Australian Bittern in NQ

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Australian Bittern in NQ
From: "Ian Clayton" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 02:58:19 +1000
Hi All
A friend who is not on the net asked me to post this to Birding-Aus, Marleen is a very good birder and a long time member and committee member of the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club (TOWNBOC).
From: Marleen Acton
An Australian Bittern was sighted at the Ross River Bush Garden at the bottom of Thompson Street, Mundingburra, Townsville, on the Morning of 17th May while doing the regular TOWNBOC monthly survey.  Those in attendance were Marleen Acton, Rosemary Payet, Roy Heaslip and Steven Guerrato.  The day was sunny and visibility was good.
The bird was flushed from reeds above Aplin's Weir and flew away from use, the bird flew lazily to the other side of a small inlet with 2-3 flaps of its wings and appeared to glide about 50-60 metres barely clearing the top of the vegetation before turning towards us and dropping to the waters edge and disappearing from view.
The wings had the tips and trailing edge dark chocolate brown the rest was mottled brown-black-rufous-gold combination. The buff rump, large olive coloured legs and light yellow under foot being visible while the bird flew away from us. The large light buff earpatch, yellow eye, lower yellow mandible and white under chin was visible when the bird turned towards us.
White-throated Nightjars in the Townsville Railway Shed
This year the first White-throated Nightjars arrived in  the Townsville Railway shed on the 17th March.
There were three.  As in previous years they perched in the rafters.   The night watchman observed them flying out and hawking for moths.  They stayed for three days and in the following days others came and went.  The largest number on any day was ten on the 10th April, they were the last and were all gone the next day.   We only had one fatality this year in previous years up to two thirds of the birds have died through starvation and exhaustion.
Marleen Acton

Ian Clayton
Birds & Bush Tours
PO Box 6037, TMC, Townsville, Qld, Australia.     4810
Phone/Fax: 07 4721 6489
Phone/Fax International: + 61 7 4721 6489
To a man ornithologists are tall, slender, and bearded, so
that they can stand motionless for hours, imitating kindly
trees, as they watch for birds.
Gore Vidal

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