Light-morph Little Eagle over Royal National Park

To: "birding aus" <>, "Steve Anyon-Smith" <>
Subject: Light-morph Little Eagle over Royal National Park
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 18:44:41 +1100
G'day Birders
Reporting in after an excellent day of birding along Lady Carrington Drive - Royal National Park.
Of particular interest was a Swamp Harrier, which took what I think was a Eurasian Coot straight off the Hacking River. It all happened so quickly that I couldn't make a clear ID on the victim, which was scooped up in an instant. This rather spectacular event occurred directly opposite Gibraltar. The excellent start (not according to the coot) to my raptor day continued with a couple of sightings of Brown Goshawks of varying ages and, very excitingly, excellent views of a beautiful adult light-morph Little Eagle, right at the 4km mark from the start of the trail (regulars will know the palm gallery). The bird remained for some time, circling the valley at a height of perhaps 200 metres and calling in accord with their habit.
There have been very few recorded sightings of this species in the Royal National Park. In recent years; I spotted one over Lady C Drive almost two years ago and then a nesting pair around 18 months ago, just prior to my departure to Broome. Bruce Roubin kept an eye on the nest (which is still in the treetop) in my absence and reported that the pair failed to raise any young. I've not heard or read of any sightings since. Regulars in the area, or enthusiasts from afar, may like to keep an eye out for this very beautiful raptor calling and soaring majestically over the river valley.
Diversity and abundance was quite good today. Here's the list:
Great Cormorant
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Purple Swamphen
Eurasian Coot
Dusky Moorhen
Little Eagle
Brown Goshawk
Swamp Harrier
Brown Cuckoo Dove
Wonga Pigeon
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Crimson Rosella
King Parrot
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Laughing Kookaburra
Sacred Kingfisher
Azure Kingfisher
Superb Lyrebird
Varied Sitella (heaps - couple of times)
White-throated Treecreeper
Variegated Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren
White-browed Scrubwren
Yellow-throated Scrubwren
Brown Thornbill
Striated Thornbill
Brown Gerigone
Red Wattlebird
Lewins Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (1 summer lover)
Noisy Friarbird
Eastern Spinebill
Eastern Whipbird
Eastern Yellow Robin
Crested Shrike-tit
Golden Whistler
Grey Fantail
Black-faced Monarch
Olive-backed Oriole
Green Catbird
Satin Bowerbird
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Red-browed Finch
55 species
Regulars for this time of year which were missed:
Topknot Pigeon
Satin Flycatcher
Leaden Flycatcher
Rockwarbler (amazingly!! - put down to hot day and 8:30am start)
Large-billed Scrubwren (amazingly!!)
Grey Shrike-thrush
Rufous Fantail
Australasian Grebe
Cicada Bird
Spotted Pardalote
Ricki Coughlan
Sydney, Australia
"In my hand I held the most remarkable of all living things, a creature of astounding abilities that elude our understanding, of extraordinary, even bizarre senses, of stamina and endurance far supassing anything else in the animal world. I held that truly awesome enigma, a bird." - Fisher
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