Quails in Altona, Vic

To: "Peter Shute" <>, <>
Subject: Quails in Altona, Vic
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 00:13:30 +1100
The consensus was Brown Quail, and tonight I confirmed it, assuming I ran into 
the same birds.

I've been passing through there on the way home for the last week, hoping to 
spot them again.  Tonight I found them on the open ground below the northern 
viewing platform. Some ran into the bushes and one flew up an over them.

Again they surprised me, and I got a bit better look but not much because I 
couldn't take my eyes off the large snake that must have been only a foot from 
where they'd been.

However, I waited around and heard them calling.  It matched the Brown Quail 
call on the BOCA CDs.

Peter Shute

-----Original Message-----
From:    on behalf of Peter Shute
Sent:   Wed 28/11/2007 9:29 AM
Subject:        Quails in Altona, Vic

Yesterday, at about 6pm, I came across a group of quails (or
button-quails?) in the vacant land north of Mt St Joseph pond.  The only
time I've seen any before was in roughly the same spot a few years ago,
long before I was into this stuff.  That time I wasn't quite sure if
they were just starlings, but was very suspicious about the way they
landed again almost immediately.

They were about 200m north of the pond, just outside the cyclone wire
fence of the factories, in dry grass about a foot high.  There would
have been about 10.  They kind of exploded up from around me.  One
seemed like it had decided to hide instead, and then flew from right
beside my foot, with a loud "chick, chick" noise.

Not being an experienced quail spotter, I probably didn't notice the
right things for id.  I would describe them as fat and brown, maybe 20cm
long at most.  I couldn't really say what shade of brown they were - I'd
guess darkish, but they flew towards the sun so that might have made
them look darker.

They flew about 20 metres and landed, some flying as high as 2m - I
think one might have flown right over the fence into a factory yard.  I
don't remember them doing any gliding.

I would have followed them for another look, but had no binoculars so I
didn't think it was worth scaring them any further.  I came back an hour
later, but could see no sign of them.

So, any thoughts on what species they could be?  Any tips on trying to
find them again, and what to look for if I do find them?  Does one ever
get a good look at them, or is it generally like I described?

Peter Shute

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