The mythical Grey Falcon

To: <>
Subject: The mythical Grey Falcon
From: "Paul Taylor" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 21:02:05 +1000
> Yes, I should join.  In 1983 I found a fresh road kill Grey Falcon just
> north of Coober Pedy.  I still have a yellowing letter from the SA Museum
> prove that it was not a hallucination.

I'm not eligible (boo, hiss! ;-) since I was fortunate enough to have two
sightings on the same day at Nallan Station near Cue, WA.  (Here's the link
to the relevant page at Frank O'Connor's *excellent* website: )

The first sighting was very brief.  Whilst on a morning walk in the area
behind the airfield (Black-eared Cuckoo etc.) there was an alarm call
and the Galahs feeding on the ground dived into the nearest bushes.
Moments later a pale flash of a raptor streaked through where the Galahs
had been feeding and continued out of sight.  I've never seen Galahs act
so frightened before, so Grey Falcon was about the only thing that fit -
but the sighting wasn't good enough for a tick.

Later that day, there was a cry of "Grey Falcon!" on the minibus, and
sure enough pacing the bus on the right-hand side was a much more
obliging GF - for a few seconds, anyway.  Not crippling views, but
more than sufficient to earn the tick.

As far as mythological birds go, my vote goes to the Painted Button-quail.
I've been to several places around Canberra and Victoria where the
platelets were so thick on the ground it was impossible not to step on one,
yet not a single bird to be seen.  I'm still looking...  Prior to that,
it was probably the Bar-tailed Godwit.  Everyone told me how much more
common they are than Black-tailed Godwits, yet the score was at least
7-nil in favour of the Black-tailed until I finally found at the mouth
of Lake Illawarra - on about the 10th attempt.

"It's a bloomin' lark, innit!"

   Paul Taylor                                  Veni, vidi, tici -
                           I came, I saw, I ticked.

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