Night manoeuvres

Record shot of Owlet-nightjar, taken in Queensland in 2014

I’ve said it before, night birds in Australia are a nightmare. They rarely emerge until it is proper dark and the forest species often remain hidden deep in cover – their calls being the only evidence of their presence. Every trip to Australia we have undertaken at least one night-time manoeuvre, attempting to see owl or nightjar species – nine times out of ten we fail. Yesterday evening we returned to the Watagans National Park for our third visit this trip, in the hope of connecting with some rainforest species prior to a spot of owl-dipping! We tried several locations for Rose Robin to no avail before pulling up at a promising piece of habitat in the failing light. Dan heard a treecreeper and I saw a bird fly and land tight to the trunk of a near-by gum tree. Assuming it was the bird I lifted my bins only to see our target bird – Rose Robin! Two silent birds flitted through the canopy, giving reasonable views. My first for the Hunter. An hour later it was dark and despite playing a multitude of different calls we only had brief and distant responses from a Masked Owl and Boobook. Returning home along a forest track a bird flushed in front of us – in the headlights it looked like Owlet-nightjar. A response to play-back and a couple more over-head passes confirming the identification. Another Hunter tick – my last previous sighting being in 2014.

This entry was posted in Birding.

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