Ask a non-Australian to name an iconic Australian bird and you’ll more than likely get the answer “kookaburra.”
Ask an Australian the same question and the answer may well be “koel.” Or “rainbird,” which is a common name for the same bird.
Common Koel, male.
Photo: N Fifer © N Fifer
Common Koel, female.
Photo: N Fifer © N Fifer
The koel is one of those let-someone-else-do-the-work brood parasites, the cuckoos. They arrive, in early spring, from the islands north of here and, depending on who you talk to, either entertain us with their call or drive us bloody nuts!
Last updated: 25 August 2006
Sure, they can tear the darkness with their constant calling, but I rather like them. Heard all through the spring and summer, but seldom seen, they are, according to experts, shy.
So there was some excitement chez Dinahmow a few weeks ago when we saw not one, but two (a pair?) in a tree right outside the living room windows! Of course, the camera was zipped securely into its bag. On the desk. In the office. Of course…
So, no photo that day, although I still see Mr. Koel quite often and I think I’ve seen Mrs. Koel, too, but it’s not always easy to be certain when I’m peering through thick foliage!
Remember, a few days ago, I said I was cock-a-hoop at finding a flower on a shrub that has, until now, defeated all my efforts?
Well, here it is. Not much, huh? Well, it is a very BIG DEAL to me! I think it’s probably been knocked about by the wind or animals because the flower should be more globular. Believe me, a well-flowered specimen is a beautiful sight. People who can’t quite manage the Latin Syzigium wilsonii just call it a powder puff lilypily.
“It’s that old Devil Moon in your eyes…” (Frank Sinatra. Harburg/Lane)
Lunacy, especially brief, intermittent periods of mental aberration, was believed to be caused by the influence of our satellite. Today, we have (thank goodness!) a much better understanding of mental illness.
All the same… if that chunk of rock up there can have such tremendous power over the oceans, maybe it can also mess with our brains…
I just love a big Spring tide! And where I now live, a big tide means water in the mangroves at the bottom of my street (say, 200 metres down the road) and flooding the salt flats a little further down.
I missed my photo opportunity on Friday, but hurried my Saturday shopping to get these pics:
And now…only two days to bag-up some treats, ready for the kids when they come knocking, dressed as Britney Spears or Johnny Depp. Or maybe, with an election on the horizon, perhaps some enterprising child will don a John Howard mask? Hmmm…