Of the many things I’ve learned about birds over the years, one principle stands out: never assume anything.
I was out in the garden searching out several birds making a noise near the house. I didn’t get much of a look at them but by their call and the quick look I had of one of them I think they were Yellow (Little) Thornbills.
As they flew off my attention was drawn to a solitary bird perched high in a dead branch of a nearby tree. “Spotted Turtledove” I immediately thought, as they are a common breeding species in our garden. I lifted my binoculars and was delighted to see that the bird in question was actually a Common Bronzewing Pigeon.
This was a good sighting, for although they are a common species in our district, they tend to prefer less populated, thicker scrubby areas. On checking my bird database I found that this was only the 5th record of this species on our block of land. My records go back 28 years, so I was quite pleased I saw this individual.
And to think I’d almost not given it another look.
Last January we had a holiday in Sydney and then drove to Melbourne via Canberra and the south coast. From Eden we drove on towards Mallacoota along a section of the coast we had never visited before.
Our first impressions of Mallacoota were very favourable. The town is on a river estuary and the setting is quite charming. We plan to return here with our caravan some day and stay for a week or more. We intend avoiding the summer holidays. As you can see in the photo above, the caravan park on the foreshore is wall-to-wall tents, caravans, boats, bikes, cars and 4WDs. Not my idea of a quiet holiday spot.
After a very nice meal of seafood in the hotel bistro, we decided to go for a long walk around town in the cool of the evening. I was hoping to get a good list of birds for this area and some photos would have been a bonus.
It was with delight and a little surprise that the first bird I saw upon leaving our motel room was a Common Bronzewing pigeon, shown in the photo below. I am quite used to seeing this species feeding on the sides of roads or flying rapidly across the road in front of the car while driving. I am used to seeing this bird out bush and relatively remote, or least quiet, places. But here was this individual feeding on the lawn a few steps from the back of the motel. It was one street from the main shopping strip and a busy spot. This bird was cautious but not over alarmed by our presence. It was a nice sighting and one of only a handful of this species seen on the entire journey of about 3500km.