What was that?

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 17:35
ThreadID: 109895 Views:2696 Replies:13 FollowUps:18
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Hi all..
Wife and I camped at Quoin Head, in Fitzgerald River NP , in WA.. When we settled for the night, someing started to sort of scream, similar to maybe a rodent of some kind, this went on for 5 minutes, just out side the camp trailer. I thought if I tried to take a look it would bolt at first sign of movement... It did go, but was really weird, it kept making the noise, but no running sound, or scurrying noise... Could here the noise disappear in the distance. Anybody have any thoughts... I'm thinking maybe an owl?
This was back in April.. Thought I'd just put it out there...
Thanks ... Odog
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:19

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:19
G'day Odog

First time I had a possum scream outside my tent many years ago I nearly died of fright. So maybe a possum. I don't know the area where you were but I'm sure others much wiser than I will also comment.

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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:33

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:33
Hey John.
Don't think it was a possum, I have heard plenty of them over the years. The way it left was very quick, and no noise, just the screeching sound... That makes me think it had wings, or what was holding it had wings.. ( not a can of red bull either ) I have never heard anything like it.. Cheers Odog
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:27

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:27
hi odog
more than likely it was a curlew
cheers
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:12

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:12
A curlew screaming:
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:50

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:50
Powerful Owl???

One of these scared the hell out of my dad when he was camped at Euroka clearing, in the Blue Mountains, before WW2. Call of a Curlew is very eerie, but not what I'd call a scream.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:10

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:10
A Curlew scream sounds like a child being murdered. Awful, if you don't know what it is.

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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:22

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:22
Aaah ... "The Cry of the Curlew" what a cracker of a yarn by Peter Watt. Highly recommend to anyone interested in early Qld/Aus fiction.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:59

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 19:59
Got Curlews up this way and they start at about 4.30 every morning. Scare the bejezzus out of ya at times..
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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:21

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:21
There used to be lots of Curlews around the south west but mostly the foxes have got them. Might be some left around especially in National parks where heavy baiting is happening.

They have a real blood curdling scream like as Gone Bush described, a child being murdered.

The other might be is some frogs can make awful sounds when being attacked by the likes of cats.




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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:34

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:34
".....child being murdered". What have you blokes been up too? I thought you were both respectable members of society. :-)

Must admit it scared sh*t out of me the first time I heard it, many years ago. They are really thick around where one of the kids lives in Cairns, they're going all night.

Bob

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:06

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:06
Bob, we were camped in the caravan parks in Townsville and Cairns a couple of months ago and heard that screeching sound. We figured it was some sort of bird. Either that or vampires were real...lol

We asked around the camps and were told they were some sort of curlew.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 22:34

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 22:34
In Cairns Coconut Caravan park in 2011, a mum Curlew just had 2 chicks.


In Wonga Beach Caravan Park in 2013.


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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:58

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 21:58
I had a house on Magnetic Island for a few years , and I had 17 Bush Stone Curlews in my yard. I got to know the individuals after a while.

If you think one is bad imagine 17 starting up about 3 metres from your bed at 2am.

They were also the source of much pleasure to me due to their quaint habits of sidling up when you were eating outside and standing perfectly still in a circle about a metre from you, and thinking you couldn't see them.

They also would sit in the dirt and you would almost stand on them before they would move, and then they would hiss at you threateningly, as if the spindly legged bird could hurt you.
They also hung around the Fish and Chip shop standing in among the tables patiently waiting for a chip, and then running like mad with several in pursuit trying to grab the chip.
Regards Philip A
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Reply By: SDG - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 23:15

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 23:15
Drop Bear out of it's tree. lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:21

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:21
Out of its tree!!! Must have walked a hell of along way, or hitched a ride... Not many trees, for miles! Ha. Thought drop bears only fed on back packers anyway.. Cheers
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 01:22

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 01:22
A barking owl (also known as screaming woman owl) will startle most, but the call is short, and rhythmic in intervals between calls.

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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:28

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:28
Thanks mother hen, I'll see if I can find a recording of the owls calls, not 100% it was a curlew.. Such a beautiful area, all that south coast .. I've been there a few times.. Just love it. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:45

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:45
Ah yes, barking owls. Got fooled by a couple of these "bush mermaids" when working up in the gulf country Mother. I heard what sounded like a dog in some pain barking softly in the scrub near our camp just on dusk. Continued for quite a while so I thought I'd better investigate and set off into the bush to help the poor fella. 'Woof woof' followed by a softer 'woof woof' about 20 seconds apart iirc. Sounded close so I pushed on but every time I thought it must be near I'd hear it/them off in the distance, always at about the same decibel level. About 50m in I realised something odd was going on so I made a beeline back to camp. Found out about barking owls a couple of days later.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:58

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:58
Just located some here Odog.

Barking Owl calls page

Female scream

Male and female calling

Pretty much as I remember them apart from the female scream which I've never heard.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 00:01

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 00:01
Thanks for the links Bazooka - I played the first call and my dog went into a frenzy barking around the house looking for the doggy intruder.

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Reply By: Top End Az - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 08:38

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 08:38
Sounds like a Curlew. One of the most eerie noises of the outback night.
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Reply By: snow - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 09:21

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 09:21
Curlew...sheesh!

It was more than likely the W.A pigmy yowie.
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Reply By: AlanTH - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:18

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:18
There's a resident stone curlew at the Ivanhoe C/P in Kununurra. Very early riser and it certainly makes a huge noise as if it's being attacked by something horrid.
Heard them on the Fitzroy as well but a long way off.
AlanH.
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Reply By: gbc - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 11:57

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 11:57
Rufus night herons make a racket when they wake up too, just around dusk.
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Reply By: Glenn C5 - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 12:52

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 12:52
Sounds like a fox to me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:36

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:36
Saw a few foxes , around Stokes NP.. Came right through our camp while we were sitting there, pretty sure, what we heard flew away.. Maybe it was a flying fox.. There ya go, bit of humour.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 19:13

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 19:13
I'm with Glenn C5 - almost certainly a fox, in Fitzgerald NP.
Nothing will raise the hairs on the back of your neck like a fox scream in the middle of a dark night.

The noise is blood-curdling and sounds like a woman being murdered.
First time I heard it, was from a patch of bush in a reserve over the road from my house in a small wheatbelt town.
I couldn't figure out what it was, and set off on foot to try and find the source.
A short while later a fox trotted out of the reserve, and crossed the road.

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Reply By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:12

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:12
Thanks for all the info, had an idea mother hen would have a good idea, I'm not totally convinced it was a curlew, not with out hearing the owl anyway... I'll see what I can search out.. Thanks again everyone. Cheers Odog
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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:41

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:41
Hi

Possibly a barn owl given you heard the "noise disappear in the distance". Don't think bush-stone curlews are found that often down that way and area is heavily baited for foxes. Did a fauna survey down there a few years ago (camped at Quoin Head as welll)..caught/spotted chuditch, dibblers, carpet pythons, malleefowl and heaps of other stuff. Great spot.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:58

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:58
..just checked fauna report (carried out in December 2010 and Feb/March 2011) and two barn owls were recorded at Quoin Head ..so figure that was the culprit.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 17:30

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 17:30
G'day Greg
After listening to all the "suspects" I don't think I could call for sure, what it was. Any way, great to be able to have accesses to places like that, such great scenery, and the local inhabitence aren't to shy. Makes you feel very small. Thanks for the imput. Cheers Odog
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