Yesterday was hot and humid and after a lazy day I decided on a late afternoon walk along the creek at my back fence. I took my camera and 1.4 Extender to see what I could find up at the Elster Creek lake inside the Golf Course. At the lake, I ran into a young local birder/naturalist – Gio F and we explored the creek up to a dense section looking for roosting Nankeen Night Herons but instead spotted a Pallid Cuckoo. It flushed a few times from high in the trees and we followed it around a few large Conifers trying to get a better angle for a picture. We ran into another local birder – David E (my birding mate from the Lake Tutchewop Twitch), who suggested that it was a young female Cuckoo probably starting the migration north and just passing through our area. They are quite rare in our part of the urban landscape.
Noisy Miners are native honeyeaters that have adapted extremely well to urban locations. They are a communal bird that are very aggressive and push out other species from areas. Some councils around Australia have started culling programs to reduce their numbers and it has worked – other species are making a come back. The Miners, while being a pest are actually interesting to watch and study as they have 11 known warning calls for predators and a specific one for “raptors above”. We heard it used while standing at the lake and soon spotted a Brown Goshawk flying over.
The one below came over to have look at what we were up to – had it seen the Cuckoo, it would have put out a challenge call and brought the rest of the pack over. It seemed quite hot and was panting while it watched us.