Masked Owls etc

To: jenny spry <>, birding-aus <>
Subject: Masked Owls etc
From: David Clark <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:56:38 +1100
Yes, it was a little frustrating when the Masked Owl became a Barn Owl.
Still, it was good to see them come out of the hollow.

I should be in the Orbost area in the next couple of weeks so I may try for
the Masked Owl there.

The Australian Sea Lion at Cape Conran is an excellent sighting.



On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 3:43 PM, jenny spry <> wrote:

> Hi all
> Back in October 2008 four of us were on a major trip up the east coast to
> see all the birds we could. Of course, when we got to Kingfisher Park we
> duly ticked of the Masked Owl that came out at dusk each night. Easy! Then,
> 2 years later in Sept 2010, came the report that that masked Owl was
> actually a Barn owl. Bother! So, open the Excel file, highlight Masked Owl,
> hit delete, and back to the hunt. Sigh. But that is one of the joys of
> birding, one has to be honest with oneself.
> However, losing that particular bird was a bit annoying because I don’t
> enjoy driving country roads alone at night while spotlighting over farmer’s
> paddocks. Nor do I enjoy going down dirt roads alone in the dark, who knows
> what sort of boogy-man is just around the corner with a loaded chain saw?
> So after the delete button was hit I have spent the last 2 ½ years
> searching around Eaglehawk neck in southern Tasmania and cruising the back
> roads south-east of Orbost, with friends.
> We have heard the owl call a few times and I have emailed friends and
> contacts seeking out all the latest information. People replied, “It’s
> easy. Stop here, play tape, bird will arrive” or “They are common just
> north of the intersection” or “We saw three last weekend” Sigh. Not for me,
> a bogy bird is a bogy bird is a bogy bird.
> Then Tim McKellar put a sighting on Birdata. Don’t you just love Birdata
> and Birding – Aus? All the best info turns up on these sites. Armed with
> this new info Joy and I headed for Orbost. On Saturday night it was
> overcast and a violent thunderstorm had just gone through. I guess rain and
> forked lightning is not good for owling ‘cos we tried a string of
> locations, including Tim’s, and didn’t see any. Sunday night was better
> with a full moon and 50% overcast. We tried the same locations again, and
> this time Tim’s came good. Ten seconds of playback and the Masked Owl
> alighted on a dead branch 3 metres above our heads. And it was a truly
> beautiful bird, definitely my new most favourite owl in the whole world. I
> am still smiling.
> Joy must have known the bogy-owl was going to give itself up because she
> had bought 2 single drink bottles of bubbly at the pub when we had dinner.
> We opened the car fridge and toasted the owl.
> The rest of the weekend wasn’t too shabby either. We had our second
> Square-tailed Kite for the year and then Joy stopped the car right where a
> male Emu-wren was waiting to jump out and wave at us. And then two
> Turquoise Parrots flew up from the road and perched in the sun. Enough to
> say, the weekend was a roaring success.We saw over 100 species including
> Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, Bassian Thrush, Rufous Fantail,
> Large-billed Scrubwren and lots of other delightful birds. Surprise dips
> though were waders and terns at the mouth of the Snowy River. There were
> none, no stilts, no Little Tern, no Red-capped Plover, nothing but a few
> oystercatchers and gulls.
> And to top it off, an Australian Sea Lion was resting on the rocks at the
> West Cape boat launch. Croajingolong. It was a long way off but I do wish I
> had taken its photo as I find now that they are not common that far east.
> So thanks Tim, thanks Birdata and Birding Aus and Happy New Year to
> everyone.
> cheers
> Jenny
> ps: Now I am after my next bogy-bird, Pale-vented Bush-hen, and yes, I know
> they are easy, they are "just up the road at the creek, we saw one there
> yesterday" (SMILE).
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