Raptors of the Downs

Sightings anywhere within a 250 km radius of Toowoomba, but excluding the local survey area (see above), for the period 1 June 2011 - 31 August 2011.

Moderator: Mick Atzeni

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Russell
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:33 pm
Location: Toowoomba-Japan
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Raptors of the Downs

Post by Russell » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:43 pm

Arrived Tuesday night and went for a look south-west of Toowoomba yesterday, Thursday 18th August from about noon til 2pm.

In order of appearance:

Before we got to Wyreema, one Black-shouldered Kite followed by a Spotted Harrier a couple of hundred meters later. Saw the harrier coming straight towards us 'harried' by smaller birds. By the time I got out of the car it dipped up over the road before it disappeared behind trees and a house. Got two so-so pics up against cloud.

Just finished passing through Wyreema and a Black Falcon was circling quickly and gained height into more cloud. Poor photos reveal that it is a pale bird with white face and carrying prey. She got fairly high before angling off in an Oakey direction.

The track to Southbrook had little other than Magpies, Magpie-Larks and a Pied Butcher Bird, some crows, and I think a couple of Galahs, but just before we got to Southbrook an adult Brown Goshawk flew across the road in front of us. I got out of the car but it had disappeared into the scrub with the alarms of honeyeaters being the only indicator of the direction it was moving.

Sitting low on a wire just over the left-hand turn over the rail crossing at Southbrook, was a Nankeen Kestrel. It looked nice in the sun but the car overshot it and I was too lazy to double back. Saw some more kestrels on the road from Southbrooke to Felton.

Turning up the road from Felton to Greenmount we finally stopped for a kestrel who couldn't care less about me approaching it. I got a couple of nice pics to put on my blog before leaving it sitting on the wire in peace.

The approach to Greenmount and the land became a little hillier and we found a Brown Falcon flying around in front of us. We stopped and it obligingly landed on a dead tree. Another portrait for my blog.

We turned left towards Toowoomba and pulled over as we had better ID a reddish-brownish raptor circling on the western horizon. After a focussing malfunction, I lost view of it only to look up at the arrival of two courting Brown Falcons. One of them stopped in mid-air with aussie blue sky behind it and hovered for endless moments looking down into the camera. I was so happy.

Soon after, we came across several more Black-shouldered Kites, and heading home, we found ourselves going through Cambooya and found the town's pigeons flocking in the presence of another Black Falcon. I think it was different to the one we'd seen earlier as it appeared darker, with solid colour around its face, but I didn't run through town chasing it with my camera.

Not a bad little outing.

Russell :D

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Mick Atzeni
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Raptors sighted within Toowoomba area

Post by Mick Atzeni » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:44 am

Thanks for these Russ. Good to have you back on raptor patrol!

For the record, both Wyreema & Cambooya are within the local Toowoomba survey area so both your Black Falcons and Spotted Harrier sightings belong to and will be cross-referenced from Winter Within topic. Spotted Harrier was also the first reported locally for 2011, so can knock it off the Wanted List for Challenge as well.

Please visit more often!

Cheers
Mick

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