Some unexpected visitors

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

This morning I did a small load of washing. I actually enjoy doing this because it gets me outside and away from the computer for a while. It also has the benefit of getting me outside where the birds are, and with my eyes cast skywards I often see birds that I might have missed – like the time I saw a Peregrine Falcon overhead in the last moments of a very fast stoop. Awesome.

It also has the benefit of being able to hear more birds and I enjoy listening to all of their calls and trying to identify them without looking. This is a good way of honing one’s identifiction skills. After over 30 years of living on our little patch of mallee scrub here in Murray Bridge, I have become accustomed to our bird life and immediately notice something different calling. That’s what happened this morning.

I had just finished hanging out the washing when I heard a bird calling loudly. Two Sulphur-crested Cockatoos had flown in and landed in our of our pine trees. I had enough time to grab the binoculars and see that they were testing out some of the cones on one of the trees. Obviously the cones where not to their taste or not ready for eating because they flew off again a minute later. I didn’t get a photo so the one above was taken some years ago in Adelaide.

This was a significant sighting for the birds in our garden. I think my memory is correct – this is only the second time in over 30 years I have recorded this species in our garden. They are not usually seen here in Murray Bridge (80km east of Adelaide) though they are very common in the Adelaide region and throughout the Adelaide Hills zone. This is despite there being plenty of suitable feeding spots and nesting hollows, especially along the River Murray. I think I heard one screeching as it flew overhead a few days ago, but I was in the foggy early morning sleep zone. I initially thought it was a Little Corella, but now I am not so sure.

Perhaps these were some scouts looking for new places to live.


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