Night blitz

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Subject: Night blitz
From: "Overs, Anthony (REPS)" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 16:16:12 +1100

I spent my blitz weekend doing night surveys on Saturday and Sunday nights.

I particularly wanted to find Powerful Owl in the ranges, and Australian Owlet-nightjar or Barn Owl lower down.

Saturday evening I headed up to the hills. I started up at the Mt Aggie walk carpark with a 20 minute count before sunset. I picked up Yellow-faced and White-eared Honeyeaters, a pair of very confiding Flame Robins feeding a dependent young, a Spotted Quail-thrush and a Superb Lyrebird singing madly about 30m into the regrowth. After dark I did some call playback for various nocturnal species at several locations along the Mt Franklin Rd and down below Piccadilly circus. There were many Southern Boobooks throughout the ranges. Each time I stopped and got out of the car I could hear a boobook, and didnt need to do any playback. At two locations there were three birds calling to each other! I stopped a couple more times lower down and then made my way up to Corin Dam, stopping at regular intervals. Nothing but boobooks up there too.

Sunday evening I went south and started my nights surveys at the Mt Clear campground. I stopped at a few places along the way back, picking up the odd boobook here and there. No sign of Barn Owls anywhere on the drive back to town. I then went to Cooleman Ridge to try some playback on the White-throated Nightjar. No response. I guess Tobiass bird has moved on. My last spot was Campbell Park where I picked up more boobooks and a single Australian Owlet-nightjar.

So, no Powerful Owls in the ranges. But not the best time of year for playback for them. I think we need a more substantial attempt at finding Powerful Owls in the ranges, maybe in April and over consecutive nights. Well need a few more volunteers for that one!

I must say I was a little disappointed at the lack of interest amongst members in doing night surveys (i.e. not a single person!). Were you all too tired from your diurnal blitzing? Hopefully there will be more people interested next year.



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