Birding, 26 Feb
The sky is brilliant, the fat moon has just set, I watch the kinked line of Jupiter Mercury and Saturn, rarity is valued. The Milky Way is right above my head, splintering darkness, the mysteries of dark matter, of beginnings, and of endings, the next asteroid strike.
As we leave I stop to photograph a Tallowwood hugging the early light.
We meet at Repton and head down North Bank Road.
Chances taken, chances missed, The Brolgas are missing, and the Black-necked Storks, called Jabiru, just fifty metres away, two days ago, according to a local who stopped for a look. In the distance, Black cows and a Black Swan asking the question. And in the long grass, occasional sightings of Purple Swamp Hens fighting, then falling back to earth in a skitter of wings. And in fields on the other side of the track, Straw-necked Ibis in black and white ribbons, lifting off and fluttering down.
Back to the village, a few Rainbow Bee-eaters swooping, perching, swooping, stragglers before they head back north. The massive Small-leafed Fig was fruiting last times and full of birds, various species, but with no fruit no birds.
And what deserved a painting? A Sacred Kingfisher, posing, looking down to the blue waterlilies. Or one of the raptors? White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Whistling Kite, Grey Goshawk.
Or the view up the Bellinger?
It was hot and humid, tiring despite the leisurely birdwatcher’s pace
72 species recorded.