Another mixed feeding flock

To: Canberra birds <>
Subject: Another mixed feeding flock
From: John Layton <>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 02:51:57 +0000

Perhaps the recent rains are the harbinger of a glorious Canberra autumn, let’s hope so. Further to Terry Munro’s recent post regarding a mixed feeding flock in Watson, one passed through our garden this morning.


While sitting in the sun watching the grass grow I noticed a green-brown area of sward seemed to be moving with flashes of buttercup-yellow. Closer inspection revealed a flock of some 15 Yellow-rumped Thornbills while a Willie Wagtail performed balletic aerial foraging about 1.5 metres above the pecking butter butts. A Grey Fantail approached but balletic Willie turned agonistic Willie and the latter retreated a good ten metres to continue its buoyant foraging.


Three Eastern Rosellas landed in the crown of a tall tree and made a leisurely descent from branch to branch. Their arrival causing scarcely a ripple of consternation among the thornbills. Neither did the arrival of 12 Crested Pigeons which virtually surrounded them. I then noticed seven Silvereyes moving through an overhanging apricot tree while two European Goldfinches perched in the branches and appeared to be “just looking”. I haven’t noticed those splashes of old-world colour here for several years. Then some old-world drab appeared as six House Sparrows joined the ground feeders.


So all was peace and pecking until two Pied Currawongs swooped low overhead sounding their war tocsins at which the harmonious feeding flock scattered and disappeared. Having accomplished their nefarious objective the currawongs perched quietly for a few seconds before flying away.


John Layton


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