Powerful Owl at Highfields Falls

Sightings within the local survey area for the period 1 Jun - 31 Aug 2010. The local survey area is a rectangular area extending from Kingsthorpe NW of Toowoomba to the Mt Whitestone/Fordsdale area SE of Helidon.

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sburke
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Location: Townsville Region

Powerful Owl at Highfields Falls

Post by sburke » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:11 am

Sunday 4/7/2010 2pm

Kay Williams rang me Sunday afternoon to say that her and Kev had just returned from Highfields Falls and that there was a Powerful Owl out there if I wanted to check it out. As I was looking for somewhere to go for a couple of hours of birding I was off like a shot. Here is my list for the arvo.
I dipped on the Crested Shrike-tit that Kev and Kay saw that morning.

Grey Goshawk
Brown Cuckoo-dove
Spotted Turtle-dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Peaceful Dove
Crested Pigeon
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet
Powerful Owl
Laughing Kookaburra
White-throated Treecreeper
Superb Fairy-wren
Spotted Pardalote
White-browed Scrubwren
Speckled Warbler
Weebill
Brown Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Lewin's Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Eastern Whipbird
Eastern Yellow Robin
Jacky Winter
Grey Shrike-thrush
Golden Whistler
Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail
Magpie-lark
Australasian Figbird
Olive-backed Oriole
Regent Bowerbird
Satin Bowerbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Grey Butcherbird
Torresian Crow
Welcome Swallow
Double-barred Finch
Silvereye
Mistletoebird

Glenn McRae
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Stanthorpe, Qld

Post by Glenn McRae » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:54 am

For someone who is not a local, Where is Highfield's Falls? Can you give directions please as I will be up that way on Saturday. I would also appreciate any information on where the Powerful Owls were seen.
cheers
Glenn McRae
Stanthorpe, Qld
It's a good day when you learn something new

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Mick Atzeni
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Highfields Falls

Post by Mick Atzeni » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Glenn

Highfields Falls is a bushland reserve which can be accessed at the bottom of Dau Rd, Highfields. Highfields is north of Toowoomba on the New England Highway. Travelling from Toowoomba, turn right at the first set of traffic lights as you enter Highfields, which takes you onto Dau Rd.

Follow the track down to the falls. Just before you get to the falls is a track to the right which takes you down over the creek. The owl was seen along this track.

Cheers
Mick
Last edited by Mick Atzeni on Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
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Glenn McRae
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Stanthorpe, Qld

Post by Glenn McRae » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:44 am

Mick,
Many thanks, I will let you all know how I do. Powerful Owls, or most owls really, are one of my bugbear birds.
cheers
Glenn McRae
Stanthorpe
It's a good day when you learn something new

Rod Hobson
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:03 am

The Owl Still There

Post by Rod Hobson » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:24 pm

Folks,

The Powerful Owl was perched up like Jacky, at Highfields Falls this afternoon, 3.15pm. It's still at the same spot, as was first reported. Today I collected eight regurgitated pellets from under the owl's roost. I'll dry them out and pop them down to Barbara Triggs for analysis. Under the perch I also found the remains of a Pied Currawong that the owl had eaten recently.

I have seen this owl with the remains of Australian Brush Turkey (Gatton Creek, Redwood Park) and a young Common Brushtail Possum (Slaughter Falls, Mt. Coot-tha) in times past. My first ever record of Powerful Owl was from the lower reaches of Gatton Creek in Redwood Park on 19.04.1975. On that occasion I also collected some pellets, which I sent to the Queensland Museum. They found that this particular bird had eaten an unidentified glider (Petaurus sp.); either a Sugar Glider (P. breviceps) or a Squirrel Glider (P. norfolcensis). Both these marsupials occur along the range escarpment of Toowoomba with the Squirrel Glider preferring the drier forest and woodland. The Sugar Glider likes the wetter areas and rain forest remnants.

Regards,
Rod Hobson

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Mick Atzeni
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Powerful Owl prey

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:55 pm

Folks

Further to Rod's local observations of Powerful Owl with prey, I can add:

19/01/1985 Redwood Park - One near bottom Gatton Creek crossing. Headless ringtail possum on ground within 15m of perch.
14/12/1986 Redwood Park - One adult clutching half-eaten flying fox.


