Slightly late bird report - Kew East, Victoria

To: brian fleming <>, "" <>
Subject: Slightly late bird report - Kew East, Victoria
From: Steve Clark <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:48:34 +1100
My wife is a Wodonga girl and Peewee is the ne Vic name for
Magpie-lark as well as adjacent NSW. Currawongs were Jays in ne Vic as

Steve Clark
Hamilton, Vic

Sent from my iPod

> On 25 Feb 2014, at 20:43, brian fleming <> wrote:
> Dear Bill,
>   What a delightful account your grandfather wrote.
>    Tomtit is usually Yellow-rumped Thornbill - and I used to see them at 
> Hay's Paddock myself,  pre-freeway, say 1970, with the Flame Robins.
> Your grandfather's Sparrowhawk could be the Collared one, but just as likely 
> to be Nankeen Kestrel - another I remember there.
> Diamond Sparrow is Spotted Pardalote -  my Dad called them Diamond-birds.
> Plovers are now Masked Lapwings.
> Country people still say Blue Crane for White-faced Heron.
>  I still say Spurwing Plover, and "Cranky Fan" for the Grey Fantail, because 
> that is its /real/ name.  And of course Mudlarks are Pewees in NSW and 
> further north, and quite often Murray Magpie in SA.
>   I know all these names because they were what I heard as a kid, and because 
> I had "What Bird is That?" - gives lots of alternative and country names.  
> But I bought the recent book on Australian Bird Names and I intend to go 
> through C.J.Dennis's charming book of verse "The Singing Garden" with it, so 
> I will know exactly what he meant by Summerbird (prob. BFCS) and Jay 
> (?Currawong).
>  In Broken Hill a woman told me Apostle-birds were "Lousy Jacks".
> Hope this is some help!
> All the best,
> Anthea Fleming
>> On 25/02/2014 6:46 PM, Bill Stent wrote:
>> Hi all, I was going through some old papers the other day when I found this. 
>> It was written by my grandfather in 1985 about the birds of the local place 
>> (I now live in his old house). He's referring to the period between the 
>> wars, I'd guess, although he didn't make that plain, it's just a memoir.  He 
>> lived in the area between 1918 and 1992.
>> My question is what are these birds?  I didn't start birding until after he 
>> died, so I never talked with him about them, apart from when I was a very 
>> young kid "helped" him milk his cows on what is now Hays Paddock.  I think I 
>> know most of them, such as the Laughing Jackass, rather obvious really, but 
>> what is a Tomtit?  We do occasionally see Black Shouldered Kites or Collared 
>> Sparrowhawks, but I have no sightings of Pallid Cuckoos.
>> Bill (junior - my grandfather's name was also Bill)
>> The Glass Creek area and Hays' farm used to be a veritable Eden of birdlife. 
>> In the Springtime at sunrise I have counted up to 30 species of birds. The 
>> Pallid Cuckoo or Brainfever Bird, so called for its plaintiff insistent 
>> call, and the Laughing Jackass were prominent, as was the Butcher Bird with 
>> its melodious rich notes. The Mudlarks had their mud nest in the gum tree 
>> near the cow shed, the Willy Wagtails nested over the creek in the willow 
>> trees, the Teal and Black Ducks were on the edge of the creek in the furze 
>> bushes. The Reed Warblers, Tomtits, Goldfinches and Silvereyes were in the 
>> shrubbery, not forgetting the restless little Blue Wrens with their dun 
>> coloured harems. The Rosellas nested in the big gum tree near Newberry St 
>> where also the Sparrow Hawk and the Blackshouldered Kite made their base. 
>> The Magpies nestled in the gum trees further down. The Diamond Sparrows had 
>> little burrows in the creek bank for their nest. Once I saw a tiny Chat 
>> feeding a young Cuckoo about four times its size.
>> The Skylarks during the day were a delight to the children. They would fly 
>> singing and spiralling upwards and then suddenly, closing their wings, drop 
>> silently like a stone to earth. There were also Plovers, Blue Cranes, Quail. 
>> Wattle Birds, Robin Red Breasts, Crows and the occasional flock of Ibis and 
>> of course the Blackbird and Thrush songsters. Colonies of little Fire Tails 
>> and Bell Birds
>> still exist around the billabong at Burke Rd Bridge.
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