Out There

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Bird Watch
Out There
is home to a host of birds. The variation is dazzling to a person used to the monoculture of city birdlife. I have identified over 40 species since we started going outthere. Some of them appear below.
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Female-90cm Male-1m
The most spectacular and largest bird by far is the Eagle or "Wedgie". We have three that soar above our property regularly. A huge shadow sweeps across the fields as they pass. One sunny afternoon we watched a pair hunting rabbits on our property but usually they just glide by at a great height on upswept wings.
Bird Watch We now have four eagles
Peregrine Falcon
Female-38cm Male-48cm
We have observed this falcon nesting in the cliffs of the Canyon. It is a spectacular flier and we have seen it engage an eagle in an aerial battle. The hapless eagle ventured into its territory. Usually so graceful, the eagle only just managed to escape the precision dive-bombing of its smaller, swifter cousin
Nankeen Kestrel
Female-31cm Male-35cm
A pair of these small hovering falcons have a nest in an old, dead tree over the fenceline of our property. They are common hunters over our fields with their distinctive rapid flickering wingbeats. They soar on flat wings with tail spread, hovering frequently with tail fanned and dive for their prey like fighter pilots.
Laughing Kookaburra
46cm
These noisy birds are plentiful and sing in chorus in the mornings and evenings. Their chuckling laughter can be heard echoing through the hills. They like to sit above our frog pond staring down hungrily.
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
60-69cm
Flocks of these noisy birds fly out of the National Park at sunrise and return at sunset.They fly with slow measured rather ungainly wingbeats screeching all the way.

Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike
33cm
Apparently this is one of Australia's commonest birds but I have never seen one in Sydney. I wonder why? Meeoww.
White-Eared Honey Eater
18-22cm
These birds are residents and are often seen looking for insects in the trees around the caravan.
 White-Browed Wood Swallow
19cm
A flock of these birds arrived one afternoon at Lade Downs. At first I thought it was lots of different birds because there was a broad range of colour variations. The juvenile is speckly, the male is brown and the female is a beautiful cinnamon colour.
Richard's Pipit
15-17cm
A pair of these birds live on the Blasted Plains, a desert like expanse at the centre of our property. They have a beautiful call and a curious undulating display flight. They make their nest on the ground.

Grey Fantail
16cm
These active little birds are flycatchers. When I was raking the grass around the caravan a flock followed me around gobbling up the insects I disturbed.

Willy Wagtail
20cm
Wagtails can still be seen in Sydney but ours are bigger and brighter than the poor little shabby ones in suburbia.

Eastern Yellow Robin
15cm
This pretty little yellow breasted bird is a common visitor.

Scarlet Robin
13cm
We often see these tiny birds on the property. From a distance they look like a bright red dot.
Superb Fairy Wren
14cm
This bird really lives up to its name. It is the most striking iridescent blue. They live in the Blackberries and venture out to feed. (another good reason not to spray poison on and burn the blackberries)The male invariable comes first hopping boldly about. He is followed by his little brown hens. They are common residents.
Pacific Black Duck
47-61cm
After a storm and our usually dry dam fills with water and a pair of ducks quickly take advantage. There is nothing more homely than a dam with a duck on it. Usually they live in the river below our caravan.