Thanks to all those who advised re Heather & Robertson. Linda bought a
field guide edition today. She's looking forward to seeing all the Old World
birds abroad in NZ as much as the natives.
Cruising back from Yass this afternoon, I pulled into Hall
Cemetery because I've not been there in years and remembered it as a
pretty good birding locale. Besides, I wanted to "blood" my new Nikon
Action 8x40 binoculars, the first I've bought in 17 years, and they
turned out pretty cool.
A dilettante chappie, and connoisseur of many things, whom I'll call
Ole Curmudgeon, checked my new binos the other day and said, "They're not a good
choice for birdwatching, you should have got Zeiss or Leica." Yes, and I'd
like a vintage Leica rangefinder camera and a new Ford F-250 truck too, but my
budget runs to Nikons and Toyota utes.
Birds highlights at Hall Cemetery: A White-plumed Honeyeater feeding
a juvenile Pallid Cuckoo, it looked like Jiminy Cricket tending the Michelin
Man. A bit late in the season to see such a thing, I thought. Two White-throated
Treecreepers, six Brown-headed Honeyeaters, two Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes
hawking insects on high as a smattering of Welcome Swallows joined the
hunt, and I counted about twelve Tree Martins twittering in foliage. A flock of
some 100 Common Starlings wheeling over the fields. A Crested Shrike-tit and two
Diamond Firetails with an immature, and two Common Bronzewings. Adult and
immature Australian Ravens. I saw two young rabbits peeking out from beneath the
broken masonry of a dilapidated grave. I hope the little buggers don't burrow
Back at the car park, a very worried lady approached, "I locked my keys and
my purse and my phone in the car. Have you got a mobile phone? Will you call the
NRMA for me?" I feared she was going to cry. I walked over, took a
look at her elderly Commodore, reached out and opened an unlocked rear door. An
embarrassed, but grateful lady thanked me profusely. It kind of put a nice touch
to the end of a good day out.