Black Falcon, Black-tailed Native Hen, Needletails

To: "Birding Aus" <>, "Mike Tarburton" <>
Subject: Black Falcon, Black-tailed Native Hen, Needletails
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 21:00:13 +1000
Yet another Black Falcon at yet another location this-morning!

We were south of Rosewood, Qld, en-route between Abberton and O'Reilly's
when we spotted a Hobby launching a sortie into a collection of birds in a
farmyard - mostly Starlings and Common Mynas I think, nothing we can't
spare. After a couple of whirlwind passes, the Hobby appeared over the top
of a stock-feeder heading straight toward us with a catch securely in its

But, hot on its heels, seemingly from nowhere, was a Black Falcon! They
twisted and turned in unison above us and then away from us, two classic
falcon shapes, one seemingly a giant next to the other. Then, as happens
with these magical moments, it was over. We saw the Hobby speeding over a
distant hedgerow, empty-taloned, while the Black Falcon headed in another
direction - with or without the Hobby's prize we couldn't tell.

I've always loved the way Hobbies burst in and out of our lives with such
dynamic impact. I imagine that almost at the same time as they leave us
gasping and saying "Phew!", someone else nearby is just beginning to mouth
"Wow!", as a ripple of energy and excitement pulses along the line of the
Hobby's journey through the day. Now, I'm beginning to feel a bit the same
way about Black Falcons. A few weeks back I watched one harassing Black
Kites, but that was nothing like the chase that we saw today!

A Black-tailed Native-hen popped up at Oakey on Friday, another local
example of the recent irruption of these birds.

More White-throated Needletails at Abberton this-morning (Sunday, 25
November). A very loose group, widely scattered on a cloud-covered morning.
We could safely estimate at least fifty birds, so far as we could see.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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