W marks the spot

A common sound heard on the edges of the Mallacoota township belong to a large solid bird called a Wonga Pigeon. It is a bird that prefers dense scrub and rainforest. It has distinctive markings – blue grey upper body, and spotted white belly. The markings on the chest help with camouflage, imitating shadows amongst the trees. To me it looks like a large W. It will try and stay still and hide when you walk to close but when it flushes it is a loud clatter of wings and a mad dash through the branches and away. When several flush at the same time it is loud and generally spooks everything else nearby. The one below I found on an early morning walk near my campsite. It was not overly concerned by my presence and for the first time I managed to get a few images of this species.

Wonga Pigeon, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacotta

Wonga Pigeon, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacoota

Wonga Pigeon, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacotta

II

Wonga Pigeon, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacotta

Looking for a bit of breakfast…

Wonga Pigeon, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacotta

An early morning stretch – showing the white and spots under the wings and belly – help to blend into shadows and a bright sky when flying through the tops of trees

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