Sat, 30 Oct 2004

The Birds, the birds! // at 23:59

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Lorne is overflowing with bird-life, hopefully the increase in development and cat numbers won't change this too much. Even in the last few years the currawongs seem to hang around all year round, bigger and more boistorous, they don't seem to have had too much effect on the smaller bids — yet. Then down at the river, the ducks are in a perpetual state of feeding frenzy, stuffed to immobility on bread from the tourists. We're just as guilty, putting out seed for the parrots and the odd bit of bacon rind for the Kookaburras...

From breakfast to lunch time I think we counted thirty different species, the first five in under a minute just by looking out the window. King parrots (Alisterus scapularis), a Gang-gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), a currawong (Strepera graculina) chasing a family of blue wrens (Malurus cyaneus), a pair of eastern spinebills (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) chasing each other through the wattle branches. Thornbills picking up insects, red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) and new-holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) poking into the grevillea flowers.

Walking down to the beach there's the ubiquitous magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) and raven (Corvus coronoides), black duck (Anas superciliosa) and wood duck (Chenonetta jubata) in the river, a pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius) perched above it and a pair of white-faced herons (Egretta novaehollandiae) asleep on the bank. Sulfer-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) and galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) over the scrub, pacific gulls (Larus pacificus), little terns (Sternula albifrons), lapwings (Vanellus miles) and another cormorant out at the pier. “Gerroff ya stoopid duck,” yells the fisherman — somewhat ignorantly — as the cormorant steals his bait for the second time. Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), sparrows (Passer domesticus), indian mynahs (Acridotheres tristis) and swallows all hopping or flitting around as we have a coffee.

A black cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), a Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), out on a bike ride later in the day there are three pied oyster-catchers (Haematopus longirostris) flying over the rockpools, goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) near the pub, mudlarks (Grallina cyanoleuca) on the lawns. Enough! I don't think I got to thirty, but I probably missed some.

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