A Tail of Two Alberts

Subject: A Tail of Two Alberts
From: Jason Polak <>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 14:26:21 -0400
This is a great story.

I'll just share my own story of how my wife and I found the Superb Lyrebird.

We had heard of this bird even before we had arrived in Australia.

We tried the Dandenong ranges a few times, and no Lyrebird. Perhaps it
was too warm or too busy. Once after a fruitless search, which at least
yielded Lewin's Honeyeater, we heard from our non-birdwatchign neighbour
that he had seen the Lyrebird many times.

About a month before we left Australia, we tried one more time at the
Dandenong ranges. We walked and walked for six hours, sometimes hearing
bird mimicry in the forest, but never catching one glimpse.

We were exhausted and sat in the car to eat a small snack. Then out of
the corner of our eye a beautiful male came right into the carpark,
showing off its tail and giving us a fairly decent photo opportunity as
well. Peristence does pay off.

One of the best moments of my life.


On 2020-05-04 1:53 a.m., Laurie Knight wrote:
> The social distancing restrictions in Queensland were relaxed to the point 
> that people can legally travel 50 km for recreational purposes, so it was 
> time to pop out for some quality rainforest time.
> Mt Tambourine is within 50 km from home and easy to get to by 7:30 am [before 
> the hordes arrive].  Witches Falls is one of the best places in Australia to 
> have a close encounter with the Alberts Lyrebirds (the population there was 
> closely studied by Syd Curtus during the last century.)
> This morning I had the joy of close views of not one but two dancing males.  
> Both were in the breaking wave posture and the second was strutting his stuff 
> in the clear less than 10 metres from the track.  That was within comfortable 
> range for the phone camera and you could see the central tail feathers that 
> break ranks and stand up straight while the others cascade over the 
> performer’s head.
> There were no gronking calls in the birds’ dance routine.  The dominant calls 
> were drawn from bowerbirds, rosellas and catbirds.  Interestingly, there was 
> an unusual element in both routines - protracted passages that sounded like a 
> cross between popping bubble wrap and a crackling fire.  Perhaps that sound 
> was based on the frog calls at a nearby intermittent wetland or it may have 
> been a piece of local culture handed down over the generations.
> I’m sure Syd would have loved it.
> Regards, Laurie.
> PS, there were four Glossy Blacks feeding close to the lookout at the Knoll 
> picnic site.

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