Owls, raptors, honeyeaters and pishing

Subject: Owls, raptors, honeyeaters and pishing
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 12:07:55 +1000
It was the chattering of Lewin's and Brown Honeyeaters, scrubwrens and such
that led me to the Powerful Owl that was here a few days back.

Just on dusk, last night, we could hear them from the kitchen again, fussing
around in the same general area. This time the bird at the centre of their
attention proved to be a Southern Boobook -in the same tree as the Powerful
Owl had been.

Pre-breakfast this-morning, when I followed up more racket from the garden,
it led me not to an owl, but to a Collared Sparrowhawk which dashed from the
same tree to a nearby gum, then to another and then another, all in the same
corner of the garden. Sparrowhawks are oftern around, and will drop silently
into the depths of a big tree to sit quietly as long as unobserved and
untroubled, but if they're hassled they usually move on straightaway.

However, after I got back indoors, I could hear the small birds still
kicking up a fuss in the same spot. I managed to hold off until after
breakfast, but then I had to go back out there.

Sure enough, a small, richly coloured, Southern Boobook was in the
fiddlewood tree. It was quite low down towards the outer part of the tree,
and when it spotted me it made off to a higher branch of an adjacent gum. I
took some photos without aproaching any closer (attachment to
off-birding-aus copies) and a couple of hours later, I can see from the
verandah that the bird is still settled there, seemingly oblivious to the
occasional fuss from the locals.

Maybe this is one part of the reason that pishing works - the birds that
come down to investigate might not only be curious to see what is pishing,
but also to find out what it's pishing at.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

(27º 34' 21" S; 152º 08' 21" E)

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