Mitchell Park, Cattai - Spotlighting.

To: "Birding-Aus mailing list" <>
Subject: Mitchell Park, Cattai - Spotlighting.
From: Ákos Lumnitzer <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 11:02:46 +1000
Hi birders,

My friend Alex Zografos and I spent nearly four hours in there last night.
Started right on dusk. First thing we came across was a beautiful Sugar
Glider then lots of Brush-tailed Possums and one Ringtail too. Found a
Tawny Frogmouth perching on a branch almost at head level alongside the
track; you could have TOUCHED the Tawny, it was that low AND close! Heard
Wood and Pacific Black Ducks and my very, very short playback of a Masked
Owl call came up with Masked Lapwings in the distance. We were carefully
scanning the (half) moonlit skies above us in case a MO responded and flew
above us, but that was not to be.

Sadly, we did not hear nor see any owls at all, which we thought was
unusual - though perhaps any Powerfuls would have been at a nest site by
this time of the year and we never played back any other calls; especially
the Powerful Owl. Behind the Field Study Center there were some really
weird calls, which we thought were the Yellow-bellied Gliders that the
ranger told us about earlier when he came in to reset an alarm and had a
chat with me. Could not find the Gliders, but heard many, scary, shrieking
calls that were almost blodd-curdling on the scariness scale. We walked
into thick scrub trying to locate them. Got close, perhaps even next to
the trees, but still no good and my torch was well and truly discharged by
this time.

Alex and I parted company after a quick drive along Pitt Town Bottoms,
where there was nothing of interest. I invited him to come along to
Cornwallis Rd as that is where I photographed a Southern Boobook on May
12, but he decided to go home.

Almost in the same spot as the Boobook, I saw a shape on a bare branch in
my high-beam. I thought, yeah, that Boobook's back, but NO. It was a Barn
Owl; its ghostly pale color and shape really impressed me, but best of all
it was my very first sighting of the species so my night ended with a big
"Oh yeah!".

Happy and safe birding to all!



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