17 September 2013
In the Botanic Gardens I met a group of bird watchers, carrying binoculars and camera lenses twice as long as your arm. They were from down south and heading back watching birds all the way.
‘Seen anything interesting?’
‘That depends on what you think is interesting;’ they said, ’A rufous owl would be interesting’
I had heard of rufous owls. A victim of cane toads I had been told. Last news of the Botanic Gardens population was there had been two, but the tree they nested in died, one had been killed by a car and the last one was seen flying away in search of a mate. No one has seen one around here for three years.
The bird watchers from down south trained their binoculars on the empty sky, the empty trees. No rufuos owls today.
How quietly a species slips out of sight.
Listen on Wednesday 18 September to the I will be chatting to Brendon on the Arvo Show 105.7 ABC Darwin.