Friday, June 15, 2007


One of the nice things about living in the suburbs near a park, after years of living in the traffic-choked, smoggy inner city, is the wildlife. Specifically, the feathered kind. It's so lovely to see and hear the occasional kookaburra, or the numerous black crows with their terrific calls.

We also get big flocks of cockatoos who sometimes descend on our mandarin tree but at the moment are feasting at the water-logged playing fields in our park. It is deafening when they fly above us. One of the locals also breeds racing pigeons and every afternoon (when it's not bucketing down with rain) you can see their huge flock circling above.

At other times, the noise from the brown songlarks as they chatter away on the power lines is amazingly loud. They fly around, in and out of the trees at the front of our house and make an incredible racket, especially considering their size. My mother said that they remind her of musical notes when they sit there on the wires (excuse the dodgy photo stitching):

This morning I was fortunate enough to see a black-faced cuckoo shrike sitting on our clothes line out the back. It was pouring with rain but it just sat there surveying the territory. It eventually moved off, much to my relief. I was worried about it getting soaked! What a beautiful creature it was. Not too common around here.

The set of Gould League bird posters I received one year for Christmas has proved invaluable in helping to identify these creatures. I have one on the back of the toilet door, and must remember to put the rest of them up in useful places!

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