One of my favourite things about Australia is the birds. I’m sure I’ve become unhabituated to US birds, and upon returning I will find them just as exciting. “Omg! Squirrel!”
But for now… I am quite happy to excitedly notice every bird I come across here. I have several favourites.
Recently I’ve been spending time reading papers on the wide lawns of a large estate next to my institute.
A special bonus to this besides the enhanced concentration due to absence of computer and internet, and the time outside in the air, grass, and sun, is the discovery of a clan/family of laughing kookaburras numbering at least four.
They spend their days, as most members of the kingfisher family do, watching and fishing, in this case in the sea of grass.
Sometimes they in turn are watched by noisy minors (top, noisy), ready to chase them away from a nest.
They sit on a low branch intent on the rolling ground beneath until some signal seen only by them sends it leaping into a dive at the ground, stabbing the turf with an audible “thunk.”
…. and a spray of dirt.
They often rotate from one tree to another. If you are patient, chances of one hunting 10 feet in front of you, or swooping low over your head are quite good.
It’s really a most pleasant way to spend an afternoon (reading! I swear!).
Anyone wanna visit? I’ll show you my kookaburras.
*all photos taken on lunch breaks :)