Black-eared Cuckoo and Freckled Duck in the Lockyer

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Black-eared Cuckoo and Freckled Duck in the Lockyer
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 07:38:03 +1000
We had one and possibly two Black-eared Cuckoos in the garden this-afternoon
(Sunday, 8th January), as well as a Brush Cuckoo calling on and off for most
of the day.

It was when I went out to see if I could get a photo of the Brush Cuckoo
which was calling from a tree right alongside the house, that I encountered
two smaller cuckoos chasing each other around. Well, I say chasing each
other, but maybe it was just one chasing the other. It was very speedy, in
and out of and between bushes - impossible to say if there was just one
pursuing and one pursued, or if they were taking it in turns. Then, one of
the birds dropped onto a low power line and faced me for a minute or so.

Enough to get the binoculars on it and to see the bold wide white eyebrow
and broad black curving eyestripe beneath, along with that distinctive
curved cuckoo-bill. The head markings were reminiscent even of a Striated
Pardalote in their boldness.

But, the most surprising thing for me was to see a pinkish breast. Even
allowing for the afternoon sun on the bird, the breast was distinctly tinged
pink. Pizzey refers to it as being a pale salmon - but this particular bird
was not so very pale.

I managed a couple of photographs, and will attach one to copies of this
posting, but I really wanted to feast my eyes on the sight of this beautiful
bird more than I wanted to photograph it. I'll have a look around tomorrow
and see if I can find it, or them, for some better photos.

John Hadley called to say that this-morning he and Michael Wode found 8
Freckled Duck on Pechey's Lagoon between Tent Hill and Gatton. That being
so, they could well be on other lakes around the valley.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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