Last weekend I was in Boorowa, about 330 km SE of Sydney, in a group walking a patch of river red gums on the edge of Castles Creek. There was a high wind, such that the eucalyptus leaves were flying horizontally, not hanging vertically as they usually do. We noticed what seemed to be a very wind-blown bird of prey high up in a tree on the other side of the creek:
It was too small to be a peregrine falcon, but as we approached we recognised it as a dejected-looking Australian Hobby or Little Falcon.
A couple of weeks ago, on a coastal walk, I saw a Nankeen Kestrel being swooped by what I thought at first was an Australian Magpie but turned out to be a Magpie-Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) or Peewee. At the time, I put up a few photos, and these are more from that same walk.
I first noticed the kestrel in the distance over Coogee beach. It came closer and was almost overhead as it passed us.
I had originally put these photos aside, thinking they weren’t quite close or sharp enough. However I changed my mind this week, when I received an email from BirdLife Australia nominating the Black-shouldered Kite as their bird of the month.
My photos were taken last month when I went with a couple of friends to Cape Solander. Walking south from the lookout, I saw a white bird in the distance inland that didn’t look like a gull. I took a few photos in the hope that there might be enough detail to identify the bird later.
I recently saw another Powerful Owl, this time in Centennial Park, and the contrast with the one I saw last year was interesting. While the first owl was in peaceful woodland and quite relaxed, this one was in a park with a lot going on, and was perceptibly more alert and watchful. First, it kept looking towards the café where people were having coffee:
Last Tuesday I went to an excellent talk on Powerful Owls, by Dr Beth Mott and Ronwyn North. I remembered afterwards that I’d not posted anything about my own owl sighting last year.
I had been walking along a path in a neighbouring suburb where I’d been told to watch out for an owl. A little way along I noticed a woman with a camera (who later turned out to be Ronwyn North!) intently observing something. I didn’t want to spook whatever it was, so I approached slowly. A Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) was in the trees. A long-held ambition of mine had just been realised.
Recently I was walking past the Shore school basketball courts when my attention was caught by a particularly shrill chorus of noisy miner abuse occurring in a small tree. I investigated, and as I moved around the tree, a small owl gradually became visible behind the noisy miners. It was a Southern Boobook owl (Ninox boobook).