Friday, 20 June 2014

Where did the birdies go?

On 19 June I had to go to through Bungendore to take the small dog for her annual shots.  On the edge of town I was reminded of the traditional doggerel:
Spring is sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where
The birdies is?

All the birds are on the wing.
Now that’s absurd
Because the wings
Are on the bird.
Out on Hoskinstown Road there were at least 180 Sulphur-crested Cockatoos feeding in a paddock (which smelt as though it had just been top-dressed).
For my OCD-enhanced readers, I counted 167 in that image which didn't capture all the flock.  Several more flocks of ~50 birds were in paddocks closer to the village.  I estimate at least 300 birds in total.

The paddock around Darmody's Dam was liberally supplied with Galahs some of which were drinking.  They were glowing nicely in the setting sun (showing the colour is objective of this fuzzy snap).
The next paddock along also had a large flock of Galahs, giving a total estimate of 300 for them also.  There were also about 30 Crested Pigeons perched on the power lines opposite the dam.

The dam itself, and surrounds, held about 100 Pacific Black Ducks and 50 Grey Teal, (note, not Gray Teal, a species unknown to ornithology).  A small proportion of the flock is here.
The small dog having received her drugs we returned the same way.  To my surprise the only birds were about a dozen Pacific Black Ducks on the Dam.  The rhyme gets revised.
Winter’s here
The grass is browned
Lots of birds
Feed  on the ground.

Drive along the roadside counting
and comeback quickly.
The feeding birds are now

Nowhere thickly.
A possible explanation of this disappearance was the sighting of a very frisky fox about 2 kilometres down the road.  (Many other less frisky, and much flatter, foxes are decorating the roads of the Monaro at present.)

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