2nd December, 2015

A Juvenile Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox boobook)

Lord of the Wings

Another somewhat action packed week filled with disappointment, happiness and indecision. So I guess I'll start at the beginning with a Brahminy Kite (juvenile) and a Southern Boobook Owl (juvenile) releases. Both releases went extremely well but I wasn't very happy with the footage of either so I can't share. The Boobook was a hard release as it would not leave me and even after placing on a tree branch flew back and landed on my shoulder. This was my first owl release and after doing another later in the week realised owls take a few minutes to get their bearings before moving on.

The following night I visited the Barking Owl family that is located 30 minutes from home and tried to get some footage of them as night fell when they become active. I got some photos of them in flight but the images were not ideal (see below). They were flying all around me catching large moths and at times their wings were brushing my head as they flew past. An amazing experience.

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Some back of camera images that were not kept but were interesting in my opinion 

A Barking Owl mid flight in the dark & 4 of 5 members of the family on one perch

Over the course of the week I went out herping a total of four times. I visited Mt Glorious & Mt Nebo twice, Mt Tamborine once and Binna Burra the other time. I haven't seen as much as I would have liked but the following species have been found:

Leaf Tailed Gecko
Emerald Spotted Tree Frog
Red Eyed Green Tree Frog
Tyler's Tree Frog
Great Barred Frog
Blind Snake

Coastal Carpet Python
Brown Tree Snake (Dead on Road)
Rough Scaled Snake (Dead on Road)

My target species for this season is a Bandy Bandy and a Death Adder. I will have more luck with the first though, adders are extremely difficult to find.

On my Binna Burra run, I came across more nocturnal bird species than I did herps. I found a pair of Barn Owls and multiple Tawny Frogmouths. Unfortunately I screwed up big time when frantically trying to change from my macro gear to my night birding lens and fired off shots only to realise my aperture was f20 (high f stop for less DOF for smaller animals - not so good for larger ones as it let's in less light). 

Hopefully on the herp front the nights pick up as it has been very warm. All a luck thing, more you go the more you will see!

If you are after new images, I have added them to the following galleries:
Birds of Prey , Arachnids and Reptiles and Amphibians

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The results of crap photography and incorrect settings!

Tawny Frogmouth and Barn Owl

All my Christmases came at once on Friday when Currumbin Wildlife Hospital (CWH) asked me to collect 4 raptors for release on the weekend:

2 Peregrine Falcons

1 Square Tailed Kite

1 Collared Sparrowhawk

Most raptors this time of year coming into care are birds that have fallen out of nests too early. The Peregrines flew out of their nest and were found grounded in the vicinity of their homes, the Square Tailed was found in a residential area with a small fracture to skull and torn tail feathers and the Sparrowhawk fell 30 odd metres from it's nest on a private property.

I took them home for the evening and just as I was pulling into my street received a call about a Masked Lapwing chick that had fallen down a drain! I quickly collected it and returned home to set up feeding stations and accommodation for everyone! I love feeding raptors it's such an awesome experience, all 4 raptors received day old chicks. Delicious!!

I also got to release (as I mentioned earlier) two juvenile Boobook Owls (one was before these 4 guys and one was after). 

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Peregrine Falcon Twins, Square Tailed Kite, Collared Sparrowhawk

and Masked Lapwing (commonly referred to as a Plover)

Peregrine Falcons Sharing Dinner

Square Tailed Kite Dinner Time

I got some devastating news later that week regarding my career prospectives. In mid 2013 I applied for the Queensland Police Force. During these 2.5 years I did various exams from General Knowledge, Maths, English and Psychometric through to various interviews with QPS representatives and the ever fun Physical test at the Police Academy. I passed EVERY single one of these exams with flying colours and every time I thought I was going to be given a start date I would be mucked around by the recruitment team.

I was made to re-do various exams due to "expiration of results" amongst other things. My life was on hold for 2.5 years to be told 4 days ago that due to the results from my Psychological interview that I was not an ideal candidate for recruitment and that my application had been cancelled. I was in shock, I still am somewhat. How can I pass such an interview only 12 months ago and now for reasons they will not provide, I failed.

My brother said, this is a sign that this is not my path and maybe something to do with animals is where the universe is leading me. For now, I will just enjoy the rest of 2015 and see what 2016 brings. I can't let this stop me from being happy, regardless of how terrible I'm feeling now especially when you get to do things like this...

Peregrine Falcon Release (SLOW MO)

Until next time I will thank you all once again for reading, sharing and commenting on my blog, my facebook and interacting with me out in the field.

Peace and love to all animals.

Matt :)

  • Julie O'Donnell

    on January 10, 2016

    Hey Matt, I've just caught up with all of your animal adventures and rescues of late. Well done, its super impressive and I'm pretty blown away by your dedication. x

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