These pigeons have been the bane of my life lately—I could never get close to one even though they flap round regularly in Sydney in summer—but I find them fascinating: they look so exotically eccentric. A topknot pigeon is a conventional grey pigeon except that it has a red beak and eyes, and a forward grey crest like a bulbous forehead as well as a trailing red/brown ponytail crest. Here’s what one looks like:
Small brown birds aren’t always easy to identify. Here’s one I saw on 29th February.
When I first saw it, it was in long grass below a thick bush. It had seen me too:
Walking through Badangi Reserve, I spotted a greyish bird on a low branch. It immediately flew up into the canopy and I was able to get a quick shot.
Although its head was in deep shade, I could see clearly its white underside with dark streaking, and this made me think it was either an Oriole or a Figbird. The insect in its beak suggested an oriole, but both species take insects. The bird then flew to a more open spot:
A déjà vu moment for me at the Randwick Environmental Centre! Four months ago I saw a Willie Wagtail and a Restless Flycatcher there and this week I saw another Willie Wagtail and Flycatcher darting about. At first, I thought they might be the exact same birds, but then I realised that the flycatcher was smaller, about the size of a spinebill, and that it wasn’t quite so glossily black.
It perched briefly near me while it scanned the area above:
Recently my wife and I went to a violin & piano concert featuring Vaughan Williams “Lark Ascending”. In his introduction to the piece, the violinist said he had researched the (British) Lark, and decided it was a “boring little bird”. A few days later, I saw something very similar to Vaughan Williams’ Lark strolling down a Waverton footpath. It wasn’t a Lark, though. It was an Australian Pipit (Anthus australis).
When walking in Ball’s Head Reserve recently, I stopped beside a small stone pool fed by a tap. A Brush Turkey had just arrived for a drink.
Almost immediately, a Pied Currawong flew into the bush behind the pool to wait for its turn.