An Anger of Birds

To: L&L Knight <>
Subject: An Anger of Birds
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 07:50:52 +1000
Laurie's message echoes our regular experiences at our place an hour north of Brisbane. I can usually tell when the carpet snake is out and about from the cacophony of calls from Noisy Miners, Grey Butcherbirds and Blue-faced Honeyeaters, which all reserve their own special call for such events.

A macaranga (rainforest pioneer species) near our house flowers prolifically at this time of year, and makes one great mess. However the perspective of the Scaly-breasted and Rainbow Lorikeets is more positive than ours. They take up position at dawn and haunt the tree all day. It is clearly a good provider for the birds. Last week from my study I heard the usual warning calls from the bird police, and found that the python had established itself at the lorikeet dinner table. It had cleverly wound itself up in the large, abundant leaves to form an amorphous blob which no longer looked like a snake, and the only thing sticking out was its head, ready for a passing meal.

A couple of days ago I thought it was on again, but this time it was a besieged-looking ringtail possum, caught exposed as it moved along a branch. The poor possum really looked cornered and intimidated by the avian crowd.



L&L Knight wrote:
An anger of birds is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.

I woke to an anger of miners, crows, magpies and butcherbirds - going off outside my bedroom window this morning. There had be something interesting, so I wandered out to see what was going on.

I looked for an owl or goshawk in the trees - nothing. The crows flew off and the miners settled down, but the Grey Butcherbirds were moving around low in the "little forest". I moved cautiously to the back fence and found a very handsome carpet snake draped along a branch. It was about 2 metres long - its head wasn't particularly large, but probably big enough to eat a wide cross-section of wildlife.

I got some nice pix - thanks to the anger of birds.

Regards, Laurie.


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