On our recent trip to Sydney and back I commented several times on the casual nature of the crows along the road. So many times we saw them eating road-kill, either on the road itself, or very close to the edge of the paved area. As we approached – generally driving at 100-110kph – the birds would casually wander off the carriageway and just a few steps out of harm’s way. Rarely did they fly off. Occasionally they might give a hop or two to avoid being hit; this usually meant they had left their escape just a second or two too long. Then after our vehicle had passed, they quickly resumed their feast.
I presume that they had learned over their lifetime that vehicles caused them no harm provided they moved out of the way in time. Being quite intelligent animals they probably learned this survival technique from others. It just looked quite comical to me to see them so casually wandering out of danger.
I should actually correct myself here: most of the birds we saw were actually Australian Ravens, not crows at all. This is the largest corvid found in Australia. Crows are found further north than where we were travelling. Nearer to home we often see the same behaviour exhibited by the local species, the Little Raven. This behaviour is quite common on the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide to my home town of Murray Bridge.
A Picnic at Govett’s Leap
After our visit to Katoomba we drove on to the small town of Blackheath. We stopped there at a local bakery to buy something delicious to have for afternoon tea. We then drove a few kilometres to a picnic area and lookout known as Govett’s Leap. The most interesting feature of the lookout is the wispy waterfall shown in the photo above. The scene from the lookout is quite spectacular.
During our picnic I kept a lookout for birds of this area. This was our first visit but our son had been here before. I heard several treecreepers, probably White-throated Treecreepers, calling in the tall forest trees surrounding us. Like most of the treecreepers, I find that they are more often heard than seen.
I saw a beautiful pair of Australian King Parrots flying through the picnic area. Later additions to my bird list for the visit includedÂ several Australian Magpies and Pied Currawongs.
A small family of Australian Ravens decided to try their luck. they came very close to our picnic table looking for some tasty morsel from our afternoon tea. We didn’t oblige. Two of the birds were young ones if their begging calls were anything to go on.
It is a delightful spot and well worth visiting again. Next time I think it would be worth going on one of the walking trails branching out from the picnic grounds. This would give one a better chance of seeing far more birds.