Wednesday 20 June 2012

Powerful Owls in Sydney Botanical Gardens, June 2012

Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens were bathed in sunshine for a very quick surgical strike in search of a pair of Powerful Owls. They proved to be very easy to find given that I had completely failed on two previous attempts.

Look for bat wings and possum tails scattered on the ground among the plentiful pellets, then just look up. Start your search in the ficus tree as the driveway splits, just before the Governor’s Mansion. Below is the male. The female preferred another ficus tree just across the driveway.

Mission accomplished, I moved on and took the long way back via the ponds where a Black Cormorant was roosting in the trees on one of the small islands. A black plastic sack stuck in one of the branches may have been another attempt by the gardens to save its trees.

In the past Australian Ibis and at least two species of cormorant nested on the little islands in the pond The ibis appear to have reduced significantly in number over the last few years and I have seen very little nesting behaviour on my recent visits.

I continued across the lawns towards the gap in the wall into the herb garden. Just here, another of Australia’s night birds, the Tawny Frogmouth was seen in a very open position.

Birds seen; 11
Maned Duck 4, Chestnut Teal 3, Little Black Cormorant 5, Australian Ibis 15, Dusky Moorhen 8, Masked Lapwing 4, Silver Gull 6, Powerful Owl 2, Tawny Frogmouth 1, Noisy Miner 5, Welcome Swallow 3.

For more posts from Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens, follow the links below;

Visit the dedicated Australia page for more from the Sydney area including Bi-Centennial Park, North Heads and Royal National Park.

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