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-- 08 December, 2004 --

Summer birds

galah2.jpg My walk took me through a shaded section of the bushland park near home this morning. I was later than usual and the day had already warmed to make walking a sweaty business so this cool space under the trees was a welcome break to me as it is to the birds.

Galahs are not as relaxed in human company as kookaburras or cockatoos which makes taking photographs a stealthy business. They don't allow anyone within a radius of 4 or 5 metres. A telephoto lens is a must. As I approached my crossing place, they flew up into the small gum trees that provide the shade and sat there, watching suspiciously, waiting for me to move on.

The birds search for small seeds among the grass and pebbles along the edge of the creek, which is very low due to the current drought. There are small puddles of water between the flat sandstone slabs that litter the creek bed and the birds flit between the stony ground and the puddles.

Posted by robynls at 11:11 AM | Comments (6)

-- 04 December, 2004 --

Such a child!

Kookaburras 003sml.jpgHe sat in the tree for a while, watching what was going on around him, blissfully unaware that he was being watched himself.

All fluffy like a little teddy bear, this young one was on an outing with his parents and a sibling who were elsewhere in the bush nearby. Suddenly he flew down into the yard underneath me and disappeared from sight behind a shrub. I moved to see what he was up to. He had a small piece of clear plastic that must have blown into the garden on the strong winds that we had following the scorching hot day earlier in the week.

True to his kind, he was 'killing' his prey by bashing it against the rock hard ground. Finally, satisfied with his efforts, he flew up onto the fence that separates the garden from the bushland beyond and prepared to devour his prize. Surely he couldn't be that young and silly, I worried. He shook his head about, trying to get a better grip, at one stage dropping his prize but then skillfully grabbing it again before it had descended below his chest. What amazing dexterity!

Finally, to my relief, he realised that the morsel wasn't all that he thought it should be and let it fall onto the ground beyond the fence.

Posted by robynls at 3:41 PM | Comments (1)

-- 25 November, 2004 --

The cheese thief.

kooka.jpg My silence for the last few weeks has been caused by a few new responsibilities taking up most of my time and energy. Finally, the boss has taken the grand step of giving me a chance at a promotion, though only temporarily. I have been Acting Year 10 Coordinator while my friend has been on long servise leave for the last term. I have been running myself ragged trying to prove that I am up to the challenge so I have ended up each day exhausted. For the last two weeks there has been HSC marking after school to add to the energy drain.

One of the pleasant duties of being Year 10 Coordinator is getting to go to their camp in the second last week of school, even though I was only allowed to go for one day. While I was having lunch with one of the groups of girls, this kookaburra perched up in a nearby tree, watching very carefully. When noone was watching, he swooped down right in the middle of the circle of picnicing girls and stole a slice of cheese from a plate. He took into the bushes to 'kill' before eating it and then returned to the tree to wait for his next chance. He managed to steal 3 bits of cheese before the girls tidied up and put an end to his thieving ways.

Posted by robynls at 8:32 PM | Comments (1)

-- 31 October, 2004 --

Breakfast companion

cockie.jpg

Living where we do in Sydney, right on the edge of a small bushy park, we often have vistors of the feathered variety. Today, my Sunday brunch on our small balcony was interupted by the arrival of this extremely bold sulphur-crested cockatoo. He(?) and 3 of his mates had flown in earlier in the morning and perched on the rail as we sat inside the room.

These monsters have the very annoying habit of ripping chuncks out of the wooden railings so I had flung open the blinds on the verandah doors with the intention of frightening them away. The three of them just sat there, focusing their beady little black eyes on me as if to say "You don't frighten us one tiny, little bit!" Of course, when I came back with the camera, they had flown back up into the trees in the park behind the house.

This one did come back a little later, while I was drinking my tea and reading. He landed within arm's reach of me and waited to have his photograph taken and then, with an audible rustling of his wing feathers, took off again to join his mates. I wonder who will visit me next Sunday brunch?

Posted by robynls at 12:18 PM | Comments (3)