A few unusuals at Lake Ginninderra

To: "Canberra Birds" <>
Subject: A few unusuals at Lake Ginninderra
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 22:00:53 +1100
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.
John Layton
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