Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Powerful Owl and a Red-browed Treecreeper to kick the year off

I sit writing this totally exhausted but very happy. I'd forgotten about the Victorian style of bird-watching - walking through tall forests and getting a sore neck from looking up into the canopy, but it was worth it. 7 hours of walking and searching, and in the 7th hour came one of my long-term targets - the Powerful Owl.

My obsession really started from a PodCast you can probably still download off the ABC website - "Birdbrain" by Steve Abbott, absolute listening gold as far as I am concerned. He has 10 episodes and in one he finds a bird missing its head, "the victim of a Powerful Owl!" Since hearing this, I have always wanted to see what sort of bird rips the head off its victim. And then, during a recent conversation, my friend Pete said he had seen one up in the Dandenongs. It was a chance too good to miss. He sent me the directions and I followed them as best I could. Down the stated path, a wrong turn to start, then following the directions a bit closer I found myself in a very wooded part of the track, but the trees were only about 6 metres high (as opposed to the 40 or so metres I had been looking at throughout the day.

On previous "twitches", I have not had any success, ever. So my expectations were quite low. Birds do fly so I figured I probably wasn't even in the right spot, let alone the bird still being there, or observable. And then I saw it. I knew they were supposed to be big, but its size still took my breath away. Sitting low enough, big enough, and virtually foliage free. I know the first 20 or so photos were terrible, thank goodness it wasn't flighty. I then calmed down enough to get a few decent shots. Thank you so much Pete, and to a lesser extent Steve.

Powerful Owl

Earlier I had been at Bunyip State Park. There were a few target species, and I managed to fluke at least one of them. I had just seen and photographed a Rufous Fantail. I have seen these before but never managed a photo. I was pretty pleased with myself until I realised high ISO setting make for wonderful photos of birds in flight in blue sky, freezing the action, but terrible in foliage! Damn! Very disappointed when I downloaded those images. Fortunately, the Red-browed Treecreeper was out in the open, and I was a bit confused by the juvenile at first (until I checked the Pizzey and Knight app) and did manage some half decent photos. A wonderful start to another year of birding!

Red-browed Treecreeper

1 comment:

  1. Just .... congratulations! I remember the same moment myself - I nearly shat myself