Sunday, 7 May 2017

Centennial Park Frogmouth Fest

Having dipped Papuan Frogmouth up on the Daintree, my last chance of one of these freaky birds came along on our last morning down under. Centennial Park in Sydney is a known site for Tawny Frogmouth, but it is a big place and they are cryptically-marked and roost motionless during the day up against a tree trunk, pretending to be a bit of bark.

As luck would have it, I bumped into Biggles, a local birder, as I arrived and he had seen four Frogmouths the day before. Great! He spent a few minutes explaining to me how to find the roost site before realising how confused I was, and very kindly he offered to show me. After a ten minute walk, we got to a large patch of Paperbarks, where there was a collosal roost of Grey-headed Flying Foxes - cool!

A little further on, and Biggles asked me if I could see the Frogmouth - of course I couldn't. But as he pointed, I made out a grey bulge on the side of a tree about five metres away, and there was my first Tawny Frogmouth! Fantastic! The bird casually half opened an eye to check us out, but other than that didn't move at all, relying on its camouflage to avoid detection.

Awesome Tawny Frogmouth

Biggles carried on a little further and found a second bird. It was a bit more obscured but was facing us, so we could see its underparts. Again, it casually opened an eye to check whether we were a threat or not, before dozing off again.

Really cool birds. We couldn't find the other two of the family group, but I didn't mind. We went our separate ways and I wondered around for an hour before heading back to meet the family. I managed to add a few new birds to the list including Long-billed Corella, Australian Darter and Brown Goshawk.

Black Swan glancing at a Hardhead. Nice to see these guys in their native country for once, rather than on the Ings!
 Immature Brown Goshawk causing absolute panic in the park. Trailing a leg, bizarrely.

 Crested Pigeon. Dead common in Oz, but always cracking to see.

 Dusky Moorhen
 Grey Teal. Very similar to Chestnut Teal.

 Hardhead. A pretty cool Fudge-like Aythya.
 Little Black Cormorant
 Long-billed Corella
 Aussie Darter
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.

No comments: