Bush Stone-curlews and a fire engine

To: <>
Subject: Bush Stone-curlews and a fire engine
From: "Peter Woodall" <>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 14:38:09 +1000
Hi All

A couple of weeks ago I had to stay back in the evening at Queensland 
University  because the vets were having a wine and cheese party, so I decided 
to kill a bit of time and go down to the Agric building where Bush 
Stone-curlews are often seen.

They spend most of the day roosting under shrubs and low bushes trying to blend 
in with the mulch and leaf litter. Hundreds of students pass close by and they 
are quite habituated to people.  I slowly went around the courtyard and a 
nearby car park and counted 12 birds - not bad for a suburban setting!

I sat on a bench and settled down to watch them.  As the sun set at about 5.15  
they became more active and started wandering around.  A few groups seemed to 
call to each other, just a couple of calls not the full-blown seranades that 
they make later in the year.

Then they fell silent and started foraging on the lawns and under the street 
lamps. One passed within a metre of me as I sat motionless on the bench. At 
just after 6pm I heard a fire engine come up the drive to uni with its siren 
going, "wee-wooo, weee-woo, weee-wooo, ......". [I later heard that a fire 
alarm had gone off in the Chem building].  This must have sounded a bit like a 
giant stone-curlew to the local birds, who responded with a few calls of their 
own until it had moved out of range.
I finally had to drag my self off to the party, the pub was full and "The Man" 
[Mundine] won his fight.


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