Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Delightful Musks

One of the highlights for me at this time of year, is watching the abundant flocks of Musk Lorikeets. Most are feeding on eucalypt flowers, especially at the moment on the West Australian euc. ficifolia, a bright red flowering species, that unfortunately has a short flowering season. They are restless and noisy, and I noted that one eucalypt particularly favoured by them in the grounds of a nearby school was chopped down and I've often wondered whether the noise became too much. Perhaps I'm being uncharitable, but hearing the incessant calling, described in one field guide, as a 'metallic screech', for hour after hour, might try the patience of the most ardent birder. I've noted in my suburb (Bellerive), that a fly by from one of the local Hobbys, is one sure way of silencing them. Although abundant, photographing them is surprisingly difficult, mainly because they are so well camouflaged, which perhaps is surprising when you consider how gaudy the plumage is. Many shots were taken to get even these 2 shots. In suburbia at least, Musks are much more abundant than 20 years ago, possibly due to the popularity of planting native trees.

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