At 5:10 pm today, I was stationary at the lights at the intersection of
Southern Cross / Kingsford Smith Drives when a lone Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
flew slowly across the intersection. Yes, they usually appear to fly slowly, but
this poor bird gave me the impression that all was not well. Its flight appeared
laboured, and it was no more than four metres above the fairly
busy roads. It approached a phone line, and looked set to land but, at the
last second, aborted the landing, dropped and executed a very clumsy landing on
some tall, thick garden shrubbery. Immediately, it appeared to lose its footing
and fell into the foliage.
When I arrived home, I changed into my shorts, got on my bicycle and rode
back to where I saw the cocky land - about a seven minute ride. I stopped, put
my hands on the top of the fence and peeked into the bushes but didn't see a
cockatoo. There was, however, a young, bikini-clad lady watering the
"Excuse me," I said, "I saw a black cockatoo land in your shrubs about 15
minutes ago, it looked like it might have been injured. Did you happen to see
"No!" she shrieked, her eyes as big as saucers.
"Sorry," I said, "Didn't mean to startle you. I'm a bird watcher."
She continued to glare at me as if I was contemplating home invasion. So, I
bid her good evening and decamped. I thought I looked pretty cool and innocuous
in my US Marines baseball cap, (which my daughter had bought for me in a
souvenir shop, mind you) aviator sunglasses and three-days growth of grey
Anyhow, I hope the cockatoo in the shrubbery, and the chickadee in the
bikini, are feeling much better now. And that, folks, is a true story.
John Layton. Innocuous bird watcher of Holt.