Rufous Owl in South West WA

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Subject: Rufous Owl in South West WA
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Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 07:41:04 +0800 (WST)
Dear All,

I had an amazing experience on Friday. (7th Sept.) I was walking down the
street in Bridgetown (in south west WA) when something overhead caught my
attetion. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw the biggest owl I
have ever seen! I was seeing it from behind, as it was sitting on top of a
sign outside a shop, and that sign was hanging from the rafters under the
verandah.  When I walked around to see the front of it, another surprise!
It was holding a dead magpie in it's claws! Every now and then he/she
would take a bite out of it, although it was eating very slowly. The owner
of the shop said that it had been there since 8am and it was 11.30am by
the time I saw it.

I have no experience of owls and neither did any of the many other people
that stood watching. I also did not have my camera, but many other people
did so I am going to try to get a copy from someone. No-one knew what kind
of owl it was, but we all had the chance to observe it for a long time, so
it was etched into my brain. When I got back home to my daughters house, I
pulled out my ID books, and the only owl it could have been is the Rufous
Owl! My daughter agreed wholeheartedly!

I know, I know, you don't get Rufous Owls in the south west of WA, but I
was talking to a local later on in the day and he said that about eight of
them have been seen. Which of course could be the same bird eight times!
So obviously an escapee, but an amazing sight nonetheless.

It was one of the best birding experiences I have had in my short career
of birdwatching.

Bye for now,
Amy Flatt - Happy Bird Watcher!


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