A Bit of a Story

Long term readers and those who have worked with me, will know I’m not a great Bird Chaser to get my numbers up.
I can recognise when I find a new bird, Commonly known among the best circles as “A Lifer”. But the thought of chasing a bird across miles/kilometers of country, just to get a fleeting glimpse or a slightly blurry photo that needs to be enlarged from a two pixel size, is not among my ‘must do this year’ things.
My birding, is much more the sitting quietly, enjoying the moment and appreciatting the birds in their world.

I’ve quoted Jon Young before, he of “What the Robin Knows”, so here we go again.
“Practice with the routine of invisibility, and growing respect, connection and San-like recognition, in the vernacular of the bird language, are secrets to close encounters”.

At Werribee Treatment Plant, its not unusual to have a car pull up, and the driver or passengers ask, “Have you seen THE Bittern”. Always THE, so is there only one? or are there more?
Mostly I can dumbly answer, “Sorry, haven’t seen it today!”, to be covered in a cloud of dust as they drive away to the next “opportunity”.

On a whim, we went to the T Section early on Thursday morning. The weather had been predicted to be below average, bordering on the catastrophic, but I’ve rambled enough on Weather Novelists, haven’t I. EE noted some sunshine and blue sky, and said let’s go, breakfast done, we did.

Crisp sunshine looked good, and a stiff breeze was only going to be cold, but that is what Drizabone is for.

It didn’t take the track near the ‘Crake Pond’ long to fill up with the usual 4WD convoys.
And then one of the group came down to where I was photographing a Willie Wagtail hovering in the strong breeze, and say, “They have found THE Bittern up by the pool, do you want to see it.”.
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As Swift as: Swift Parrots at Eynesbury

Quick snapshot.

We, EE, Mr An Onymous and I had gone up to Eynesbury for the Eynesbury Environmental Group’s Sunday walk in the forest.

We motored up in style in the An Blackmobile, and what other colour would Anonymous chose. (Let’s not go there).

We arrived in good time, thanks to great navigating by the unnamed driver.  Chris, he of the awards, was waiting in the car park and the sun was shining. How good.
We waited for the rest to arrive, and heard a unusal call in the tree line at the carpark.  A little searching and lo and behold, to our astonishment, and joy and delight, let it be said, there was a Swift Parrot at work in the tree, feasting on lerp.

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SnapShots: The Account of The Magpie and the Little Eagle

All good tales have a protagonist and of course the antagonist.  From Romeo and Juliet to Jane Eyre, or a Hitchcock movie, the ‘player of the first part’, has always to experience the consequences of decisions.

So as our hero the Little Eagle made its way across the paddocks in the sunshine, oblivious of the dangers, it was soon to learn that not all skies are clear, blue and free.

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SNAPSHOTS: Landing Rights at Cormorant Jetty

You can tell, dear reader, when its a quiet birding day.  And that I’m down at the Point Cook Coastal Park.  When the tide is in, the cormorants, Little Pied and Pied mostly, congregate on an old abandoned pier that orginally served the first Chirnside Homestead in the area.
Now it’s a shadow of its former self, but regularly used by water birds as a safe haven for resting, preening and establishing relationships.

And when there are no other birds on show, well, I settle down on the sand, and watch the comings and goings. Always some new thing to see.

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SNAPSHOTS: The Flight of the Mudlark

Yep, I know they are Pied Lark.  But, ever since I was a little tacker, I’ve been impressed with Muddies—as we used to be allowed to call them.  I think there is an affinity between a young lad, and a bird that makes its stand in a tiny puddle of muddy water alongside the roadway.

There is discussion that they also form the shape for the emblem on the South Australian Flag.  The best designs call it a “Piping Shrike”, a term that was applied at various stages to both Muddies and Australian Magpies.

I really want to get a shot of a pair engaged in their wingflap/flare pair-bonding call.  But I’ve also been following them for such a long time to get a respectable wing shape in flight.

Tis the season for young muddies to show off among their peers and it does make it a little easier to get a close fly past.
We came across a group working over a roadway, and I walked down the fence line to where a female was sitting.  All I had to do was wait till it flew.
Females have the black line down through the eye. Males have a white eyebrow and no white bib.

What I didn’t anticipate was what happened next.

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