At 8 o'clock this morning, Younger Brat and I visited Shepherds Lookout,
before the wind sprang up, to do a bit of birdwatching and reconnoiter
preparatory to the bird blitz.
Wandered around for 90 minutes and recorded 18 species, but didn't see the
resident peregrines. Highlights were: Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, Common
Bronzewing, Varied Sittela, Pelican, at least ten Grey Fantails, a persistent
Stuka attack by a Willie Wagtail, Double-barred Finch.
We paused for a drink of thermos tea, and the sylvan silence was shattered
by the strident chirping of an auburn-crested, ponytailed polymath.
"Look! Look at those beautiful kingfishers! They're not Sacreds, are they?
What are they?"
A pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters was perched on a fire-killed casuarina.
"Surely you know a bee-eater from a kingfisher," I grumbled.
"Of course! But my binoculars weren't focussed when I looked!"
Back at the beautiful burnout carpark we found a Blue-tongue Lizard basking
on the bitumen. My ponytailed polymath watched saucer-eyed as I grabbed it
behind its forelegs, picked it up, and shoved the hissing critter under her
nose. "Want to take it home, slit its throat and chuck it on the barbie, good
"Piss off, Pop!" she exploded, back-pedaling rapidly. "Let the poor bastard
"Watch your language, or you won't come on the birdwatching blitz," I
"Pigs arse!" she replied. I don't why she reverts to language so
unbecoming of a young lady. Needs a good smack. Anyhow, I relocated the lizard
to some sun-warmed rocks which I thought would be safer for it than the
Back home, come noon, all was forgiven. I knocked the top off a cold bottle
of beer, sat back and watched as the brat prepared a nice, non-reptilian,
Gees, life's fun, ain't it?