Purple-crowned Lorikeet: The Art of the Impossible

“Forget the years, forget distinctions. 
Leap into the boundless and make it your home!”
― Zhuangzi

 

Here’s a quick one as I’m still smiling after watching it happen

Take two Purple-crowned Lorikeets in preening mode.  Have one of them decide that its more fun on the other side of the branch.
Imagine (if you will), it can fly across to the new spot.

But.

Our hero of the moment takes a much  more direct approach.  Had I but known this would have been so much more fun to see in video.

Enjoy

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Nothing like a preen and a wingstretch to build a pair bond

Continue reading “Purple-crowned Lorikeet: The Art of the Impossible”

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Office Addendum

Given our somewhat fling of success the previous evening, EE decided that an early morning start to have a look and see if we could locate the Nankeen Night-herons and Sacred Kingfishers would be a good use of our time.  And as my poor old foot had survived the first outing, it might be good of course, to well, test it a bit further. Thanks.  Such is the medical profession. Of which EE is not one. 🙂

It did seem quite bright sunshine and blue sky as we loaded Sir Perceval, and head out.  But as soon as we were past the halfway point, the clouds rolled in, and was that rain I detected on the windscreen.  “Oh, Jane said on the telly news that it wouldn’t rain today”, she confidently replies.
Oh! Good!

It seems to me, and I might of course be speaking out of turn, but the weather tv folk must always be talking about a specific house in a specific (unspecified of course) neighborhood, and the rest of us can just take pot luck.  I’m also of the opinion, and I could of course be speaking out of turn again, but it seems to me, that said weather spruikers are probably less accurate than the other dudes who do the ‘Your day by the Stars’, readings— Just sayin’.

Highlight of the day was two Wedge-tailed Eagles either in dispute or play. Regrettably little sunshine and too far far away.  But an amazing sight. Continue reading “Office Addendum”

Wrestling with the enigma that is Goschen

"The oftener one sees,

the better one knows;

the better one knows,

the more one loves."

Charles Kingsley

We’ve been up to the family acres for the annual family pilgrimage. Somehow or other the January time frame suits this sojourn and regardless of the weather we journey up.
Swan Hill is the destination and of late we’ve been staying across the river (That would be the Murray River for the geographically embarrassed), at the Murray Downs Golf Resort.

When I was but a mere broth of a lad, the area was mostly salt bush and mud flat, but good old ingenuity, and the application of many hundreds of thousands of dollars has transformed the area to a fine golfclub resort.  And the side benefit for the average birder is that the many water features and trees has provided a suitable haven for many of the birds of area. But, more of that on another blog methinks.

A few kilometres down the road from Swan Hill is a small isolated patch of scrub, that is now incorporated into the “Goschen Roadside Reserve”.

And is wont of those in the Parks department it is now suitably fenced off to keep undesirables on the outside and protect that which is on the inside. Not that there is much to protect anymore.

And so begins the enigma. Goschen was to be a little township that happened after the first world war. (Yes, it should be in caps, but really does it deserve such honour?) Many such small communities were established.  But, the one thing about Goschen is— Lack of Water (in caps because, well, it’s the singularly most important part of the enigma)

Drive just 5 more minutes down the road and you’ll come over a sandy rise and all is green before you.  The result of irrigation. Water. And the rich farming area of grapes, stone fruit and citrus.  Just 5 minutes.  Had the water extended out to Goschen, then all would have been different and hopes and dreams would have turned to riches, instead of just being blown away like the dust.

To their credit, the early settlers and the government officials of the time, did try.  A school, community hall, cricket field and tennis courts were all part of the scheme and were built.  Now all that remains is a plaque for the school—and some of the old concrete flooring in the toilets—the community hall rapidly deteriorating as the fencing off has protected it somewhat from vandalism, and also meant it is ignored by the fence erectors. A search among the long grass to the east will also find the remains of the concrete cricket pitch.

The years past and the area, as often happened began to revert to its ordinary existence. And the area became a little haven for birds both local and migrants.

And another challenge. An area that can be an honeypot on occasions and frustratingly quiet on others. It’s not just a seasonal thing, nor a food thing. It’s Goschen.

 

Continue reading “Wrestling with the enigma that is Goschen”

Life with a sprinkle of Choughness

Long term readers will know of my fascination with all things Choughness.

White-winged Choughs can be both frustrating and rewarding to follow.  Some families seem to have a high human tolerance and I’ve had them hunt around my feet and sit on the same log with me.  Others. No matter how much time I spend, they just keep moving on.
They are not the world’s greatest aeronauts and I often think that if they can run to the next location that is their preferred method of locomotion.

They also have quite well established family rules. Which they understand, while I must guess what is going on.  And at just about every encounter, I come away impressed by some new view of choughness.

One family we see regularly in the You Yangs have just managed to get a couple of young ones off the nest.   Now comes the job of teaching these little ones all the rules of choughness.   And its a big task.  The young birds are quite clueless. And they have an average attention span of about 1 millisecond.   “Is it food”, seems to be the total of their ability to reason.   So the adults have to spend quite a bit of time working with young. And because of their lack of reason, they are easily enticed away by other families offering “bigger grubs”.  Oh boy, I gotta go

Choughs need quite a large family size, at least six or seven adults to raise a young.  Larger groups have more flexibility and its reported, more success.

Found the family at work around some rocks, and settled down for a sprinkle of choughness to add to my day.

Continue reading “Life with a sprinkle of Choughness”