Ooom, ooom, ooom, ooom

That’s the sound I heard, softly, as I walked from the beach to the campsite at dusk at Woody Head on Saturday. I recognised it as a tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) – we hear them on our property, the male making this call echoing around the valley.

I walked on, and the sound then came from behind me. I looked up and back and – ta da! – there he was!

Tawny frogmouth on paperbark tree

Tawnies are nocturnal and rest in plain sight during the day, keeping really still and pretending to be a branch. They are difficult to see unless they move, or unless you have identified their territory and know roughly where to look. We used to visit a family in the same tree spring after spring in Centennial Park in Sydney.

Other birds I saw on Saturday were a brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), often seen on high searching for fish …

Brahminy kite; photo by Rodney Hunt

… a willie wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys). Note the white “eyebrows”, which the bird may “flash”, making the white bigger, as a warning …

Willie wagtail looking for insects

I can’t resist putting in Andrew’s photo of a willie wagtail seen at Ballina, as it’s so characterful …

Willie wagtails are charming, wagging their tails and flitting about for insects; photo by Andrew Roberts

Back at Woody Head, three birds which could be sanderlings (Calidris alba), but I’m not sure, and a ruddy turnstone ( Arenaria interpres). If they are sanderlings, they have flown all the way from Siberia to spend the summer here.

Sanderlings (left), and ruddy turnstone in breeding plumage (right)

There were several spotted doves (Streptopelia chinensis, introduced here as in many other places in the world) …

Spotted turtle dove

… native crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) …

Crested pigeon

brush turkeys (Alectura lathami) …

Brush turkey

and a blue-faced honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) trying to sip a beer …

Blue-faced honeyeater tries a tipple

Was it living up to the Aussie stereotype? Not really … the bird was hanging around the camp kitchen hoping for hand-outs, and as I took the shot it moved.

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2 Responses to Ooom, ooom, ooom, ooom

  1. Maurits Zwankhuizen says:

    Dear Joy,

    I am a writer from Canberra and have written a book titled Made in Australia: Native Species Introduced Overseas which I hope to release as a Kindle e-book on Amazon.

    With your permission, I would like to use your image, located above, of a Brush-Turkey.

    If you are amenable, I will naturally credit this image to you in the acknowledgments section.

    Yours sincerely,

    Maurits Zwankhuizen

    • Joy Window says:

      Hi, Mauritz. Thanks for your interest in my photo. I am happy for you to use it (no charge) and be credited. Good luck with the book. I have a higher res version if you’d prefer to use that – I cut this one down for the blog. Just let me know and I will email it to you.

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