The ultimate in lyrebird mimicry

To: <>
Subject: The ultimate in lyrebird mimicry
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 22:01:55 +1000
WARNING:   Serious-minded birding-ausers delete this message now!

JAG de Whag wrote of the first white man to land in Australia wandering in
the bush and calling: "Hello, Coo-eee".  He continued:

    "On day two when he travelled some more he again called out "Hello,
Coo-eee" but this time he heard the reply come back "White with two eh?"
spoken in English by a female Australasian White backed magpie, to her mate.
Sadly this can not be confirmed but we true blue Oz believe it's more then a
miff. We think it's more then pawsible then the England cricket scores.
Lucks a fortune eh?"

So I've just got to restore lyrebirds to their rightful place of supremacy
among Australian avian mimics.

It was in Washpool State Forest (long before 'Nifty', bless him, made it a
National Park) so clearly it was a Superb not an Albert's.  This bloke made
a bob or two by following the loggers and splitting sleepers out of the logs
left behind as being too hollow for the sawmill.

Early one morning, a bit before sunrise, he's boiling the billy when he
hears way down in the gully, the sound of a chain-saw being started.  Brrrt
Brrrrt Brrt.  "Funny," he thinks, "who the hell can that be.  There's no-one
but me camped out here.  And I'd have heard the vehicle if anyone came out
this morning."

Then the motor catches Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...   But apparently the
throttle is jammed.  The motor is absolutely screaming.  "S..t!  If he
doesn't switch that off it's going to explode!"

And just as the thought hits him, there's a loud explosion, then silence.

"Got to help him," he thinks.  He notes where the sound had come from, just
to the right of a big tallowwood with a large branch stub.  Plows his way
down the slope through the shrubs and ferns ...

    to a lyrebird mound covered in the blood, guts and feathers of an
exploded lyrebird. 

The ultimate in mimicry!

(Mind you, I've never succeeded in getting first hand confirmation from
anyone who knew the sleeper-cutter personally.)

Syd :-)

(I promise a serious lyrebird message to compensate.)

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