Park birds and Ivanhoe Powerful Owl

The Wilson reserve is right on the Yarra, and opposite the reserve is a large golf course. Being part of the flood plain, there are not many buildings in the area, leaving some space for the birds. There’s a couple of billabongs as well, with plenty of undergrowth to attract small birds. 

For many years there was a Powerful Owl roost here. Several years ago I found the local one in an uncomfortable way.

I'd ventured out into a meander of the Yarra, where the owl was roosting. It was just after sunset, and I didn't know exactly which tree it used, so I wandered about aimlessly for a while. Eventually I heard the small sounds of the owl as it began moving about. I spotted a shadow in the lower canopy back away from the peninsula, and realised the owl had me cornered with water on three sides.

This owl - it had been claimed - had removed the eye of a golfer on the other side of the river a year or two back, so I was a little nervous.

As I watched it, the owl flew to a closer tree, directly towards me. I was in no doubt it was watching me as much as I was watching it. It was still a shadow in the canopy, but at this distance I could tell that a Powerful Owl is well named - Ninox Strenua. It was big and it was intimidating.

It launched towards me a second time, and as I ducked my head behind my binoculars, it passed totally silently about six feet above and to the right of my shoulder. It didn't return, and I left - somewhat hastily.

To round things out, here are some photos of common birds I got on a recent trip around the Wilson Reserve.