Sorry, but I can't restrict myself to just one. All three "experiences"
given below happened during a two week trip Mary and I did out through
Western Victoria, into SA, and back along the Great Ocean Road in October -
a trip which will be well remembered... I added 30 new species to my
Australian List which I have just tallied for the first time - a not hugely
impressive total (compared to others I have seen on this mailing-list) of
309, but I'm happy with that - I fall a long way short of being a twitcher!
1. While at Wyperfield NP, we had just come across a malleefowl (tick) and
watched it calmly, quietly at close range for about ten minutes as it
foraged. As we turned away finally, a Grey Falcon (tick) cruised languidly
directly overhead at a height of about 8m, just above the canopy. My
feeling on seeing these two birds, so close, in the still heat of the
mallee was at once ethereal and electric, and one I can't imagine will ever
2. Again in the mallee, this time at Sunset NP just before the SA border,
we pulled over on the side of the road to wander briefly in the scrub.
Nothing exceptional, but the place was alive with Crimson Chats (tick),
bee-eaters, Southern Whitefaces, various thornbills, pardalotes, etc. and a
persistent Crested Bellbird (tick).
3. I find it difficult to believe this one myself - Rock Doves (ie Feral
Pigeons) at Robe, SA. But this time they really were being Rock Doves!
They were right out on the cliffs at the most battered and windswept point,
roosting in the salt spray and wind eroded cavities of the calcrete cliffs,
riding the strong winds to perfection, and being just like they're supposed
to rather than snooping around garbage bins and defeacing the facades of
buildings. The only other place I've seen them like this was along the
chalk cliffs between Brighton and Dover in England - when you see them like
this it is almost possible to still like them and admire them.
Merry Christmas to all
and good birding in '96
Harvey D. Perkins
Divn Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Faculty of Science ph: +61.6.249 2663
Australian National University fax: +61.6.249 0313
Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia email: