I promised you a post about the birds I saw on my quest for wildflowers in September, and here it is!
At Mundawaddery Cemetery I saw a pair of galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) settling in for the evening. I’m not sure if the dead tree had a nest hollow in it, or if they just liked the open roosting location.
I was told where to find a group of emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) at Grong Grong, although from their behaviour and the style of fence around the paddock, I suspect these are farm emus, not wild. On the other hand, tame emus means close-up photos.
The person who told me about them had photos of babies, but I sadly did not see any while I was there. This guy refused to stand up though, so perhaps he was incubating eggs (male emus are the ultimate super-dads). I tried to keep away from him so as not to disturb him, just in case. If you haven’t seen emu chicks before, I suggest you google them, because they are adorable.
However, I did find some other baby birds I went looking for. There is a farm near Collingullie with a low-lying front paddock that is transformed into a wetland every wet year, and each time this happens a pair of black swans (Cygnus atratus) nests there and raises their brood. I had seen their nest several times as I drove past, so decided to stop one day while I had my camera and binoculars with me, and see if I could find them. Find them I did, and I was delighted to discover they have seven cygnets this year, here’s hoping most of them make it to adulthood.
The little wetland hosted a number of other waterbirds as well, including assorted ducks, yellow-billed spoonbills (Platalea flavipes), Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus), and black-winged stilts (Himantopus himantopus).
I also met a pied butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) in Narrandera, who thought I was fascinating, and we had a bit of a mutual admiration session before going our separate ways.