Friday, 19 August 2016

Noises off

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos are quite a common bird around Carwoola, sometimes in quite large flocks.  They are certainly hard to miss as they constantly chatter between themselves.  Despite this disturbance to the peace on an early morning it was pleasing to have a loose flock of 10 of them turn up in the garden about 7am on 18 July.

Here is half the group - the rest were in an adjoining tree.  Those with good eyesight will pick up a solitary Sulphur-crested Cockatoo which was - very unusually for that species - silent.

At mid-morning I was at Kelly's Swamp in Jerrabomberra Wetlands, feeling very pleased with having added Grey Goshawk to my ACT list.   As I moved between hides I heard a strange bird call  which I thought/hoped might be a Lewin's Rail.  (Incidentally, Avibase gives the Finnish name of that species as pikkuluhtakana which is nicely onomatopoeic!)  Instead it was an Australasian Swamphen, perched high in the reeds stamping its foot on a mat of vegetation.
A little later, another Swamphen generated somewhat different sounds as it munched into some juicy new growth.

Further noise from winged entities arose as two militaristic aircraft flew slowly, and at low level across the sky towards the city.  I can't work out what models they are - possibly the first is a Boeing 707?  Suggestions welcome.  Thanks Duncan - see comments - for picking them as B52s.
Several minutes later another group of 4 aircraft, also in camo livery, turned up, and flew off towards Kowen Forest.  I couldn't work out what was going on at all.  Then as I drove home I heard a lot of stuff on the radio about Long Tan and realised they must have been part of the anniversary ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial.


Duncan McCaskill said...

Which Lewin's Rail call did the Swamphen sound like? I have recorded Lewin's Rail based on call alone, but I always worry about mistaken id on calls - I've yet to lay eyes on a Lewin's Rail. Can Swamphens do the accelrating krek, krek call?

The aircraft are American B52s, visiting from Guam for the Long Tan 50th.

Flabmeister said...

I was thinking the noise was a bit like the krek, krek call. I have never persuaded myself that I have heard it in the field - just digitally. Fortunately i have seen the one that appeared in Commonwealth Park before the &^%$#@##$^&&* barrel organ ar Floriade drove it away!

Thanks for the aircraft ID!