Sunday, 20 July 2008

Happy residents of Airlie

About ten years ago I was a member of a team competing in a Challenge Bird Count. Our area was the Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong and our task was to find as many species of birds as we could in one day. Every year we went to the site of the old Mannerim School because 'once upon a time' it was the last reliable spot to find Bush Stone-curlews, but we never saw any. Except once. As we wandered into the schoolground a shout went up as two of the birds flew away from us and landed in a nearby paddock. We searched for them, without success of course because they are masters of camouflage. But we counted them in our total. And they haven't been seen on the peninsula since.
Well, tonight we went into the village of Airlie Beach in Queensland for dinner, and my daughter and her husband declared that could easily find me a Stone-curlew. And they did. We walked towards the yacht club and there they were on the lawn, two Bush Stone-curlews almost mingling with the people walking in the balmy night air.
I want to know why the birds in Airlie are so happy to live in an urban environment and those in Victoria took fright and disappeared.

No comments: