Sunday, 28 December 2014

Fortunately ...

Several weeks ago a Common [Eastern] Koel was seen in Coongulla. I would venture to suggest that it was heard by more people than seen. It is a large cuckoo that is a summer migrant to Australia from Asia where it occurs from India to south China and New Guinea. Fortunately, for Victorians, it seldom ventures to Gippsland though heard and seen in northern Victoria and Melbourne most summers. Fortunately, because the repertoire of the male is a loud, repetitive, any-time-of-the-day-and-night, carrying "koo-eel" sequence of 10-15 calls Morcombe quite capable of waking one up and preventing further sleep. Heyfield Bird Watchers visited Coongulla on the first Monday of December but failed to see or hear it. Joy for Coongulla residents.

On the first Wednesday of December at 5.45am in Sale, I was woken by the "far-carrying, slow kooeel" Pizzey & Knight coming from the Pinoke tree in our front garden. Loudly. Oh no. The next morning I received a text from a friend who lives about a kilometre away in Sale with a video attachment containing the dulcet tones of a koel apparently in their back yard. I heard it at the same time! About 4am! Well, it dodged about Sale for a few days, centred on the Botanic Gardens just over the road from our house. It then transferred it's affections to the Sale Common and hasn't been heard locally for about a fortnight now. [Exhales relaxingly].

** STOP PRESS ** Heard this morning, 29 Dec, back in Sale.

I met a birdo during the GLIBA surveys who had participated in the Victorian Twitchathon in late November. He told me that his team had heard a Koel in both Coongulla and Sale within 45 minutes of each ID. There must have been two.

Here is a photo of a Koel taken in suburban Sydney in late November. It wasn't hard to track down.

This evening, Little Corellas turned up searching for a suitable roost in the Gardens. This has happened in previous years. They can be in "immense noisy flocks" Pizzey & Knight but, fortunately, there were less than 50 ... tonight.

Note the undertail washed yellow
Note the underwing washed yellow
Looking for nuts in the Botanic Gardens Monkey Puzzle tree
A corella tree
Settling in for the night

Fortunately, I am looking forward to the competition between the corellas and the resident sulphur-crested cockatoos ... not!

Our birdbath

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