Monday, June 30, 2014
Respect to the 17 - yes 17 - hardy souls who turned up for the birding bash on Sunday. I was impressed with the enthusiasm of all who attended. Considering the mad weather, we saw quite a few birds. 9 Australasian Shovelers (sewage works), a Bassian Thrush (Church St) and 35 European Goldfinches (pony club) were the highlights. I'll hope to do another of these in spring-summer. LJ, June 30 2014.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Dawn: relentless 40km/h winds from the west; 4 degrees; cloudlessness. Not the weather you hope for when leading a bird outing at 8:30am. At this rate, we'll be lucky to see a Brown Thornbill. They will all be blown to Braidwood! Perhaps the weather will give us a stray Grey Falcon. I live in eternal hope. LJ, June 29 2014.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Tim Low's new book makes an argument for Australia's birds being the noisiest, angriest, most dynamic birds in the world. He also says - controversially, in the eyes of ornithologists in the Northern Hemisphere - that birdsong originated in Australia 40 million years ago. Sounds fascinating. Richard Fidler has a terrific discussion with Tim over on the ABC's Conversations page. LJ, June 27 2014.
Man, I hope these winds calm down for Sunday's bird outing. There's a very determined westerly knocking at all my doors and windows right now. At least a Grey Goshawk was enjoying the conditions over Bundy's main drag 45 mins ago. The raptor was a fair way up. LJ, 26.4.14
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I failed to mention that I came across 22 Brown Cuckoo-doves feeding on grit along Gullies Rd back on Easter Sunday morning. When I softly imitated the bird's whooping call, some of the cuckoo-doves came within a few feet of me. A top encounter. I've never seen that many BCDs together. LJ, June 11 2014.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Some of the Aussie birds I'd most like to see: Night Parrot (naturally), Coxen's Fig-parrot, Princess Parrot, Hooded Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Orange-bellied Parrot, Trumpet Manucode, Gouldian Finch, Black Grasswren, White-throated Grasswren, Eyrean Grasswren, Banded Fruit-dove, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Magnificent Riflebird, Rufous Owl, Eastern Grass Owl, Masked Owl, Papuan Frogmouth, Southern Cassowary, Western Whipbird, Red-lored Whistler, Star Finch, Albert's Lyrebird. LJ, June 10 2014.
In mid-2001, when driving back from Uluru (what a mesmerising spot; I yearn for it on a weekly basis) not long after sunset, I was blessed to see a Marsupial Mole scamper across the road in front of me. It took me a few seconds to process what I'd seen. What a surprise. These moles are very rarely encountered in Central Australia; even their tracks are hardly ever found. I hold this up as one of the greatest animal spotting moments I've had in this country. A remarkable confluence of timing and circumstance. What will be my next Southern Marsupial Mole moment? LJ, 10 June 2014.
I've now decided to move beyond the realms of Bundanoon occasionally so as to write more broadly about various aspects of Australia's natural history. I hope, dear reader, you're cool with this. Bundanoon's wildlife will always anchor me though. Stay tuned. LJ, 10 June 2014.