A short drive around the Corner (1)

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Subject: A short drive around the Corner (1)
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2019 22:38:20 +0000

At this remove, probably not many people will remember Robin Hill’s remarkable book ‘The Corner’ published 50 years ago. This was about the artist’s experiences of the wildlife, particularly the birds, of the south-east corner of Australia. It gives us a view of a time when bird-observing was quite different from now. I was thinking of the book during my recent 6-day drive, beginning with a visit to the Melbourne area for a memorial function for an old friend.  Naturally I kept an eye out for the bird life, of which I shall inflict on you a few impressions. For the first couple of days the weather was grey, windy and drizzly. Last Wednesday I overnighted at Cyanide Dam, near Chiltern.  The dam, was dry, and the birds rather scarce, but there were, as here, a lot of woodswallows, sometimes so high as to be out of sight, sometimes settling to feed noisily in the flowering eucs. Below is an impression of about half the main flock in the early morning. The whole flock moved slowly high above the canopy, but not in direct flight. You might be able to see individual birds are pointing in different directions, performing their own circles and spirals within the body of the flock. I have read that woodswallows are the only passerines that habitually engage in soaring flight, with the possible exception of crows/ravens.  These chaps are certainly pretty good soarers.


A flock of birds flying in the sky

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