At 9:00am today we arrived at the little burnout carpark off Stockdill
Drive, Holt and went along the track toward Shepherds Lookout. After about 50m a
pair of Wedged-tailed Eagles rose from some three metres beyond the trackside
fence and disappeared down into the river valley. We investigated,
expecting to find a dead roo but found a dead puppy dog, probably a
three-month- old Labrador.
Be warned, the next bit isn't too nice. The puppy had suffered an horrific
wound to its head, looked as if it had been hit with the back of an axe. The
eagles (we assume) had opened its abdomen and entrails etc were strewn about.
But the body fluids etc seemed reasonably fresh. I suppose I'm attempting
to say that putrefaction wasn't too far advanced. We reckoned the poor pup had
met its demise no more than about eight hours previously.
I was with Dimity, an eighteen-year-old niece. We're both tough little
country cookies, but became very sad. Anyhow, we jollied each other up and,
during the ensuing few hours, recorded 32 species. Highlights were: an
adult Grey Butcherbird accompanied by an immature, a pair of
Nankeen Kestrels, a Peregrine Falcon, and a light-phase Brown Falcon. Also,
Yellow Thornbills and some six Speckled Warblers. In some scrubby saplings,
down were you can walk across the river, if you're game, we weren't,
we glimpsed an Eastern Whipbird.
On the way back to the car, I said I would see if the eagles had been back
at the dead puppy.
"You stay here, dear, if you want," I told Dimity. "OK," she replied. But
when I got through the fence she was right behind me. And lo and behold,
the dead puppy had disappeared! Beats me!!
We arrived home, wrote-up our birdwatching diaries and prepared lunch. I
don't own a dog, but my dear little cat, Inkypink, got lots of cuddles and
treats in his food bowl. I suppose we were still upset about the poor puppy
John Layton and Dimity Adair.