A well-known piece of music, On hearing the first cuckoo of spring*, reflects the composer’s delight on hearing the European cuckoo announcing spring after the long northern winter. On my walk yesterday, I heard my first Channel-bill Cuckoo announcing the southern hemisphere spring. However, its hoarse “Waaaark” as it flew past didn’t quite produce the same delight.
This Pied Currawong was even less delighted. It was quickly on to the cacophonous cuckoo, hurling equally noisy but more melodious abuse at it.
As the duelling pair disappeared into the distance, I walked on to the old BP site and saw this Silver Gull having a drink of fresh water.
My attention was then drawn to the mass of golden blooms on this magnificent wattle tree.
Several honey bees were on the flowers. Here’s another view:
I also had a look at some less spectacular flowers and seed-heads nearby. I’m no botanist, but this tall grass is, I think, dichelachne:
This common dandelion was much easier to identify…
Out on an oil boom, a Pied Cormorant spread its wings to dry whilst doing some neck-flexing exercises. Pied cormorants fly with a slight kink in their necks, and I wondered whether this flexing had something to do with it.
The cormorant settled again, so I went back to the wildflowers: these are Viola hederacea:
I’m not sure about the next flower. I think it’s some sort of Pultenaea (Bush pea):
And this is one of my favourites, a Grey Spider Flower (Grevillea buxifolia):
There were also Paroo Lilies (Dianella caerulea) coming into flower.
And another less showy wattle whose identity I’m not sure of:
A Brown Goshawk, with its distinctive barred chest markings, flew high overhead:
My last sighting on this Saturday walk was an Australian Magpie marching along the street gathering nesting material.
Fortunately, that first cuckoo was not around to see the location of the magpie’s nest.
*On hearing the first cuckoo of spring is a piece for a small orchestra composed by Frederick Delius in 1912. It’s a gentle composition which references the call of the male European cuckoo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xHIhcstxUM on YouTube.