|Subject:||Black Falcons for Easter...|
|From:||"Michael Ramsey" <>|
|Date:||Sun, 27 Mar 2005 14:11:24 +1000|
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I spent a great weekend (25/3/05-27/3/05) in and around the Lower Ovens Regional Park in north-eastern Victoria, about 30km north of Wangaratta. We camped at McLaughlins Bend along the Ovens River and explored the surrounding farmland and travelling stock routes.
Over 60 species were recorded at McLaughlins Bend over the three days. Highlights were up to four Boobook Owls calling around the campsite, a Barking Owl (recorded here before) calling at about 2am in the morning, a Fork-tailed Swift in a small group of White-throated Needletails, Pink-eared Ducks and an Azure Kingfisher. Most small bush birds had formed mixed species flocks which included some altitudinal migrants such as Spotted Pardalotes, Golden Whistler and Brown Thornbills. Small numbers of Noisy Friarbirds were also observed.
The first afternoon, spent around Boorhaman North (25/3), 25km north of Wangaratta was very rewarding. I have done Grey-crowned Babbler surveys here before and found a two groups during the afternoon. A family of Pied Butcherbirds were observed harassing a Brown Falcon. A small swamp was thick with waterbirds with up to 17 White-necked Herons and 35 White-faced Herons were seen, a very productive swamp. An Intermiediate Egret was also observed with them. A male Black Falcon observed for over 10 minutes soaring over farmalnd was a great sighting. The bird had a pale face and may have been old bird. This area is on the southern edge of this species range.
The next morning (26/3) at the Black Swamp (20km north of Wangaratta) a male Peregrine Falcon was spotted as well as more White-faced and White-necked Herons, 28 and 18 respectively. A late Sacred Kingfisher was also spotted.
On the way home we stopped at Lake Mokoan,(27/3) 15km south west of Wangaratta. Observing around the northern tip over 50 species were seen in an hour. Of all our luck another Black Falcon was seen harassing Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Little Corellas over the lake. This bird seemed larger than the one at Boorhaman North and may have been a female. We could not believe our luck at seeing two Black Falcons on the same weekend, and both at the southern edge of their range. Also seen here were Zebra Finches, two Brown Quail, a White-breasted Woodswallow, White-breasted Sea-eagle, a late Rufous Songlark and Golden-headed Cisticolas.
Again north-east Victoria has been very productive bird wise. Over 100 species recorded in three days.
Michael Ramsey, Whittlesea, Victoria.
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