When the Currawongs come down from the mountains

I love birds, always have. Not a hardcore twicher or anything, just facinated by them and pay attention. Enough to feel quite moved when I see a Wedge-tailed Eagle. Enough for them to give me a sense of place.

I lived overseas between 2010 and 2016. I went to Princes Park in Carlton shortly after arriving home. There was a Currawong. It's a mountain bird that would rarely be seen outside mountain areas - a bird to get excited about seeing because it meant you were in the high country.

As Slim Dusty sings:

When the Currawongs come down from the mountains
To the warmer valley country down below
When the Currawongs come down from the timber
It's a sign of rough weather, rain or snow

But there it was, a Currawong, in Carlton. I've seen plenty since.

Similarly, down at the Winery my Dad owns and runs near Winchelsea on the edge of the Ottway forest, I start to see Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. They say they fly like they're falling from the sky. Not an uncommon bird, but I'd never seen them around there before.

And Rainbow Lorakeets. Everywhere, by their thousands. In inner urban Melbourne. I was thumbing through an old bird book today and came across the entry for Raidbow Lorakeets. Rare in South Eastern Australia it said. The book was the 2005 revised edition.

It's easy for birds to migrate. They can fly. So when the climate starts to change, they can easily move to where the climate suits them best. Maybe I'm drawing a long bow here, or maybe it's just another sign of our changing climate.

Show Comments