The other morning – as in, seriously morning just as the sun was rising – I found myself on the top of Red Hill. Red Hill is in central Canberra and has a lookout affording wonderful views all over the city and surrounds The view over Parliament House across the Lake to the War Memorial and Mt Ainslie is a particular treat and an ideal way to appreciate this planned and essentially purpose-built city.
Red Hill also has a very healthy collection of bird life. Here is a sample of the birds I was able to photograph over a 37 minute period early on Saturday morning.
The Australian Magpie – a common bird but with a beautiful song and a friendly nature (well, aside from the brief period during spring when all the males become hell-bent on protecting their nests and viciously swooping anyone who passes near them).
A less expected sight was a group of Satin Bowerbirds, flitting through the low bushes and calling with the most wonderful array of sounds. I only saw females (with darker beaks) and immature birds (both male and female juveniles are very similar to adult females, but with lighter beaks). None of the glossy blue-black males were to be seen this morning.
Little needs to be said of the sheer beauty of Crimson Rosellas.
A highlight of the morning was seeing my first Spotted Pardalote. Apparently these gorgeous little birds are quite common, but I’ve not seen one before (as far as I know – from a distance they could be mistaken for one of many little birds that flit among the branches). This is a lousy shot as I only got a glimpse of it, but I’m claiming it as my first Pardalote photo anyway.
This, I am reasonably sure, is a Jacky Winter. Or a female Superb Fairywren. Or something very similar. Little Brown Birds are tricky sometimes.
This one I am really not sure of.
However, this is definitely a Silvereye. An out of focus Silvereye, but a Silvereye all the same.
This Grey Fantail was very busy tossing itself from one branch to another, fanning its tail for all to see (maybe not ‘all’, but certainly any potential partners in the area).
Red Hill is topped by a scenic cafe/restaurant. With the early morning sun hitting the windows around its base, an Australian Raven took great offence at the identical Australian Raven that had somehow founds its way inside (or not…).
Eventually the Raven decided all this squabbling was just a little uncouth, and with a final stern word to its nemesis, it strode off to deal with more pressing matters of the day.