Grey Currawong breeding
I was sitting outside on the back veranda having breakfast this morning and I heard an unusual bird call, one that was vaguely familiar but I wasn’t sure.
I looked up to see that three Grey Currawongs had flown into a tree near my wife’s Australian native plant nursery. Two of them still had downy plumage and both were not very confident moving around the tree. They flew to another tree and I could see that they were recent fledglings barely out of the nest. The third one was kept busy searching for beetles and spiders under the bark of the trees while the young ones persisted in begging for food.
Before long they flew off to another part of the property. It was already far too hot to go chasing after them through the scrub with a camera. Here in South Australia it is supposed to be spring with lovely sunny days with temperatures in the low to mid 20s. Instead, we are experiencing an unseasonal and record breaking heat wave. Later today it reached 42C under our veranda. That might be fine for the height of summer in January and February – but not in November.
Trevor, I can’t help but laugh when I read about it being too hot to go chasing birds through the scrub! Up here in Cairns it has been unseasonably cool. There has been a few days this past month where I have actually put on a jumper! In Cairns!
One thing about Cairns that is interesting that I have noticed is that species from the family Cracticidae are considerably less common here, particularly around urban areas. Moving from the New England, where to say the least there is a relative abundance of Butcherbirds, Magpies and Currawongs, it is strange to be able to go a whole day without seeing a single one.
Near where I live however, there is a pair of Black Butcherbirds (Cracticus quoyi) that regularly delight us with a truly melodic and interesting performance of flight and song. So it is fair to say we haven’t been completely deprived!
We certainly are having some bizarre weather in Australia at present. Though I guess it’s always been like that. It’s just that we are so aware of it these days with instant communication.
The last week of 8 days over 35c in Adelaide (9days in Murray Bridge) was a record for November. Previous stretch was 4 days in the 1890s. Now I can understand heatwaves in February but November is a bit much! And the next 2 days are going to be extreme fire danger days too with over 40c forecast for both Wed and Thur. The lovely cool breeze yesterday and calm conditions today have been very enjoyable before the next onslaught.
Despite the heat the birds seems to be thriving here. Many are still feeding young in the nest.
Must head up your way sometime. Just a few days birding would probably add 20-30 species to my life list, maybe more.