Saturday, April 13, 2013

Recent 45cm Pied Butcherbird sighting

Back on the 27th March 2013 at 3:18PM my brother and I had stopped at the bridge on Douglas Street to look at the water in the creek. We were just standing there looking at everything and I had my camera ready to take photos of anything I could see that might suddenly show up, like a duck. Moments later, out of the corner of my eye I saw something very close to us to our left up in the air, and it was flying very fast. Without any sound this large bird flew over the bridge avoiding my brother and I and flew like crazy as if it was chasing something. I didn't see anything in front of the bird. It wasn't until it was about a second or two after sighting it as it was flying away along the creekbank that I could identify it as the 45cm Pied Butcherbird. I could barely keep my eyes on it - it flew that fast.

As I watched, moving quickly and suddenly to keep my eyes on this bird, it flew straight across the bridge then zigzagged right to left, then suddenly dove down to the ground. I never saw it come back up again and lost sight of the bird at this point. It is possible the Pied Butcherbird continued flying rather than diving to the ground, as it was flying a lot lower (about 5-15 metres above the ground at this point) the further away it was from the bridge. I lost sight of the bird at about 100 metres from where I stood on the bridge.

The thing that surprised me the most was it's speed. I've seen Australian Magpies fly in 2 separate speeds, the normal speed and a hurried speed. This Pied Butcherbird easily flew faster than a Magpie's hurried speed (or top speed).

I did manage to take a photo of the Pied Butcherbird flying passed but the photo came out all blurry. It's too blurry to post and it didn't even have the bird in it, and I had the camera pointed too far to the right.

This Pied Butcherbird is turning out to be a really difficult fellow to photograph. But I am glad it is still in the area even though I do not see it very often.

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