Apostlebirds

Earlier this month, I had a friend from the South East of SA visit for a few days, and as it was his first trip to the Flinders region, I tried to show him some of the sights within a day trip time frame.  One of the places we visited was Warren Gorge, not far from Quorn township, and with a sealed road all the way, which is a bonus.  It turned out to be the highlight of his visit, even though we didn’t go for a long hike – more like a quiet stroll….

Chattering around us, were the Apostlebirds. Struthidea cinerea. They basically ignored us humans, as they got on with their task of foraging on the ground.

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Foraging

They are omnivorous and live in an extended family unit which often numbers 12, hence their common name.

While I did have a long lens on the camera, they ended up only a couple of feet away from me.

Earlier this week, as I was walking down the street in town, I heard their distinctive chatter, and sure enough, there was a mob visiting the Jacaranda trees growing along the roadside.  I don’t think they stayed for long though…..probably headed off to the nearby native scrub which would have more tucker to their liking.

On Friday Fred and I took a trip out to the Gorge, in our search for some relief from the extreme heat, and a power outage due to a bushfire.  There was no sign of the birds then – most likely they were like the local kangaroos, taking refuge in the shade offered by the bushes.   Fortunately the bushfire was contained after a few hours, and the power restored a few hours after that, so a night’s sleep was possible with airconditioning on.

All these days of temperatures over 45 C are getting slightly tedious……but it’s summer and to be expected in this region.  Soon we’ll be heading off for a while to cooler regions.

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Silence

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“Drawing on my fine command of the language, I said nothing.”

Robert Benchley

Grace

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“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are but doesn’t leave us where it found us.”      Anne Lamott

 

Where does a goanna go?

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It was a warm day out bush, and while walking along a track at Rawnsley Park, I heard a quick rustle off to the side.  Hmmm…… caution…. it could be a snake…..can you see it?

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Ah, a young goanna I was pleased to see, just fossicking about in the undergrowth.  We soon established a respectful distance, and I was able to photograph it as it went about it’s business.

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More about this creature.  And Here. And if you’re wanting some bush tucker.….here’s how to cook it.

For those who enjoy a song, here’s a fun one to sing along to 🙂

http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/151802/goanna-song

There’s even a delightful children’s book “Anna The Goanna” .

The very first time I ever saw a goanna, was when I was on a working holiday as a teenager, over on Kangaroo Island.  I was riding a horse along the beach, when suddenly the huge lizard appeared from behind some rocks! It was well over a metre in length.  Not sure which of the three of us got the biggest surprise!  Alas, such pursuits are no longer allowed on the Island…..

Since that time I’ve seen many goannas, in a variety of situations, including one climbing a gum tree to rob bird’s nests, and yet it’s the first that is strongest in my memory 🙂