A blog of grumpiness, stilts and skin.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Swimming in Sydney Harbour ...

This morning I went bird watching for the first time.

Yep, I'm getting old.

I also love birds, and I thought I knew a lot about them.

But I don't.

Luckily the four oldies who out-tramped me over the hills and dales of Bold Park - where Perth city meets the sea - know their birds.

But, by crikey, they can natter. As a couple of galahs (which I do know about) started squawking high up in a Marri tree, I enquired of my companions: "Isn't that a strange noise for a pink and grey to make?"

"Na," said one of the greying warblers, slightly irritated at being interrupted from relaying her recipe for coconut ice, "they're probably just breeding". And back to her reverie of pink and grey confectionary she returned.

At that very moment I spotted some kind of winged raptor lope out of the Marri tree.

"What's that?!" I pointed.

But the oldies had missed it. "Probably just a galah," they reassured me.

I know a galah when I see one, and this was no galah. So I made a note of the faraway tree the bird had glided into. When we eventually reached the tree, I said: "Oh, looky up yonder. If my binoculars do not deceive me, that's some kind of prey-bird."

"Oh, yes, Grumpy! I do believe you're right, cooed the team leader. It's a 'small eagle'. Don't see too many of those around here. Bird of the day!"

Not quite man of the match, but I'll take what I can get.

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