birding-aus Backyard birds--- or virtue has its own rewards.

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Backyard birds--- or virtue has its own rewards.
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 15:51:13 +1000
Hello all,

Yesterday afternoon I "bit the bullet" and started a job which I have been
avoiding for some time ie. dismantling and rebuilding a section of drystone
wall in my backyard . Anyone who has had to do this will appreciate my
procrastination but certain forces were at work which had become
irresistible .
Naturally I had my binos nearby which was just as well as it turned out .
The first arrivals were a pair of Crested Pigeons who were intent on
cementing their relationship but were being frustrated by the local
Australian Magpies (8) , shortly after this romantic interlude, three
Crimson Rosellas arrived chattering in the tree above.. Whilst this was
going on a lone Eastern Rosella flew down onto the feeder calling in its
mate with a sweet little whistle .They fed  for some time until two Pied
Currawongs chased them off , who were in turn chase off by me .
 The work on the wall was not progressing at all and I seriously considered
putting it off until possibly tomorrow or the next day. It was at this
point that the fuss started. All the Magpies flew up into a tree at the
edge of the garden carolling and whistling ,where they were joined by Noisy
Miners, Rainbow Lorikeets, Red Wattlebirds and the Pied Currawongs. They
were all making their respective warning calls and I was sure that the
Collared Sparrowhawk had arrived but no , it was two strange, large black
shapes---- a pair of Glossy Black Cockatoos. They spread their wings and
flared their vivid tails  whenever they were divebombed by the various
attackers, a lovely sight it was !!
 Event ually the attackers gave up and everything more or less settled down
and I was able to admire them at my leisure. As I was reconciling myself to
the inevitable again a strange call was heard coming from the  direction of
the fence and there was a immature or female Satin Bowerbird which was
immediately set upon by the Noisy Miners and Magpies who harassed it until
it flew off.
I went back to my labours and managed to get in about 30 minutes
uninterrupted effort when I found that two Spotted Pardalotes had chosen to
build their nest-tunnel entering through a crevice in the wall which I was
about to pull down , so it looks as though that job which I have been so
looking forward to will have to wait a while . 
I think  every dark cloud has a silver lining.
The question I would like to ask arising from my busy afternoon is : Is
there any way to distinguish an uncoloured male Satin Bowerbird from a
female ?
Best wishes

!Reg Clark
11 Carmen St
St Ives NSW 2075
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