Highlights of a Christmas Eve spin around the valley (Lockyer Valley, SE
Qld) were Black-tailed Native Hens at two locations, Black Falcon, Freckled
Duck, and a pair of Ground Cuckoo-shrikes. Late in the afternoon,
Plum-headed Finches came through the garden on their way to an as yet
On the verandah, Turkey and Aylesbury duck were the feature birds on
Christmas Day, with several cuckoos calling, but nothing that could drag us
away from the festivities.
Then, in the afternoon, came the mother of all hailstorms! Frozen white
Brussels Sprouts raining down on Christmas Day, splashing into the creek at
speed, each entry causing a fountain like splash, maybe 2 feet high,
hundreds of them all at once, reminiscent of the sight of a great flock of
gannets plunging into a shoal of fish.
The storm continued into the evening as heavy rain, and by around 10pm the
creek was roaring by in full flood, sweeping along all sorts of creekside
debris from properties upstream. An hour or so later when the rain had
lessened, I turned on a light to illuminate the creek, and there were three
Black Swans cruising gently around on a full but not torrential stream. All
was well again.
This morning (Boxing Day), no exciting birds to report so far, but the
restored creek has already rewarded us with a platypus, swimming
energetically across the steady flow, mostly on the surface but making the
occasional rolling otter-like dive beneath to reappear a few metres further
Lockyer Valley, Queensland.
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