Valley wildlife- some observations

The haunting cry of a yellow tailed black cockatoo filled the early morning air as it lazily flapped his way through the valley as his ancestors have probably done for thousands of years.

He or she is just one of the dozens of species of birds that inhabit or visit Austinville Valley.

Other animals make their homes here as well, wallabies, koalas bandicoots and platypus are all part of the rich variety of valley wildlife.

But somehow the birds are special, probably because we see and hear them the most.

Many of us also feed them (not white bread I hope), and get to enjoy their colours and habits as they visit our gardens.

The ubiquitous Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are both loved and loathed as they screech their way from treetop to treetop. A gang of over 50 of them recently visited our garden and looking down on the grass the mass of them looked like it had been snowing.

Along the banks of the creek you will almost always hear the unmistakable sound of the Eastern Whipbirds. The male and female calling and replying to each other with mathematical precision.

The high pitched squeal of feeding Rainbow Lorikeets and the distinctive whistling note of the stunning King Parrots can be heard for most of the year in the valley.

We have our visitors too, the loud rasping of a Channel Billed Cuckoo at 3.00 o’clock in the morning, or the monotonous call of the the Koel remind us that summer is coming.

Some of us are quite happy to see them return north to New Guinea as the summer comes to a close.

The small birds in the valley are less obvious though no less numerous. Lewin’s Honeyeater and the tinkling call of the White Throated Gerygone will always cause a smile.

So next time your’e walking through the bush, pause for a few minutes and just listen quietly and the first sounds you will always hear will be our valley birds.

Reg Lambert.

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