Owls at all hours

When I’m out and about I like to be out and about with some purpose in mind. My two terriers – Milly and Scratch – are ardent exponents of any outa-bout so long as it is on foot. This is what we collectively refer to, across species when in coo-ee of one another as “Walk-EEEEs!!”

These outa-bouts are often long rambles which will take us where very few pedestrians wander. Not for us an ordered, trimmed and gardened neighbourhood park. We three mammalian vertebrates prefer to go bush.

We’ve got snakes on our too-ings and fro-ings, wriggling Red Bellied Blacks (venomous) and a local version of Green Tree Snakes (which are also black but harmless).
Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
The wetlands we traverse obviously have their challenges ‘cause you never know which one of these you are set to step on. Is it the harmless "Green" Tree Snake or its dangerous cousin (pictured above right).I’m not about to ask a snake to roll over so I can check its tummy. So I keep the dogs on a tight leash at all times.

But bringing the snakes are a variety of birds and the birdlife there is something special: Pelican, Ibis, Sea Eagles, Osprey…
Herein I have a problem. I can’t tell you where I go because among this menagerie there’s a special visitor: a Grass Owl. These critters are a touch rare – ‘threatened’ is the correct buzzword, as their long grass habitat has been lost, so their distribution is uneven and sparse.
But hey! It’s great to know that where I go tramping each week (and I’m tramping in suburban Brisbane) is a special spot wherein lives a hidden Grass Owl’s nest.

I returned to the wetlands scrub one night last week at dusk. And after my traditional sweep along the canal, I turned to retrace my steps as an owl flew over head towards the setting sun.
For resources on Grass Owls go here.

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