From: Bill Jolly
Sent: Friday, 31 December 1999 10:27
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Cuckoos, white-backed swallows and platypus.
A lot has been happening here during December, so I thought I would just
give an Abberton update before the bug bites in a few hours time!
We've been planting trees like mad lately, in an attempt to keep ahead of a
neighbour who is still tree-clearing on his property as I write. We've got
nearly 900 local endemics going in at Abberton over the next few days,
including plenty of White Cedars for the Red-tailed Black Cockies and much
else that used to inhabit these alluvial areas - and will again if we have
anything to do with it! Consequently, we've been spending even more time
than usual in the garden, with binoculars on hand, and for the last couple
of months our garden list has topped 100 species for each month. The all-up
list stands at 187 now, with the addition of a Little Bronze-cuckoo calling
incessantly for half-an-hour right next to the verandah.
Back in July, I mentioned the resurgence here of both White-backed Swallows
and platypus sightings.
The platypus subsequently resumed his or her former practice of appearing
every morning at breakfast time (our breakfast that is - and maybe his too)
and continued to do so for about ten weeks, daily without fail - culminating
in a wonderful courtship activity when two platypus circled each other
repeatedly right in front of the house.
Of course, as we have all come to expect, any climax is inevitably followed
by an anti-climax, and sightings dropped away during October and November,
with White-backed Swallows becoming similarly scarce again during this time.
However, once more, the White-backed Swallows and the platypus have
reappeared within days of each other. After encountering five White-backed
Swallows on the wires just along from our gate, we came home to find the
platypus active in the creek, with more regular sightings since!
Yesterday morning, a big platypus was feeding in front of the verandah right
up till around 8.30am and then reappeared for a spell from 4 pm onwards.
Somewhere there is a link......
I wish everyone a safe passage over the hump into the year 2000. Eileen and
I might just spend the first couple of days outdoors with Y2K compliant
garden implements and binoculars.
"Abberton", Helidon, Qld
ph 07 46976111
fax 07 46976056
Visit our website at: http://www.abberton.org <http://www.abberton.org>