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From: "Bill Jolly" <>
To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Looking for raptors
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 17:03:34 +1000
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With John Hadley and Rosalie Rudduck, I spent several hours yesterday
looking for raptors in the Lockyer Valley as part of the Toowoomba Bird
Observers annual raptor count.

We couldn't cover every nook and cranny in one short winter's day, but 
did encounter 65 individual raptors of 9 species. Several other teams no
doubt had similar success in other parts of the Toowoomba club's study 
and perhaps I can report back later on the overall count.

Three Swamp Harriers, 4 White-bellied Sea-eagles and 17 Whistling Kites 
at the various water habitats we visited. One Whistling Kite was 
the dangling freshly rent body of a White-faced Heron - I couldn't say 
certain that the kite had killed it, but it was still bleeding, and
certainly newly dead. But the most interesting sighting for me was of 
biggest female Hobby I've ever seen. Having swept over us, it settled 
on a
dead limb just above a clearly smaller Pied Butcherbird, demanding a 
look - which confirmed it (her) to be a Hobby, but a very big one.

While scanning dry paddocks for possible Ground Cuckoo-shrikes and 
Lapwings, it was quite uplifting to have about 16 Caspian Terns fly
overhead. They were doubtless on their way from Lake Atkinson to Seven 
Lagoon, but they presented an incongruous and welcome sight in a dry
landscape. I love Caspian Terns! A very favourite bird of mine. And I
managed to get a half-decent photo of one in flight, which I'm 
along with one of yesterday's Brown Falcons. (Except for the birding-aus
copy of this note).

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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