Birding can be an arresting hobby
I was almost arrested this morning.
Let me explain. We went for our normal early morning walk down the road along one side of our property. Part of this walk takes us past the external fence of the local prison complex. We think nothing of it every morning.
Along this stretch we had excellent views of about five Purple-crowned Lorikeets feeding on the flowers of the local mallee trees known as Eucalyptus porosa It’s a shrubby form of gum tree and quite common in this area. The photo above shows the flowers.
The lorikeets were quite unconcerned with our presence. In fact, I was able to watch one feeding at head height about a metre in front of me. It would have made an excellent photo with the first rays of morning sunlight highlighting the colours.
I was both pleased – and annoyed. No camera! And I do not yet have a photo of this species. Usually they are high up in the foliage feeding – or streaking across the tree tops at speed. Here was the ultimate photo opportunity – and no camera.
Ten minutes later we were home. I grabbed the camera and hopped in the car and drove to the same spot. Of course, Murphy’s Law – they’d flown off. All I managed was several shots of the trees and flowers. Then it all turned pear shape. Remember – this was right next to the boundary fence of the prison.
My actions immediately attracted the attention of the ‘boundary rider’ on his quad bike. Over recent months the prison has had a spate of people on the outside throwing tennis balls filled with drugs over the fence RIGHT WHERE I WAS STANDING! Talk about being a bit stupid. I had some quick explaining to do. He immediately reassured me that I certainly didn’t look like a drug supplier.
Whew! Talk about birding being a dangerous hobby!
Anyway – all’s weel that ends well! Except that I still don’t have a photo of that species!
Maybe next time!
LOL! You could have ended up as the new Birdman of Alcatraz … er Adelaide.
I wasn’t so upset about the interrogation – but rather the lost opportunity to get a great photo!!
Mmmm Purple-crowned Lorikeets…..
Up until last year, this species had proved too tricky for us to find.
As a traveller, I normally have some time to spend in transit in Melbourne, where I’ve been assured, Purple-crowned Lorikeets are common in the flowering gums around the airport terminal. Once, a coupe of years ago, I decided to use some of my transit time to search these gums. I grabbed my BINOCULARS out of my carry-on baggage, and went in search of the elusive Purple-crowns. Of course, the only lorikeets that day turned out to be Musks. But…. You guessed it! within minutes, I was accosted by two burley security guards, wanting to know what I was doing, taking photos of the airport. I assured them they were only binoculars, and I was a but a harmless (hapless?) birdo. They seemed to believe me, but warned me to go back inside immediately.
We have since seen these beautiful lorikeets in a number of spots, but when I’m in transit through Melbourne, I now leave my binoculars snugly packed away in my luggage!
Next time leave the trench coat packed away too!!
Thanks for the laugh – at your expense!