Birds at the eclipse

To: "'John Leonard'" <>, <>, <>
Subject: Birds at the eclipse
From: "Jenny Stiles" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:54:30 +1100
We were watching the eclipse from Coconut resort at Cairns and to our relief
had pretty good views! Totality did look like it was going to be hidden but
just after it started appeared from behind the clouds, ging us an amazing
view of the void like sun and surrounding corona followed by the diamond
ring. I was too distracted by the eclipse to think about birds at totality,
but did see several Torresian Imperial pigeons flying overhead [coming from
the coast] shortly after.
John; how early did you leave for Mareeba and what was the traffic like? We
considered driving there too.
>From Jenny

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of John Leonard
Sent: Wednesday, 14 November 2012 9:34 AM
To: ; 
Subject: Birds at the eclipse

We came up to cairns for the eclipse, we were staying in palm cove but
decided that there would be too much morning cloud over the sea. So we drove
inland to Mareeba and a little further west and had perfect views of the
eclipse from a stop by the road on high ground facing east amidst mango
Around about were white-bellied cuckoo-shrikes, figbirds, pied butcherbirds
and magpie larks. In front of us was a weedy field with cisticolas calling
from it.
The eclipse was about an hour after sunrise, and so not as dramatic as it
would have been later; it only got appreciably dark five minutes before
totality, and totality itself was quite short, only about 1 minute.
My attention was torn between the sun and the birds, I didn't notice any
unusual behaviour, all that happened was that for about the ten minutes of
darkness the birds fell silent and didn't move about. After the eclipse they
carried on as before.
If we'd been on the coast it would have been interesting to see if the
torresian imperial pigeons headed offshore when it got dark!

John Leonard

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