Br Falcon & BlFa

To: <>
Subject: Br Falcon & BlFa
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 00:27:44 +1100
Hi Marnix,
I don't know about any difference between those two falcon species as to whether they perch "horizontal" or "vertical". I think the Black Falcon has a upright stance (but I have seen them flying much more than perched). However there is a big difference in the length of the exposed part of the leg. When perched on a tree or similar (powerpoles etc) the Brown shows much longer unfeathered legs and perches high, whereas the Black has shorter legs and perches low. However that has nothing to do with whether it is "horizontal" or "vertical". However, if perched on the ground, I suppose a Black Falcon's short legs and long wings and tail, may need them to be more horizontal than a Brown Falcon perched on the ground. 
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, 17 January 2005 11:12
Subject: [canberrabirds] Br Falcon, Night Heron, D Firetail

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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