Yes – just trying to find examples in different lights. That pale-dark underwing pattern evident in yours Julian is a good field-mark, although shared with some other species. Confirmed also by HANZAB (notes age variations) and the field guides. The head/bill profile in yours is also a guide.
Co-incidentally below the 3 examples is what was a tiny speck in a long-range photo attempt in March. Not much to go on, but I take it to be a harrier from the shape of that head-bill, the long tail and wing shape.
From: Julian Robinson [
Sent: Friday, 21 September 2012 11:42 AM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Wednesday Walk raptor IDs
Apologies, I mussed these up – the middle pic is indeed a goshawk and not at issue. The bird I was questioning is in first and third photos. I can’t speak for others, but the thing that confused me about it was the large area of white on the wing – almost all the primaries except maybe tips being white. Does look similar to Geoffrey’s ‘c’ image.
Long tail certainly. The middle bird looks to me like a goshawk (a-b), but if they’re all the same bird I’d say more likely a Swamp Harrier (c-e), though at some point you’d expect the distinctive ‘V’ profile to be apparent
On yesterday’s walk there was some discussion about a couple of our raptors.
1. This bird was seen only in the distance at the first property, no-one has come up with an ID so any info would be appreciated with the benefit of some grainy pics. We generally thought that the tail was too long for a Little Eagle and the underwing pattern not really similar to anything really. The white on what looks like all the primaries was quite visible, whiter than it appears here.
2. The two birds we first saw cavorting together at Strike-a-light were definitely both Brown Falcons, easily seen with benefit of photo (here compared with the Goshawk we saw a few minutes later).
From: martin butterfield m("gmail.com]","martinflab");">[
Sent: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 20:46
To: COG List; m("canberrabirds.org.au","ww");">
Cc: m("yahoo.com","horvathhoward");">; JUDY MIDDLEBROOK; David Cook
Subject: [canberrabirds] Wednesday Walk report and forecast!
The editors of Gang-gang may wish to insert the following as a report on the outing to Michelago and Strike-a-Light Travelling Stock Reserve on 19 September.
"20 members and guests (including Howard and Mary from the East Cascades Audubon Society) gathered at the first site some 9km South of Michelago at about 9am with the fog lifting off the hills. We were greeted by Sandra, an owner of the property to whom our thanks are offered, and strolled off to the Northern side of the property before heading back to the Creek and the the house,
We totalled 41 species here and the highlights were Horsfields Bronze-Cuckoos, Diamond Firetail, Speckled Warbler, Brown Treecreeper and - right at the end - a Restless Flycatcher. Breeding records were nest building by Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbills and Display by Ausralasian Grebes on a nearby dam.
After the excellent Anzac biscuits we moved on to Strike-a-Light TSR a few kilometres from Bredbo up the Jerangle road.
A total of 43 species were seen along the Creek and in the TSR. To some extent highlights here were similar to those at Illilanga with great views of 4 Diamond Firetails and 2 Speckled Warblers. A good crop of Fuscous Honeyeaters appeared together with at least 2 White-plumed Honeyeaters. Crossing the road we found some Brown Quail and a Brown Treecreeper disappeared into a hollow in a stump earning itself a rating of Breeding record.
Overall we recorded 57 species."
A full birdlist is attached (please add to the website David) and a few images and comments are contained in my blogpost http://franmart.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/a-top-day-at-bottom-of-cog-aoi.html
Upcoming outing for mention in Gang-gang and on the website:
"The Wednesday Walk for 17 October will be to meet at Urriarra Village, off Brindabella Road near the junction with Urriara Rd, at 9am. Details will be covered in an email tothese groups closer to the date."