Koalas in Blue Gum Swamp?

To: "Evan Beaver" <>, "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Koalas in Blue Gum Swamp?
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 09:27:52 +1000

Evan wrote in part,
"Very few birding
highlights; it was late in the day and light made identification difficult.
Has anyone got a guide to "Undersides of Forest Birds that frequent High
Trees"? My most interesting observation was the sound of leaves being torn
off a tree and eaten. I scoured the tree tops for signs of life but could
find none. It was at the top of a VERY tall Blue Gum, and I saw the leaves
moving but couldn't get an ID. My best bet so far is a Koala."

If it was getting dark then an early possum cannot be ruled out. Evan, when my publication, "Spotlight on Bird Bums" comes out I'll send you a autographed copy. Seriously though, I know the challenge of identifying birds in this way. Later in the evening when they are asleep, it gets even trickier. The head is tucked away, the belly and vent feathers are fluffed in a way which throws any patterns out of kilter. Colour shifts also occur. Presumably this has to do with the colour temperature of the spotlight. On one occasion I was asked what sort of tree is this. The compound leaf in question was a light green with a bluish wash and edges of a tawny gold on the leaflets. It was actually a group of Rainbow Bee-eaters siting head to tail on a bare twig. Very pretty and pretty confusing for a second.

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