for very long!

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