Saturday, June 13, 2015

Town Birds

Life has been getting in the way lately and I haven’t had much chance to chase some birds. Weather patterns have kept me indoors at times too. While sorting and backing up some files I hit on the thought of delving into some old images of town birds.

One of my occasional retirement pastimes is to walk the streets of Drouin, my new locale, and I am frequently delighted at hearing and seeing a nice spectrum of native bird species and of course a few introduced nuisances too. Here's three recent favourites....

Spotted Pardalote
The canopy of many of the large eucalypts that still remain within the town boundary, are often the source of the familiar call of this brilliant little bird. I can recall many times being asked what I was looking at when scanning some tree tops through the binoculars. “I can hear a Spotted Pardalote calling”, I say, “they’re always worth seeing”. When I’m able to show the inquisitor a picture in the field guide or on the bird app, many people are pleasantly surprised at this little bird’s beauty.

I see and hear Spotted Pardalotes frequently enough to suggest they must be digging their tunnel nests in some soft earth somewhere nearby.

Crested Pigeon
Most field guides will indicate that this ubiquitous species can be found in almost any corner of our vast continent except Gippsland. Anecdotal evidence suggests that for some years now they have inhabited many of the urban areas in my little corner of the world.

Oddly, this bird despite its size can be ticked aurally too. Crested Pigeons take off and accelerate with a very distinctive whistling wingbeat.

Black-shouldered Kite
Usually found in open farmland habitat, I have ticked this elegant raptor often within Drouin township. 

I found a nesting pair in the top of an old Strzelecki Gum at a wetland in the middle of a large housing estate. Of course I can’t be certain that the birds I’m seeing in different locations aren’t just the same pair that may have become a bit ‘urbanised’.

They can hover over my place any time!

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