FW: [BIRDING-AUS] Summer solstice in the Capertee Valley

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: FW: [BIRDING-AUS] Summer solstice in the Capertee Valley
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 13:42:16 +1100

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Carol
Sent: Friday, 23 December 2005 8:00 AM
Subject: Summer solstice in the Capertee Valley

Hi all,

Two Plum-headed Finches were the latest addition to my property list 
yesterday morning. When I saw them sitting on the fence I was so 
excited that I momentarily forgot that I had just whacked my finger 
with a sledgehammer. This was done accidentally of course, as I was 
bashing in star posts to protect my young trees while the driveway 
was being slashed. Good recent rain has seen the grass and thistles 
rocket skywards, engulfing everything else, and suddenly there are 
finches, doves, pigeons and Red-rumped Parrots everywhere. Somewhere 
among all that grass are my fledgeling ironbarks and they are doing 
very well.

The Plum-heads flew off across my front paddock and the excrutiating 
pain in my finger returned.

The mature trees dotted around the paddock were full of small birds - 
Zebra Finches, Southern Whitefaces and Yellow-rumped Thornbills - 
while the metallic calls of Brown Songlarks filled the air as several 
males performed their song-flights. The Rufous Songlarks has 
obviously had a successful season with numerous juveniles perched on 
fences and branches looking deceptively like more Brown Songlarks.

On a walk partway up the more rocky and wooded hill up the back I 
found Turquoise Parrots, Cicadabird and Painted Button-quail, among 
other things.

A sudden infestation of lerps a few weeks ago attracted large numbers 
of honeyeaters but this was short-lived. It appears to have left a 
legacy of increased Noisy Miners, their territory greatly expanded 
from the small patch they used to inhabit. Now they dominate the 
birdbath in front of the cabin, having driven away all the other 
honeyeaters such as Fuscous, White-plumed, Black-chinned, 
Yellow-tufted and Striped. I hope this imbalance is temporary.

The miners do have their uses though. Not long after I arrived on 
Wednesday afternoon they had alerted me to an indignant Tawny 
Frogmouth. Who else but Noisy Miners would rudely awaken a frogmouth 
in the afternoon and then shout about it? And who else but a birder 
would rush through a burr-laden field with sandals only half on in 
response to a flurry of alarm calls?

Now at last I have a new cabin with a verandah from which to enjoy 
the birds and the view. At night I tiptoe around so as not to disturb 
the Welcome Swallow who sleeps under the verandah awning, while an 
army of flying insects swarm around the oil lantern, three species of 
gecko emerge from their hiding places, and an Owlet-nightjar calls 



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains/Capertee Valley, NSW

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