Cheers
Mick

Glenn McRae
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Stanthorpe, Qld

Post by Glenn McRae » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:47 pm

Due to time constraints on Saturday and my taking the wrong path, I dipped out on the Powerful Owl (once again). I did, however, pick up the Crested Shrike-tit (female) and spent a short time watching White naped Honeyeaters bathing.
I will make an effort to get back up there on this Sunday to get the Powerful Owl off of my back.
cheers
Glenn McRae
Stanthorpe
It's a good day when you learn something new

Rod Hobson
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:03 am

And then there were two

Post by Rod Hobson » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:54 pm

Folks,

Barry Kenway of the Toowoomba Field Nats informs me that there were two Powerful Owls at the Highfields Falls site on the afternoon of last Tuesday (13.07.2010).

Thanks for the update, Barry.

Regards,
Rod Hobson
Last edited by Rod Hobson on Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

gileas
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Location: Brisbane, QLD
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Powerful Owl, Highfields

Post by gileas » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:38 am

Hi all, just wanted to let you know that on Friday 16th one Powerful Owl was still at Highfields. We also were lucky enough to see a pair of Crested Shrike-tits, plus a pair of Dusky Woodswallows.

Regards,
Chris

Glenn McRae
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Stanthorpe, Qld

Post by Glenn McRae » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:18 pm

Hi All,

Just to let people know the Powerful Owl was not at it's usual site on Sunday 18th (sigh dipped again lol)

I did, however, have a great day there and picked up:
Regent Bowerbirds
Brown Thornbill
Weebill
Crested Shrike-tit
Golden Whistler
Aust. Brush Turkeys
Red browed Finches
Double barred Finches
(All new for my New Financial Year mini twitch)
and Last but most definately not least
Rod Hobson & Robert Ashdown ( really great meeting you fellas )
cheers
Glenn McRae
It's a good day when you learn something new

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Mick Atzeni
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Powerful Owl reminiscing by Russell Jenkins

Post by Mick Atzeni » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:37 pm

On the subject of Highfields Falls' Powerful Owls, there's currently a terrific article and photos on Russell Jenkins' blog about a memorable encounter we had a couple of years ago. We're not sure what the prey is though. See what you think ...

.://russelljenkinsstoop.blogspot.com/

Cheers
Mick

Glenn McRae
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am
Location: Stanthorpe, Qld

Post by Glenn McRae » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:04 am

If anyone comes across the Powerful Owl at Highfield's again, I would appreciate it if you could post it here or send me a message. I would dearly like to see this bird.
cheers
Glenn McRae
Stanthorpe, Qld
It's a good day when you learn something new

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Mick Atzeni
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Powerful Owl at Highfields

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:25 pm

Hi Glenn

Saw an adult bird this morning around 11. It was further back into the scrub from the tall acacia, perched above the gully, but visible from the track. Easy to miss.

Cheers
Mick
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Brendon & Judi Gray
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Location: Kleinton, Queensland.
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Powerful Owls

Post by Brendon & Judi Gray » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:56 am

How great to hear that so many have encounted this amazing owl. We have done many trips to the falls but have never come across one, here's hoping one day though!

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Brendon & Judi Gray
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2 x Powerful Owls at Highfields Falls 1st August 2010

Post by Brendon & Judi Gray » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:34 pm

Well after the excitment of many observers seeing a powerful owl at Highfields Falls in the last week, we ventured there this afternoon in search of this amazing bird. We were lucky enough to see two that were not far from each other and in the area that was mentioned on the forum. Words can't describe how exciting this sighting was for us, as it was a first for us and has always been big on the "want to see list" for me. Also lovely to meet another fellow bird observer also looking for the powerful owl and were were lucky enough to be able to point both birds out. We took a few photographs of both birds.
What a fabulous day! Couldn't help but think of my late relative David Fleay and the joy that studying these birds brought him throughout his life :)
Judi

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