Re: birds (surprise surprise)

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Re: birds (surprise surprise)
From: Paul Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 19:54:01 +1100
lorne wrote:
> Thanks for the BEST 8 lists folks. Most interesting.
> What about the rarest Australian bird you've seen? For me... Blue-faced
> Parrot-finch/Finch.

Rarest for me would be a toss up between Orange-bellied Parrot and
Gould's Petrel.  Rarest, in terms of rarely seen, would be Westland Petrel
or South Polar Skua.  Cape Gannet sort of fits the latter category, but
particular bird (at Wedge Light in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria) is well

Most accidental sighting would be either the Powerful Owl I stumbled across
at Tidbinbilla while tracking Superb Lyrebirds (< 5 metres away at head
and I didn't see it until it flew from behind me into my line of sight!) or
Bar-shouldered Dove seen briefly from the Canberra to Sydney train near
> What about the hardest to see, although not uncommon or rare? For me...
> Owlet-nightjars... The amount of times I've called them in with tapes or
> my own impersonations, in suburban Sydney, and still never had a great
> view, even though they're twenty feet away, is amazing! I've had them
> fly several feet above my head in the gloom, but then vanish into the
> foliage again. Frustrating, incredibly elsuive, but terrific!

Most frustrating bird at present is the Plumed Whistling-Duck that turned
up in Canberra this year - many attempts, no success.  Ditto for Painted
Button-Quail which are fairly regular around Canberra; I have heaps of
platelet sightings, though.  Up until last year, Bar-tailed Godwit was my
nemesis - supposedly more common than the Black-tailed Godwit, yet I had
these several times and not a peep of the Bar-tailed.  Finally tracked them
down at the mouth of Lake Illawarra last year, so no doubt they'll be all
over the place now.  :)

Brush Cuckoo is my most difficult to see again bird - saw one at the end of
my first year in Canberra, but have failed to see another since; Powerful
Owl is another in this category.

Paul Taylor

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