Among the Lake Ginn woodlanders

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Among the Lake Ginn woodlanders
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 21:27:41 +1000
Everyone had a morning free so we all shoe-horned aboard Junior Brat's dinky Ford and went to McDermott Place, Lake Ginninderra. Soon as we arrived, the Noisy Minors announced they could hear Little Grassbirds and hurried to the reed clumps as I plodded along toting my monopod-mounted  binoculars (thanks again for the idea , Bob). "You look like ole man Scrivener surveying the border with that thing," a  cheeky Auburn-crowned Babbler said. But the Little Grass birds were there and most cooperative. One perched in full view and song on the outer ranks of the reeds so were able to glass it for a good 5 seconds before it moved into the reeds a bit but still afforded reasonable views until it moved further into its green mansions, and we could hear probably at least another two nearby.
Eucalypts near the boat ramp contained the usual Lake Ginn woodlanders: Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike Thrush regaling us with what I call its breeding -season song. Tree Martins, warring White-Plumed Honeyeaters attacking everything including their own kind, garrulous Red Wattlebirds, Magpie-larks, smattering of Dusky Woodswallows and a bronze-cuckoo which presented a good profile view so, from the facial markings, we could say it was a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo that was likely en route to the higher, wetter forests. Nearby a bunch of Kookaburras enacted the old Movietone News theme.
We headed to the western end of Diddams Close and walked into the peninsular grassland. Immediately, we flushed a bird that flew fast, high and far. "Going by the triangular wing configuration, it's a Skylark," I said. With that, the Brats launched into a soulful but discordant rendition of the  French ( French-Canadian?) song Allouette, ad libbing with English words when their francophonal abilities failed. Elderly gent walking  small dog stopped and stared while dog gave tongue to a glissando of falsetto yaps. "Shut up!" I bellowed gently. Brats complied and small dog whimpered as the E.G. threw me a glance which may have indicated he thought me a tad uncouth.  Anyhow, a welcome tranquility descended upon the grassland.
The ground beneath trees beside the access road was studded with Yellow-rumped Thornbills together with 7 Double-barred Finches. A bare poplar near the toilet block held a tiny Collared Sparrowhawk while 11 Crested Pigeons grazed nonchalantly below. Also glassed a female Nankeen Kestrel on a Ginninderra Drive street lamp.
John Layton
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