Sydney

Sydney’s pied currawong

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The currawongs are amoung my favourite birds, this yellow eyed beauty was enjoying his perch in a she-oak whose branches overlooked one of the numerous small bays that fringe Sydney Harbour, one of the most spectacular harbours in the world.

The view from the currawong's tree includes a distant view of the city of Sydney.
The view from the currawong’s tree includes a distant view of the city of Sydney.

The Pied Currawong is a common nomad in Australia’s east. They breed in isolation but will join flocks of up to 100 in winter, though I have never seen such a sight. To see them en masse sounds a bit too much like being inside Hitchcock’s movie the Birds! The currawongs have a strong, loud gong-like call that I find melodious, interspersed with whistling ‘oo-oooooo’.

the reef, at dawn

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Long Reef, Sydney Australia at dawn.
Long Reef, Sydney Australia at dawn.

I was down in Sydney town a couple of weeks ago… a seven hour drive down south from my usual abode … staying in an old house that belongs to my family. The house was originally a four room ‘holiday’ home with an outside loo, and while it has grown somewhat over the last seventy years, much of the original remains. From the deck, or ‘verandah’ to some, the view looks north-east towards a large promontory that juts into the Pacific Ocean surrounded by extensive reefs, an extinct volcano where I wandered as a child, picking up fossils as easily as one normally picks up shells. Over the years the trees have grown and a new house has gone up next door, yet even they could not damper the beauty of the early morning sky just before the sun came up, a fitting tribute to the molten heat of a once active and fiery volcano.