Not Exactly Dancing With Wolves !

To: "Birdchat" <>
Subject: Not Exactly Dancing With Wolves !
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:28:25 +1000
Hello all,
Two days ago I attended the launch of a guide to good birding areas in the
Royal and Heathcote National Parks authored by Stephen Anyon-Smith. This
guide should be a help to those who may visit Sydney with Birdwatching in
mind . It is available at a cost of Aust $820 which given the present rate
of exchange ,should not be a major problem for US buyers. The launch was
held in Royal National Park, organised by the National Parks and Wildlife
Service of New South Wales . After the al fresco luncheon provided by the
NPWS , four of us (Marc Anderson, Jim Frances , David Siems and myself )
arranged to do a little birding along the main walking track which is often
good . However, this was cut short by the threat of rain and we returned to
the now empty carpark . After our farewells and they had driven-off and not
relishing the long drive home through busy traffic , I sat down on a small
rock in the close-cropped grass above the riverbank to eat my emergency
sandwich The setting was still and peaceful and I looked forward to a period
of tranquillity in the deserted park
before setting out.
I was halfway through my sandwich when I was startled to hear , quite close,
a gentle voice which said "Hello". Behind me and a couple of metres away was
snowy-white Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua glarest ) which was raising
and lowering its bright yellow crest as it cautiously approached . As I
haven't been greeted by such a lovely wild creature for many years , I
responded by handing the bird a small piece of crust........I should have
known better!!! Within seconds Five Sulphurcrested Cockatoos landed infront
of me, then a loud squarck and up from the river ran a Dusky Moorhen
(Gallinula tenebrosa ) closely followed by several others. The next hopeful
was a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys ) who landed amongst the group
and chattered for attention. At this point the group attracted the attention
of some Australian Wood Ducks  (Chenonetta jubata ) who hurried over on the
offchance that a handout was in progress the final arrivals were Australian.
Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicens)  two of them . At this point I feared there
might be a backlash when they all found that nothing was forthcoming so
cramming the sandwich into my mouth and displaying my empty hands I backed
off thinking --"-so much for tranquillity !!". It was interesting that there
were none of the usual spongers one finds in parks amongst them.
It was a bit unnerving to hear that unmistakable human greeting word from a
freeflying creature.
Actually, that first Cockatoo was pretty dumb, I tried all the standard
phrases used when communicating with members of the family Cacatuidae, such
as "Hello Cockie", "Cockie want a biscuit?"," Pretty boy,"
 but it could only say one word.


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