Collared Sparrowhawk stare-down

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Collared Sparrowhawk stare-down
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 11:24:25 +1000
As I was writing my email about the flycatchers just now, Eileen called in a
loud whisper to ask if I'd noticed the Collared Sparrowhawk on the verandah

I hadn't, but as I looked across, still at the keyboard, there was a
sparrowhawk facing me, not 5 meters away, standing boldly on the rail
completely unconcerned, and completely on view right down to his long
middle-toe! Perfect for a photograph of that elusive toe!

Camera! Not there! Impossible! We took it in turns to drink in the detail of
this bold sparrowhawk and to scan around for the missing camera. The
Sparrowhawk flew off after a long breath-holding minute or so, the camera
didn't turn up for nearly half-an-hour, found hanging in a ridiculous spot
where I didn't think I'd even been this-morning.

I mentioned a while back that White-browed Scrubwrens have frequently tried
to nest on the verandah. This time, they've seen the job through and are
sitting on three eggs in a bulky domed nest in a plant pot five feet off the
verandah floor, which is in turn eight feet off the ground. They just dodge
around us as they come and go, keeping a distance or taking a circuitous
route, but we made few concessions while they were building and they seem to
be quite comfortable with us as close neighbours. I hope they are not the
reason the Collared Sparrowhawk was on the rail.

Another good sighting for hereabouts that went unphotographed during the
week was a Black-chinned Honeyeater near Gatton. Only the third time I've
seen them in the valley. A beautifully bright blue eye-crescent and a
surprisingly bold black line on the throat. This time the camera was round
my neck, but the bird was rarely still. However, a UK birder who was with me
fired off a couple of shots, clearly quicker on the draw I am, but given
that he was using slide-film which he'll be processing when he gets home it
could be some time before I get to share the results.

At Lake Atkinson during the week I came across a sort of Royal Flush of
cormorants. All four Queensland cormorants, plus Darter in a row, a
consecutive sequence. And I did get a photo, which I'm attaching for
non-birding-aus copies of this note. It will appear on the website sometime
soon, with a backlog of other photos from February and March.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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ph: (+61) 7 4697 6111

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