To: <>
Subject: Harrier
From: Stuart Harris <>
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 16:19:33 +1100
Saw both Spotted and Swamp Harrier at the FSW yesterday evening between 630-7pm. 
Little Eagle was feeding on rabbit on post beside the logbook gate.  At least a dozen Blue-billed Ducks on the FSW.

Stuart Harris

PS Male Bittern also seen flying above reeds on SW side around 530pm.....

"Everything is relative, everything is valid!"

Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 02:42:26 +0000
Subject: [canberrabirds] Harrier

I had a great morning with two lifers.  Firstly, after an hour of patient waiting, I finally saw the little bittern at Acacia Inlet at my fourth attempt.  Despite being a bit unsure about exhibiting such patience twice in one morning, I ventured to the Fyshwick Sewage Ponds to see a spotted harrier.  Fortunately my luck held - I think.
I had amazing views of a harrier but it didn't completely add up to the description and illustrations in my Pizzey/Knight field guide, either for an adult, sub-adult or juvenile.  It was eating a bird, possibly a coot, and, when disturbed, it flew small tight circles around my head and later perched for some time nearby.  I also saw it earlier flying low over the overgrown area between ponds 3 and 4.  It had all the hallmarks of a spotted harrier but it had no facial disc, its face had large light patches but it did have a grey lore.  Its back was dark, with brown streaks down its pale throat and belly.  It did have long yellow trailing legs, a long, barred tail and black "fingertips".  In short, the plumage was strange but everything else matched up with the description of a spotted harrier.  I hope someone can confirm that this is what it was.
Other obs were cisticolas and a whistling kite.  Also, please be warned that a very large huntsman has taken up residence inside the logbook at the gate to the ponds.  I tried to persuade it to resettle but without luck. 
Maurits Zwankhuizen
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