Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #44

Chris Watson

Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides

The Tawny Frogmouth is a rare example of a bird which is both iconic and frequently overlooked. It is found throughout Australia and has close relatives right through south-east Asia.

It is an amazingly successful bird across a wide variety of habitats and climates. Not often observed due to its impressively cryptic habits, it’s more common than many of us might believe. The chances are that you are rarely more than a few hundred metres from one of these birds – even right in the middle of town. Frogmouths have demonstrated a remarkable capacity for adapting to life in urban environments – and they’re sneaky.

Unfortunately, many of these birds have been showing up dead on our roads in recent months, the victim of unavoidable collisions with late night motorists and the debilitating effects of accumulated rodent poisons.

This week has seen some exciting reports across town. The big news was a flock of 50 pelicans that was circling over town late last Thursday afternoon – are they here for a fishing trip out in the West Macs?

Orange Chats (a lifer!) have been reported at the poo ponds by Moses Waring – at 7 years of age one of the youngest birders doing the rounds at the sewage ponds this season. Among the migrant birds, Sharp-tailed, Wood, and Common Sandpipers have all been passing through and there has been a single Common Greenshank at the poo ponds as well this week.

Going back to nocturnal birds, have you worked out your team for the annual Tiwest Nightstalk yet? This national hunt for the nocturnal wildlife treasures of Australia begins on the 1st of September, so it is time to get scheming! Check the website below for details and keep on sending me your interesting bird reports from wherever your binoculars take you this week.