Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Returning from Stingray Swamp Flora Reserve (which backs onto Penrose State Forest and is a good 30 minute walk from the junction of Old Argle and Ferndale Roads in Bundanoon) the other day, the crunching and snapping of distant trees caught my ear. I padded slowly through rugged open eucalyptus woodland to a patch of casuarinas to see what the source of the racket was. I thought I was hearing feeding Glossy Black-cockatoos. How right I was! A male and two females were gnawing dead and live timber and snapping she-oak seedpods. I was thrilled to see them. I'd forgotten how staggeringly arresting the red in their tails is when the birds are in flight. It was terrific to see the females allopreening (underwings, tails, sides etc.) and the male clamber over one of the feeding females when on his way to seize more seedpods. Now and then they emitted their Red-tailed Black-cockatoo-like wails. I have seen GBCs on very few occasions in my life. I was blessed to have thirty-five captivating minutes with this trio. They were not concerned by my presence. According to the NSW Government's E&H division, GBCs are listed as Vulnerable, meaning that they may become extinct in this state in the medium-term future if we don't preserve the precious woodlands they require. We have to stick up for these quirky, charming characters of the Aussie bush. LJ, September 2 2015.

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