More Yellow-faced Honeyeaters on the move

To: "chat line" <>
Subject: More Yellow-faced Honeyeaters on the move
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2005 22:30:42 +1000
This arvo, while soaking up the sun and reading a novel in the back yard, I became aware of groups of little birds - about six at a time - whizzing overhead five metres above the ground. They were flying from a gumtree a couple of houses away and heading west.
I was not at all motivated to get off the banana lounge, so I yelled for Younger Brat to fetch my binoculars. I had to yell twice. I don't know about these kids of today, they can be so tardy to obey. Anyhow, YB eventually appeared with two pair of binos and grumbling about not being a servant girl or a trained retriever puppy dog.
"Be quiet Lassie! And check the birds!" I commanded. She stamped her foot, got over her pique, and we were able to identify the birds as Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. We watched for ten minutes until the flow of honeyeaters petered out. At a very rough estimate, I guess some 50 Y-f Hs passed over as we watched.
Then,YB returned indoors, and I returned to my latest James Lee Burke novel and read about goodies and badies, wolves, bears and guns in western Montana. Ah, bliss. Then, my peaceful literary pursuits were shattered as YB hollered from the kitchen window, "Popsie, come in for afternoon tea. Pumpkin scones and black tea flavoured with Leatherwood honey!" So, I goes indoors. It's handy to have a little pinafore who's just completed an apprenticeship in commercial cookery.
At 4pm we went for a drive down Parkwood Road, Holt and saw a raptor perched on an electricity pole. It was backlit by the westering sun and impossible to identify. We sneaked around until the sun was behind us, but we were still nonplussed until the penny dropped. It turned out to be a light phase of the Brown Falcon. First light-phase Brown Falcon we've noticed.
Back home, I prepared dinner. Apricot chicken casserole on a bed of steamed Basmati rice accompanied by snappy, lightly-steamed, green vegies. And for desert, blueberry ice cream.
"Ah!" a satiated YB announced, "Great kai, Popsie, good birdwatching tucker. Where did you learn to cook? And where did you learn so much about birds?"
"I learned a lot of things when I was a boy in the bush outside Wagga Wagga and we'll never stop learning, dear girl," I answered.
If you find this lengthy email irritating, please let me know, and I'll try to write some more.
Must go now, because YB is hollering from the kitchen. She seems to think I've sneaked off from helping wash the dishes. Actually, I was trying to dingo out of it!
John K. Layton.
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