Mother’s Day Bird walk 8-10am 14th May 2017
Sixteen of us met at the Mackenzie St car park entrance where we shared our names and recent bird sightings and observations. We reported on flocks of gang gangs and other parrots feasting on autumn fruits on street trees and in gardens, invading rainbow lorikeets, owls on backyard fences, and a discussion about the aggressive noisy miners.
The cloudy-bright autumn morning was calm, mild, and noisy. A cacophony of birdsong filled the air: screeching sulphur crested cockatoos, calling currawongs, annoying noisy miners, whistling king parrots and crimson rosellas, all jostling for tree space and their slice of sky. By 9am everything was quietly back to normal, and most of the birds had disappeared into the bush or spread out into Hackett.
We watched a lone white faced heron hunting amongst rocks at the first dam. A mixed feeding flock of small birds swept through the dense woodland near the upper dam. Further up the hill in the Bursaria shrubbery was a thriving twittering colony of blue wrens. A couple of Kookaburras sat watchfully in the bright white scribbly gums.
Peter Miller was a brilliant walk leader. He can spot and name birds that we would never have seen on our own. He can describe the difference between one little brown bird and another, then name each one and describe their different calls. He also showed us how to attract birds by ‘phishing’- a sound which imitates an alarm call. Birds tend to move closer to stickybeak and find out what dangers they need to deal with.
The bird walk was enjoyable and informative with an interesting mix of people who had a wide range of knowledge to share. We were lucky with the weather as usual – rain bucketed down after the walk.
Report by Jenni Marsh