Forget the crow of a rooster as an alarm. Instead, I hear a veritable symphony of birdsong starting around 4 am every morning now. I think they have come into my life in such a dramatic fashion to force me out of bed much earlier than I would normally rise. It gets light earlier here as well, so by 4:30 the sun is coming up and by 5:00 am, I am up now. I never thought I would see the day where I started emulating my parent's crazy sleep/wake schedule, but alas, it looks like I may be there. With the sun heating up the world so early, it is really imperative that I get moving at this hour if I plan to do anything strenuous in terms of exercise. Much past 7:30, it just gets too hot.
But back to the birds. It is just amazing to see the tropical parrots and colourful bird varieties here in Queensland. Last night before dusk I watched as hundreds of Rainbow Lorikeets gathered at the top of a massive mature Eucalyptus tree. Standing near the tree, the sound of this choir of birdsong was like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds...on steroids! On another tree, a similar scene prevailed, only this time with large white Cattle Egrets, not to be outdone by the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos. The local residents think nothing of this daily spectacle of nature, but these exotic species are like wildlife eye candy for this Canuck.
When I wasn't busy perving on the Rosellas, I was mesmerized by the assortment of Honeyeaters. They come in quite a few varieties and they amuse as they hang upside down draining the Jacaranda Blossoms of their nectar. They also like to chase each other from tree to tree creating a mad scene of seeming aggressive birdie tag.
This morning as I did my loop around the park, the evidence left behind from the hundreds of Galahs that feast on the ancient fig trees, crunched beneath my feet. There is always a bit of a risk of them leaving a not- so-sweet surprise on your head or shoulder as you walk under these trees when they are feeding but so far, I have been lucky. Note to self... I must remember to carry some tissue with me from now on.
The ability to do this on a daily basis is enough to make my day. Like any gift of nature, it feeds my soul and makes me grateful to be alive and fortunate to witness these beautiful creatures. I always enjoyed birds in Canada. I used to feed the Goldfinches and got excited to see Cardinals and Pine Grosbeaks and Cedar Waxwings depending on what part of the country I was living in at any given time, but this is a whole new ball of wax down here. The type of birds I am used to seeing in cages or zoos flit and fly around here like Sparrows and Chickadees - as common as that.
These are the kind of Tweets that really interest me.