Raptors (and Plum-headed Finches)

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Raptors (and Plum-headed Finches)
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 08:39:08 +1000
There was a thread a while back about numbers of raptors in a day.

A birding couple from Taiwan who were visiting last week picked up 14 raptor
species while they were with us, not all in one day - but a couple of days
came close.

In the space of a couple of hours on Wednesday morning a pair of Black
Falcons cavorted (there's no better word for it!) over the house in a
wonderful courtship interaction, a Square-tailed Kite came straight over our
heads from across the creek, a Spotted Harrier cruised by on set wings, and
two Wedge-tailed Eagles soared in circles quite low overhead. During
breakfast, a Brown Goshawk did his circling thing under harassment from
local Magpie-larks, and a Collared Sparrowhawk swept through the garden to
land silently on a low branch in the cover of a eucalypt. Nankeen Kestrels
on and off during the day, Black-shouldered Kite and in the afternoon a
dashing Hobby brought up nine raptors at home for the day.

Other birds of prey around the traps during the week were Osprey,
White-bellied Sea-eagle, Whistling Kite, Brahminy Kite, and Black Kite.
Surprisingly, no Brown Falcon!

Denise Moore is here from Melbourne at present, and has experienced
something similar with regulars Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spotted Harrier,
White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Nankeen
Kestrel and Hobby all at Abberton PLUS a new raptor here (and our 192nd bird
for the house list) an immaculate Brahminy Kite yesterday morning. Others
around the valley of course.

On Saturday morning we set off to track down Plum-headed Finches (a new bird
for Denise if we found them). We only got 200 metres, and there they were!
We spent a couple of hours enjoying a small group, wanting to get a good
look at a male bird preferably with sun gleaming on his beautiful plum
coloured cap until, mission accomplished, we took our picnic lunch back to
the verandahs at Abberton - much to Eileen's astonishment who thought we
were gone for the day.

Funny how these things happen - the very next morning at breakfast a couple
of adult, well plumaged, Plum-headed Finches dropped into a gum tree
adjacent to us and flitted around between several trees giving us all
perfect views.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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