Mitchell Park, Cattai - Spotlighting.

To: "Birding-Aus mailing list" <>
Subject: Mitchell Park, Cattai - Spotlighting.
From: "Tony Palliser" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 11:36:17 +1000
Just out of interest, following your note regarding Cattai NP.  I was there 
myself early on Sunday 31-May-09 and although I didn't come across anything 
nocturnal  I was rather surprised to see a Grey Goshawk - which is a bird I see 
very rarely around Sydney

I too drove around Pitt Town bottoms in the hope of finding a few 
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin but no luck there - in fact now I come to think of 
it I haven't seen any of these around for a long time now.  Loads of double 
bars though, which was particularly pleasing.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Ákos Lumnitzer
Sent: Wednesday, 3 June 2009 11:03 AM
To: Birding-Aus mailing list
Subject: Mitchell Park, Cattai - Spotlighting.

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 

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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