This morning before work I headed out on the, so far unsuccessfull,
search for the Legendary Carindale Bush Hen. Although only living 10
minutes from the location it was only in early Decemeber that I inquired
of the Keepers of the Bush Hen location - Sheryl and Arthur - and since
then have visited 4 times at various hours to attempt to locate the
elusive little bugger. Every time I have been knee deep in Buff Banded
Rails but no Bush Hen.
This morning I crossed the bike bridge as instructed and, eyes keenly
scanning the edge of the creek walked slowly along the banks. Plenty of
Miners, Dollarbirds, Black Duck, what's that.....? Moorhens... Up high
White throated Needtails and a few Fork Tailed Swifts circled against the
cloudy sky - storm front? Not according to the weather reports, but
'threatening' I think would be the best description - warm and humid.
Lorikeets, both Rainbow and Scaly-breasted screeched through the trees. A
Channel billed Cuckoo flew silently by, unusually so, until I realised
he/she had a bill full of grasshopper.
I reached the place that I reckon would be-the-most-likely spot for BH, a
little back eddy from the main creek full of weed and dragonflies and
overhanging branches, just perfect for my quarry. And there it was on a
dead tree, preening. Body language - not happy Jan. Maybe he fell in?
Anyway, not a good hair day for this BH. Stalked up and down the branch,
wings hanging half down, preening and picking and frowning at life.
Finally flew down onto a patch of mud and agressively chased something
away - I missed it - then stuck his neck out and uttered a screeching,
braying get-off-my-mud threat before returning again to his branch and
surveying his world from under the safety of a fern leaf.
I left him to it...............and tripped over a BB Rail down the track.
Good way to start the day - Australian tick no 300.
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