Greater Sooty Owl! Tick!

James Mustafa invited us to go spotlighting with him in Bunyip SP. After a few false starts, we were able to sort a night that worked for all of us. Then the weather reared its rainy head. It seemed as if it might wash out our plans. But after consulting the questionably reliable weather forecasts, we thought it was worth a go. We were originally going to camp in the State Park, but it was so rainy that we decided to splurge and get a room near the park. So Friday arvo we headed up from Torquay, and after slogging our way through Melbourne traffic (I do not know how anyone can actually live there and do that daily) we arrived in Pakenham. We got our room, a bite to eat, and then headed up to Bunyip State Park.

We were early, as usual, so I got out to have a look around. There were a few birds about, mostly ‘up’ in the canopy and I called to Lynn to come and have a look. I said, “I think that’s a robin.” It was and Lynn had her first lifer of the evening, Rose Robin! James arrived while I was trying to get a usable recording photo of it (I never did) but we all got decent looks at a female Rose Robin. I am grateful.

It got better. It was an excellent night. Before it was even fully dark, we had amazing views of Greater Sooty Owl. There were two, both younger birds who he was familiar with. In just about the same spot we also had an Australian Owlet-nightjar. Then a female Powerful Owl called repeatedly, but chose not come into view for us. Just around the corner, we watched three juvenile Southern Boobooks flying about above us. This was incredible owling, and all within a couple of hundred meters of our car. Amazing. I am so grateful.

Before leaving the park, we had a quick look around for Masked Owl, but the fog was moving in and visibility was very poor. We called it a night and Lynn and I were back in our warm, dry cabin by 11pm. That is my kind of spotlighting! I am grateful!   
Greater Sooty Owl, yes!

I do not use a flash and these photos were taken merely as recording shots. They are not much as far as photography goes, but they mean a lot to me. I was, and am, thrilled!

Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.