birding-aus owl watching

Subject: birding-aus owl watching
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 09:26:49 +1100 (EST)

Last night I went down to Royal National Park, Lady Carrington Drive north
end, to try to see the resident pair of Sooty Owls.

I found Michael Ronan and wife already there, and together we listened from
dusk for an hour and a half. During this time we heard two birds trilling
and givign the odd descendign whistle from the tall eucalypts on the bluff
on the east side of the track beyond the crossing.We also heard a few trills
and one whistle from the other side of the creek (last year's young, another
bird entirely?). We played the tape and got a few answering whistles, but
the birds were completely unexcitied by the tape and after about an hour
fell silent (presumably they flew off to another part of their territory)
without our having seen them.

I had heard they were much more vocal and visible than this, perhaps
recently a rival bird has tried to take over their territory and they have
been defending it (in Jan 97 when I was at Julatten, the resident Lesser
Sooty was very vocal out of season, which the owner attributed to a rival
bird passing through).

I would like to know, on the subject of moonlight, whether Sooties, or other
spp of owl, are more or less vocal on moonlit nights, of whether it doesn't
make any difference.

On the way back to the car, on the west side of the track in dense eucalypt
regrowth about 200m before the road, we heard a Masked Owl calling, but were
equally unsuccessful in locating it.

These owls!


John Leonard (Dr),
PO Box 243,
Woden, ACT 2606,

"Remove whatever remains" Rumi

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