Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

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kengeorge
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Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby kengeorge » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:04 am

Are there any records for Little Owl in Eastbourne in Wellington? I arrived in Eastbourne couple of nights ago for a 10 day visit and was pretty sure I heard Little Owl calling as I unloaded the car outside the house in Muritai Rd just after dusk. I'm familiar with the call from the small population of Little Owl we have at home in Golden Bay. When I checked on eBird for Eastbourne Little Owl records- nothing. (User error on my part possible). I know there are Morepork in the area from previous visits, but I'm pretty sure this call was Little Owl. Anybody seen/heard them round here?
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kengeorge
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Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby kengeorge » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:13 am

Had posted about a local tui mimicing yellow-crowned kakariki chatter call in it's own song sequence; now realised the local sparrows have a very similar chatter call and I hear it frequently when they gather in a flock of 30-40 around the birdfeeder in the household's back yard. The tui also sits regularly in a tree at the rear of the property so probably mimicing the sparrows.
Last edited by kengeorge on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:24 pm

I think there has only been one North Island record (from 1958, viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4522&start=10#p33331), and a few other unconfirmed sightings. There was another report of a possible 'hearing' in Wellington last year (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7778&p=37069). Try to track it down. You might have a new one to add to the Wellington biodiversity list.
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Neil
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Nikki McArthur
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby Nikki McArthur » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:08 pm

That's intriguing! There's good numbers of little owls in the hinterland around Blenheim - we're picking them up in more and more places now that a number of us Marlborough-based birders are actively looking and listening for them at night for the NZ Bird Atlas. Wellington is within sight of coastal Marlborough - does anyone know how good or willing little owls are at crossing open water?
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kengeorge
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby kengeorge » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:33 pm

I'm here until beginning of September so I'll try and get a recording. From where I am I can clearly see the top of the South Island and the mountains around Kaikoura out through the Wellington heads so the trip up would be line-of-sight all the way for any southern birds....this area would be pretty good owl habitat too with plenty of mature macrocarpas and bush trees.
Last edited by kengeorge on Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jan
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby Jan » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:49 pm

Don't Moreporks make a sound very like a Little Owl? I know they have a varied repertoir [sp].
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kengeorge
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby kengeorge » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:28 pm

True, but the little owl has a higher pitched call, sort of a weeeoo sound, repeated every 2-3 seconds, often with a very short little 'pip' between calls. Not much variation in the calls, unlike the morepork. There is a good recording on the New Zealand Birds Online website.
Last edited by kengeorge on Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RussCannings
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby RussCannings » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:24 am

Are you familiar with the 'weeeoh!' call morepork give? Not usually described in fieldguides for whatever reason but totally different from the more familiar horse 'scree' calls. Definitely threw me when I first moved down to NZ.
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kengeorge
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby kengeorge » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:07 pm

Yeah but I discounted that. It was definitely more like the call on the New Zealand Birds online website, that almost 'yappy' quick repetition . I'll try to get a recording. Probably just a false alarm but worth a try. I note that the previous Wellington little owl query that Neil mentioned at the top was May 31st last year, from Beacon Hill Rd, which is on the Miramar/Seatoun penninsula; just a few kilometers away from Eastbourne on the other side of the harbour.
Last edited by kengeorge on Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
andrewcrossland
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Re: Little Owl Eastbourne Wellington

Postby andrewcrossland » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 pm

Hey, rather than trying to record it, why don't you just play Little Owls over your phone and a hand held speaker? If it hears a Little Owl call its certain to fly right over and sit right beside you. Then you may be able to get a photo.

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