News from the Capertee

Subject: News from the Capertee
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 09:46:51 +1000
For anyone heading to the Capertee Valley, it might be worth keeping an eye
out for possible Regent Honeyeaters along the Glen Davis road between the
Coco Creek and Crown Creek bridges. On Saturday I was birding along there
with a client and noticed a few of the smaller White Box trees in flower,
with Little Lorikeets feeding in them, and I am 90% sure I heard a Regent
from across a paddock but it only called once. This was opposite a gate
signposted "Jaroli Ridge".

Other highlights from Saturday morning included Plum-headed Finches in a
large mixed flock with Double-bars, and at Glen Davis, close prolonged
views of a male Turquoise Parrot. On Sunday morning a Collared Sparrowhawk
put on a good show for us as it tore into an unidentified prey item at

The weekend was most "memorable" however, for reasons other than birds. On
Saturday, after abandoning the day's birding at lunchtime due to windy
weather, I returned to my place to find the gas fridge had blown up and set
fire to the cabin. My peaceful nest away from home was gutted! The fridge
was lying across the floor, a big hole in the wall behind where it had
been. The entire kitchen ceiling and interior walls are burnt out, fittings
have melted, windows are broken and everything in the entire cabin,
everything inside the cupboards and drawers, is covered in a thick black
soot. Apart from the initial shock, I can only feel incredibly lucky that
it didn't happen while I or any of my friends were there, sitting at the
kitchen table, or while I was in bed asleep. Very lucky indeed. Judging by
the state of things, the heat and fumes inside must have been tremendous.

At least it hasn't scared the birds away. When I returned on Monday
afternoon with the insurance assessor, the first bird I saw was a Spotted
Quail-thrush on the grassy area beside the cabin. Honeyeaters came and
bathed as if everything was normal. When I left at sunset, the Owlet
nightjar was calling from its hollow tree.

The cabin will be rebuilt, or I'll get a new one. The insurance should
cover that. In the meantime I'll be sleeping in a tent during my visits
there. And I won't be getting another gas fridge!



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains & Capertee Valley, NSW

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