An impromptu walk around Lake Ginninderra this afternoon produced 27
species including a few unusual sightings for the area including: 16
Little Ravens on the northern slope of Rocky Knoll. Three Eurasian Skylarks, not
so unusual for the precincts but a favourite of mine as I went for years
before witnessing their wonderful ascending/descending song routine for the
first time near Henty last October. 14 Pink-eared Ducks and four Blue-billed
Ducks. Brown Goshawk. Two Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos. At one place, a pair of
Crested Shrike-tits, subsequently, at separate places, two single Shrike-tits.
Finally, three Varied Sittellas and a male Golden-headed Cisticola still replete
with guilded pate.
Over dinner this evening, I told Les Petites about the birds I saw
around Lake Ginninderra. Sam thought for a while and informed us that sittellas
are called paratrooper birds.
"Alright, why?" I asked.
"Because they're very good at climbing down trees they never climbed up in
the first place."
"OK, where did you hear that?"
"I'll show you, it's a surprise I got for you." She produced a battered old
book, a biography of Ernie Pyle, a celebrated World War II correspondent. I've
been searching for it for ages. Sami had been reading it too, because she
pointed out Pyle's anecdote about paratroopers' unintended ability to descend
from trees. I like surprises like that.