Saturday, January 29, 2011

That Little Bird With the Strange Name

G’day Blog Readers,
Some weeks back I received a summons – for jury service. After checking the list of reasons to be excused and not finding ‘mowing and watering’, ‘bird surveying’ or ‘born in the early war years’ anywhere to be seen, I had to make myself available. Consequently I’ve been trying to get ahead a bit with the golf course stuff for the last week, and bingo, I drew a blank at the Sale Law Courts. Wow, a free day, what to do?

Clydebank Morass is nestled between the Avon River and the ‘salt lake’ Lake Wellington.

Standing in ankle deep water amongst the head high cumbungi, I could hear the mournful call of the Little Grassbird, and the incessant, strident, ‘pillek-pillek-pillek’, (appropriate), of the Golden-headed Cisticola.


Is it ‘siss-tic-cola’ or  ‘siss-tickler’?

Eventually they began checking me out from the tops of the reeds.

After having fun in there for some time, I carefully retraced my path out, (great tiger country), and tried to pin down four Wedge-tailed Eagles I’d noticed soaring overhead, but they were on to me very early and wouldn’t let me get near their perching tree for a photo.

Just half a kilometer down the road at Marlay Point, the piles were occupied by Silver Gulls, Crested Terns and a lone Caspian Tern. They all seemed less concerned by the noisy jet skiers than I was!

Forecast is for a bit of a heat wave, so it was time to head home and put out some water.



  1. Most seem to go for siss-tickala (my guide: Agricola - but maybe many today would confuse him with a health drink!).

  2. I'm with Tony on the pronunciation, but I can't recall ever having said it. I will now have to work it into a conversation.

    Lucky on the jury duty!

  3. I've always gone with sist-tic-ola as that was how I first heard it pronounced.

  4. However you say it, those photos are wonderful! Snail, I chuckled when you said you'd have to work "Cisticola" into a conversation. I used to play a game at work occasionally where a colleague would be given a random word at the start of the day with the aim of working it into a conversation with a stranger by the end of the day. Great fun!!