sec: unclas Collared Sparrowhawk at Edithvale Wetlands

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Subject: sec: unclas Collared Sparrowhawk at Edithvale Wetlands
From: "Tania Ireton" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 10:12:50 +1000
Last Saturday (16 June), Kath Prior and I were on duty at the Edithvale 
Wetlands bird hide from 3-5 p.m, located off Edithvale Road in south-east 
Melbourne.  Apart from the plentiful waterfowl (Chestnut and Grey Teal, Pacific 
Black Duck, Hardhead, Australasian Shoveller, nesting Black Swans, Australasian 
and Hoary-headed Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot) our 
attention was drawn to a raptor that landed quietly on a mound of grass on one 
of the islands.  It had a dark green bush behind it and the light wasn't good, 
but we could get a good enough look through the scope to see that it was an 
adult bird of goshawk/sparrowhawk type.  After sitting in the grass for several 
minutes it suddenly darted behind some upstanding long grass and disappeared 
from sight.  Within a couple of minutes however, there was a flash of wings.  
Over the next few minutes we saw the wings several times as it appeared to have 
caught something or be hunting something in the grass.  It then scuttled 
(there's no other way to describe the move) across an open patch of low grass 
and behind the reeds at the water's edge.  It looked as though it was chasing 
something, perhaps a small mammal.  It remained hidden behind the reeds for 
several more minutes and then flew toward the hide, landing on top of a post 
about 30 feet away, giving superb views of the long, slender legs, elongated 
middle toe and staring eyes without an eye ridge - a magnificent Collared 
Sparrowhawk.  It remained perched on the post for five minutes or so while I 
took several photos through the scope.  The light was still not good and I was 
down to 1/4 second on the shots but, with a bit of luck, I hope to get one or 
two good shots.  The coincidence was that Kath and I had just been discussing 
the diagnostic features of Brown Goshawks.

Tania Ireton.

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