Really Spring! and a new bird for Abberton

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Really Spring! and a new bird for Abberton
From: Bill Jolly <>
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 11:28:02 +1000
Our Australian practice of considering the four seasons to start on the first 
day of four designated months is a crude implement.

There is a traditional Chinese calendar of 24 solar (or seasonal) terms, each 
of a little over 2 weeks duration, with evocative titles such as “Spring 
Begins”, “Insects Awaken”, Grain in Ear”, “Slight Heat”, “Great Heat”, “Cold 
Dews”, “Frost Falls”, “Winter Begins”, “Slight Cold”, “Great Cold”, and so on. 
I guess the routine of seasonal changes was more dependable back then.

Here and now in Queensland, after the usual presages of spring that so excite 
us including a couple of weeks of ‘false spring’ that we write about every year 
when new birds turn up on sunny days in late winter, at last, and suddenly, the 
real thing has come in with a bang!

Saturday was the 1st of September and of our official spring, and it was 
appropriately a day full of warmth and bird sights and sounds galore - 66 
species in the garden on Saturday and Sunday alone, many of them singing, 
courting or nest-building.

We had our first Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo of the spring, and a Brown-headed 
Honeyeater was a first ever for here, bringing our garden list to 208spp.

Red-backed Fairy-wrens, Variegated Fairy-wrens and Superb Fairy-wrens are all 
paired off and making themselves obvious, Rainbow Bee-eaters are overhead and 
on trees and powerlines in numbers, wheeling and calling all day,

Raptors too were plentiful over the weekend – Black-shouldered Kite, Whistling 
Kite, Spotted Harrier, Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, 
Little Eagle, Black Falcon and Nankeen Kestrel.

I’ve put photos of some of these on the website at

The Chinese name for the couple of weeks following the Vernal Equinox, is 
Chingming – Clear and Bright, and so it is.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

(27º 34' 21" S; 152º 08' 21" E)

Visit our website at

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