highlights, SEQ, 500m

Subject: highlights, SEQ, 500m
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 11:08:14 +1000
9, 10, 11 April - weather coolish & intermittently RAINY!

Last week's GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOO thrill continued this past weekend, with two birds flying over our place on Sunday, and then four on Monday. These birds are so often quiet that they're probably out there more often, unseen. Each time they are sighted, though, they're flying into the same area of trees on the ridge to our north, so the 'right' allo/casuarina must be in seed there.
        Also had some excitement when two WEDGE-TAILED EAGLES landed in trees on the ridge to our east which rims the plain below. These trees are real-estate matching guide-book descriptions of the bird's favoured nesting sight: tall trees in elevated positions with wide-open views. To the north and east these trees have eagle-eye views from Maleny & Maroochydore south to Redcliffe, Brisbane airport & Stradbroke Island. 'Out front', the birds would see all the way to the sea. Then, 'behind' them are our gullies and range. So... The nesting season is said to begin in June, and perhaps the birds are presently scoping out possible sites. Certainly one of them came down on a horizontal forked branch which, though it seems to be in a live tree, was itself dead and quite clear of impediment. Eventually, having cased the joint, the two birds dropped from the trees into the updraft, and sailed down over the plain. But I live in hope.
        More domestically, M1's bower is down at present. He's begun a very quiet bleating. This time last year he's recorded as bringing fresh sticks to the bower, and as re-building after a heavy shower;  so perhaps we're about to see all that. I thought also that I heard M2 whirring away next door for the first time this year, which might be distracting for M1, but until I see the two birds at their border (or go in next door for a look) I can't be sure about M2's presence.
        This week we've had NO Spangled Drongos, NO Dollarbirds, NO WTNTs (sheer delight - constant cloud cover!), NO Boobooks calling (though lots of frogs). Rainbow Lorikeets continue to build in numbers, as they have been over the years, and Brush Turkeys bring increasing pain to the garden. As they do each year, the Galahs are slowly inhabiting the Tipuana tipu tree - goodness knows how it can be worth all that work just to munch on the little vein at the back of the winged seed.
        A Grey Fantail brought us joy. Haven't had them on the place for a long time.

I'm reading Pete Dunne's 'Golden Wings' at the moment, which, although being a little more 'high-flown' & less humorous than Bill Oddie's collections, seems also more repetitive... But it's good lunchtime reading - short, light pieces. Quite different from, say, Jonathan Weiner's 'The Beak of the Finch', which transformed my view of the world.


Judith L-A
S-E Qld
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