Big raptor day

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Big raptor day
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 18:34:28 +1000
G'day nature lovers
Today here in Broome was yet another fantastic day for birding with thousands of migratory waders departing in beautiful warm weather at dusk and a pretty big day on the raptors.
We are conducting one of our regular courses on migratory waders this week and this morning, we popped out to reckie a few sites which we plan to visit. A great place for freshwater waders of late has been a little way along the highway to Port Headland at a place known as the "Sheep Camp". We dropped in there early and, to our dismay, the lake was stone dry. Happily, several springs in the area were still full and we set up near to one of them to spot who might pop in for a drink. No sooner had we left the car than a Swamp Harrier swept by us quite rapidly and in pursuit of it, none other than a Grey Falcon! Directly after the Grey Falcon had disappeared, a flock of somewhat more petit desert vagrants flew in for a drink: beautiful Painted Finches. Our raptor day was quite big already with many sightings along the highway: Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, Whistling Kite, Black Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Australian Hobby and now the Swamp Harrier and the Grey Falcon.
Grey Falcons are all the talk at the moment here. Amazingly we had a "Grey" in the centre Broome the other day. Two sightings by experienced birders were reported near Port Headland recently too. We can only put this down to the tendency for these birds to move a little northward at this time of year and what must be very dry conditions inland.
Time was a bit tight for us this morning, so we headed back to the Observatory rather than running the risk of getting bogged down watching yet more fantastic rarities. Later in the day we observed a Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Collared Sparrowhawk but sadly, we dipped on a real regular here, the Brown Goshawk. Still, 15 raptors isn't bad in one day, even for Broome!
Tonight was also a rather amazing night for departures of the waders, with several hundred Whimbrel, Red Knot, Great Knot, Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Greater Sand Plover and Common Greenshank departing for north Asia. All in all, several thousand of these birds filled our hearts with joy and our minds with unbridled amazement as we watched huge flocks form into the now familiar lines in the sky and then beautiful "Vees" as they moved off into the distance.
With well over 120 birds sighted today, the list is a bit long for now but here's the raptor list at least:
Little Eagle (4)
Swamp Harrier (2)
Wedge-tailed Eagle (1)
Brown Falcon (30+)
Nankeen Kestrel (20+)
Whistling Kite (10+)
Black Kite (20+)
Black-shouldered Kite (2)
Australian Hobby (1)
Grey Falcon (1)
Brahminy Kite (4)
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (3)
Peregrine Falcon (1)
Osprey (1)
Collared Sparrowhawk (1)
Another hard day at the office!
Broome WA
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Big raptor day, Ricki Coughlan <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU