Br Falcon, Night Heron, D Firetail

Subject: Br Falcon, Night Heron, D Firetail
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:11:50 +1100

Tharwa - Point Hut (Sun 16 Jan)

On my way to Tharwa Sandwash Reserve yesterday I dropped in at Lanyon for a look at the dam. Sure enough a White-necked Heron was there with 3 White-faced Herons among others. As I was getting back into my car, all the birds were agitated and the starlings flew into the air. A quick dark shape whizzed around the trees. Pretty soon I had worked out it was most probably a very dark Brown Falcon, as it sat perched atop a dying pine. I noticed the almost distinct lighter edges to the primaries when it flew by. It then took off and a slower pace heading west towards the Murrumbidgee. Lets say im 90% sure it was a Brown Falcon although its tempting to think it may have been a Black Falcon. What threw me was when perched it was almost horizontal, not vertical as Brown Falcons do.

My next stop - Namadgi Visitors Centre produced Leaden and Restless Flycatchers, Diamond Firetail, White-winged Triller, Jacky Winter, Dusky Woodswallow and King-Parrot. I also watched a Weebill give a very unusual call i havent heard before - a long drawn out whistle.

At Tharwa Sandwash I ran into Lindsay and Rhonda Hansch. We watched a young Brown Goshawk sitting quietly across the river. Every so often it would call. For the time I was there it didnt move from that spot and I never saw another bird feeding it. Other birds seen here were Diamond Firetail, Rainbow Bee-eater, Dollarbird, Rufous Songlark, Black-fronted Dotterel and Rufous Whistler.

Next stop was Point Hut Crossing and the adjacent small ponds. In flowering Grevillea I watched at least 4 New Holland Honeyeaters feeding. I then flushed an adult Rufous Night Heron from a Casuarina.
Several Rufous Whistlers were around as well. In a suburban garden along the large Point Hut Pond I again saw a New Holland Honeyeater and in Casuarina was another Rufous Whistler.

I finished off the day by dropping in at Kelly's Swamp around 4.30pm for a look. I got a good look at a Brown Goshawk. Other birds were a Kestrel and 6 Pink-eared Ducks.
The already mentioned 4 Royal Spoonbill and 1 Shelduck. No sign of any sandpipers though. I also heard both Little Grassbird and Golden-headed Cisticola calling.

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