Sunday, October 07, 2012

A cocky visitor

A bird landed on the railing of nearby apartment, and after asking Red for help, it was identified as a Long Billed Corella. Here is a generic photo followed by my lousy photo. They like to dig mown grass areas to find roots and bulbs. I expect the nearby Albert Park Golf Course suffered some damage.




Subsequently there were flocks of black birds flying past. They made a distinctive noise and it took me no time to identify them as Yellow Tailed Cockatoos.

I saw a flash of white and later R told me he saw the same from his bedroom where he was undressing for a shower. The bird landed on a nearby balcony. I rushed for the camera and stealthily opened the balcony door a few centimetres and pointed the lens. Click, click. I knew the photos would not be great, no better than the Corella photo.



But then, much excitement. As I stood with the lens pointing through the door, the bird flew up, perhaps attracted by our potted red cyclamen on the balcony and landed on our balcony railing. My lens was a mere fifty centimetres away from the wild Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and I am ever so pleased with my photos of he or she wild bird. It snipped off the stem of a flower and flew away with the stem in its beak.



 A week or so ago when Little Jo was here, she and R made cup cakes and sprinkled them with hundreds and thousands. I et mine on the balcony and spilled a few of the tiny sweet sprinkles. They have not appealed to rodents, ants, birds or even this ladybird I found on our balcony. It is a weird thing to drop crumbs outside and and a week later, nothing has been cleaned up by critters.

23 comments:

  1. Great photo and nice to see native wildlife in urban settings. I have native plants on my balcony and am regularly visited by a wattlebird (I don't have a camera in waiting though to take such fantastic images).

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    1. You should Ad Rad. The idea of wattle birds where you live is improbable to me, not that I don't believe you.

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  2. What's really cool is we get a view of your view from your balcony. The Cockatoo doesn't look like it should be wild, but I'm glad it is.

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    1. Rubye, we see and hear them every so often. Haven't I showed a few balcony views over time?

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  3. I don't think many of us ever get sick of spotting "free" birds around their home, but living in a high rise it would be extra exciting.

    And I'm impressed you can actually stand out on a projecting balcony like yours without breaking out into a sweat.

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    1. FC, the balcony doesn't worry me unless I look directly down when I am not looking at anything. An enclosed balcony is better, especially when it is windy. While we see some birds, we don't see birds such as wattle birds. I don't mind that as they are quite noisy.

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  4. You "et" your cupcake? I haven't heard "et" in yonks!! It was fairly common when I was a little kid, but then we went to school and the English teachers drummed it out of us.
    Fabulous photos of your Sulphur Crested cocky! how lucky that he/she came right to your door. Possibly he is building a nest which is why he took the flower stem. I don't think I have ever seen a long-billed Corella. I'm still being teased by a pair of crows who always seem to know when I don't have my camera with me.

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    1. River, I like to keep the word et alive by throwing it in every so often. Cockies nest in tree hollows but they probably need to put vegetation in the bottom. I have seen that variety of corella before, except I did not know it. It has a distinctive call. Do you have crows or ravens? Apparently Victoria only has ravens. Who can tell the difference?

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    2. River

      So funny that your English speakers drummed "et" for "ate" out of you. That is a sign of speak-as-you-spell ignorance. "Et" is an established and perfectly proper pronunciation, and the OED (in the days when dictionaries were prescriptive rather than merely descriptive) gave it priority.

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  5. They've probably popped over from the lake.

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    1. Or on the way to the lake Fen. Who would know. The question is, have we improved our environment to the point where birds come to the inner city, or are they seeking refuge?

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  6. Anonymous10:16 pm

    They're great shots of the cocky! It might become a regular visitor. Maybe you should put out a plate of bird seed. V.

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    1. No V. There is a severe warning that is regularly posted at the lift notice board about feeding birds, more to do with pigeons. About five years ago or more, one such bird critter knocked our pot off the balcony table and the pot smashed. Search for massacre and it might come up. I won't be encouraging any birds, but just take pleasure when they appear.

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  7. I love reading about parrot-human encounters.

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    1. Parrots seem to be easily tamed Dina, especially if they can get a free feed.

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  8. PS, Andrew

    Great pictures, but watch out for when the cockatoos start prising off bits of the building - that has happened to a Sydney apartment block with plastic fake-stone mouldings.

    In Syd we've long had white cockatoos in urban parts, including in the inner city (though not amongst the skyscrapers in the CBD: that's the territory of Ibis, ravens, currawongs and Indian mynahs, plus of course pigeons). I can't work out where they nest to breed, but they favour any stand of big trees, especially on an elevated site, as their roosting spots overnight and it can be positively Hitchcockian to be there when they are jostling for position at sunset.

    This year black cockatoos have been around in greater numbers than before. They used to be a rarety. In my opinion they are even more splendid than the sulphur-cresteds, but still I think are more wary of people.

    Corellas in coastal cities are said to most likely to have bred from escapees. In Syd they seem to arrive on a seasonal basis.

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    1. Marcellous, I do recall reading about that a few years ago. They are rather fond of red cedar too, chewing up boards and window frames.

      We have roosting trees for mynas and mudlarks outside our building. It is terribly noisy at times, but not as bad as the birds in Darwin near the mall. I forget what sort of birds they were.

      In the ten years we have been here, this is the first time I have seen black cockatoos.

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  9. Oh well done Andrew, how obliging of the cockatoo to come and pose for you. I agree, strange indeed that your crumbs didn't get snaffled up, something to do with the taste..I'm just saying! I laughed out loud just now when I read about the fate of your cyclamen hahaha!

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    1. Grace, I hate doing it, but there is not other option but to chuck it.

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  10. Hahaha, you got off lightly!! If the SC Cocky had stayed any longer, it probably would have somehow dismantled your whole balcony!! They're incredibly destructive - but DO make a FAAAABULOUS photo!!

    After habitat destruction, supplies of food and water are usually what account for bird movements. They could be coming in from the rural areas because there's not been much rain??

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    1. Red, as I said earlier, we have been victims with a smashed glazed pot and destroyed plant. I am only assuming it was done by cockies. No, quite the opposite. The countryside is lush. Sean Dooley, who I am sure you are aware of, puts it down to more native plants in the cities. I am not so sure.

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  11. Ali and her Andrew used to get the ones you do on her balcony - have a photo of them on the wall so good was the photo - I really miss all the strikeouts and Cockatoos from my old place - its all little birds here and they are lovely but I miss the clowns of the bird world

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    1. Really MC? When they lived in Queens Road was it?

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