Turramurra observations

To: <>
Subject: Turramurra observations
From: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 21:48:40 +1100
Hi all
some observations from my home suburb from the weekend:
from my deck a Brown Goshawk twice (Saturday and Sunday) and on Sunday
sporadically from 2pm onwards a small party (up to 30, but often only 5-10
at a time) of White Throated Needletails, mostly cruising quite low.
(Weather warm, sunny, a few clouds a NWly breeze blowing.)

Sunday evening, I followed up Lorne Johnson's observations from 6 Jan on
eremaea birds of White Throated and Owlet Nightjars on the Sphinx Track in
Ku-rin-gai NP.  As it's just at the end of my road (5 mins drive) I thought
I'd go and check it out after dinner. I walked down to the car park for the
Sphinx Memorial (as the gates are locked at 8), and a little way along the
tracks. Thinking that a good view of the sky and treetops (and less noise
from the cicadas) was probably in order, I went back and stood in the middle
of the car park and waited.  At about 8:25pm (approx 15 mins after sunset) 2
small bats appeared and a few minutes later, the White Throated Nightjar
arrived above the trees and hawked actively for insects for 20 minutes above
the car park and the surrounding trees.  I had a feeble torch with me, and
used it to some effect when the nightjar came low above me three or four
times, so I saw the white wing spots, and an impression of the throat
markings.  At one point the nightjar was chased by one of the small bats.
There was possibly a second bird as I left at 8:45, but it was too dark to
tell easily as at that point I kept losing it/them in the trees.  I did not
hear the nightjar call before it arrived, but the cicadas were going well
until about 8:20.  There were 2 Owlet Nightjars calling as I left, but they
did not appear.

Monday morning, while doing my morning walk (for exercise but I've always
got an ear and eye out for whatever's about), I saw a Buff Banded Rail
feeding in a suburban garden that fronts onto Turramurra Oval.  It looked
like it was trying to eat a lizard. I was about 10 metres away and it was
completely unfazed - it eventually strolled nonchalantly off into the hedge
dividing from the next front yard and I kept walking.

Tom Wilson


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