Birding Sunday morning, Oct 17, the Kingfishers

Birding with the Bellingen Birders in Myleston and Urunga (Gumbaynggirr Country), I saw, along with a Red-bellied Black snake so many  birds (the group saw 104 species in total in one morning).

And I saw all three kingfishers to be found here, the last being the rare Forest Kingfisher on a wire visiting friends after the birder’s lunch. We’ve seen 9 of the ten species of Australian kingfishers, I don’t think I’ve seen a Red-backed – but we are not twitchers, and don’t keep bird lists except for our garden and adjoining forest.

Azure Kingfisher, Bellinger back channel

I recall being arrested in Egypt for looking for kingfishers. And that while looking for the electric-blue Javan Kingfisher over forty years ago, I saw a most memorable sight – a number of (what is the collective noun for) a group of young women bathing naked in the Ayung River, Ubud, Bali. As an English (then) gentleman (then) I averted my eyes. Young men were washing themselves around the next bend.

Which collective noun fits best? A fleet, troupe, bevy, bloom, charm, choir, horde, pride, bouquet, galaxy? One friend suggested a ‘nubilation’, and another, ‘siren’.

Some obviously won’t do: a bike (of bees), murder (of crows), a bed (of clams), a flange (of baboons), a cloud (of bats), a train (of camels), and not a parliament.

Sacred Kingfisher, Bellinger back channel

Kingfishers found in Australia

1 Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus)

2 Blue Winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)

3 Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia)

4 Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

5 Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii)

6 Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

7 Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus)

8 Red Backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius)

9 Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

10 Yellow Billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro)



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