Shepherds Lookout

To: "chat line" <>
Subject: Shepherds Lookout
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 23:05:51 +1100
Younger Brat, Samantha, accompanied by her friend Emily, dropped in unexpectedly this arvo to spend the weekend in what they seem to regard as Daddyo's Drop-in Canberra Youth Hostel. Emily's from Sri Lanka on a study visa, and the birds this charming young lady's seen in her lifetime make me envious.
They dragged me off to Shepherds Lookout for a spot of late afternoon birding. I was about to settle down to watch a DVD of MASH episodes I'd hired, but they can be persuasive little pinafores. We came upon a mixed feeding flock of eight species including Southern Whitefaces, Speckled Warblers, four Double-barred Finches and a couple of House Sparrows (!). Saw some six Yellow Thornbills in a wattle shrub, two of them were calling and wing-quivering, semi-dependent youngsters?
Other highlights: Grey Butcherbird, Nankeen Kestrel, two Peregrine Falcons, a soaring Little Eagle which afforded us wonderful views of it's under-wing areas so no mistaking it for a Whistling Kite. Also, ten Varied Sitellas and, perched on dead branches, 16 Red-rumped Parrots accompanied by a yellow Cockatiel. I wonder how long that mellow-yellow-escapee chic's gonna last in what we call Raptor City.
So, during our birdwalk (about an hour), we ticked, checked-off, noted but didn't twitch (hate that _expression_) twenty-seven species. Tomorrow evening, we're off to the Yacht Club for dinner before going to the movies to see Capote. I hope the little pinafores have brought plenty of pin money. Come Sunday, it's off to Tidbinbilla Nature Nature Reserve. Gawd knows what my busy little Audubons will discover there. Come Monday, they're off back to Wagga Wagga. The silence will be deafening. So me and my cat can sit back, relax and watch our MASH movies.
John Layton.
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