My last excuse for disappearing of 2020; or how I’ve spent my holidays thus far… (Part V – and Final!)

Once MT found me again, we strolled back to the Cave House and got extraordinarily lucky:  we stumbled across another Lyrebird, out in the open, this time in the middle of a courtship display for a female he was pursuing.  I got a ton of pictures and a few videos.

Superb Lyrebird

I’ve noticed that picture quality on the post itself isn’t great (though if you click on the photos they look better), so I’m hoping the video quality will be better.  I’m posting two:  a 15 second video which has clear footage of the Lyrebird performing his ‘dance’, and the second one is a 1 minute video, where the Lyrebird is more obscured by the bush, but his mimicry is more varied and towards the end he mimics a laughing Kookaburra so accurately, he sets off the local Kookaburras.

I’m also including a clip of Lyrebird song, because the audio on the videos isn’t great; the clip will give you a better idea of how varied lyrebird songs are, and it’s much clearer.

Sound clip of Lyrebird:

The other huge ‘get’ for me came the next morning, when we were out on our final walk before heading back to Melbourne.  We were just coming down off the trail near the campgrounds when we heard a strange sounding ruckus coming from the scrubs in a very small gully below.  When we snuck down to investigate we found a male Satin Bowerbird.

The thing that sets Bowerbirds apart from other pretty birds is that they build bowers – small but elaborate displays used to woo a female, and each bowerbird species has an affinity for a certain color, and will collect objects of that color for their bowers.  Satin Bowerbirds prefer blue, and will collect blue bits and bobs and arrange them just so around their bower, all to attract a female.  When the female arrives, he does his own elaborate dance in hopes that she’ll select him as a mate.

I’ve seen male Satin Bowerbirds from a distance before, and on this trip I’d seen several females, but I’ve always wanted to see the bower and figured my odds of stumbling across one were close to nil, because it’s not like they’d build them on a hiking path.  But as I was angling to get a good shot of this male bowerbird, I looked down the gully and there it was!!!  His bower!  I sent MT off and hunkered down, hoping to catch him working on it, and after several attempts I succeeded:

Satin Bowerbird – Male, in his bower.

I was dependent on the zoom lens, of course, but you can see the bits of blue he has strewn around, and the beginnings of a bower there in the center.  Not David Attenborough quality, but it’s 100% more bower bird bower than I thought I’d ever get to see.  😀

On that successful note, we packed it up and headed home.  It was Christmas Eve and we hoped we’d be able to find a small chicken to roast for dinner and pretend it was a turkey.  We stopped in Sale, Victoria for fuel and I found an open butcher shop that had two fresh turkeys left – hurrah!  So we ended up with Christmas dinner after all, if not the large family celebrations we had planned.

God bless us, every one.  🙂

8 thoughts on “My last excuse for disappearing of 2020; or how I’ve spent my holidays thus far… (Part V – and Final!)”

    1. You’re welcome! They sound awesome, don’t they? Several years back we went to a place just about 30 minutes from us, up in the ‘mountains’ (read: really big hills) where there were several building nests and singing for all they were worth. We couldn’t see any of them, but the concert performance was amazing. I’ve been a huge fan of the bird ever since.

  1. I bought a box of Oreo ice cream sandwiches yesterday and thought of you, so I decided to drop by your blog and say hi. Hi! waves enthusiastically Now I’m really glad I did because all of your photos are gorgeous and I’m really enjoying them. (That lace monitor! Whoa!) And I’m so, so glad your holiday adventures didn’t include quarantine!

    Belated Merry Christmas and on-time Happy New Year!

    1. HI!! Waves back enthusiastically Oreo ice cream sandwiches – oh man. I’ve been wearing my Covid lockdown on my backside apparently, because I went to put some dressy pants on a few weeks ago and the button and buttonhole were doing a whole Romeo and Juliet thing – they were different post codes. So no more ice cream sandwiches for me for the foreseeable future.

      How are you?? Are you part of the new border closure fun that’s kicking in at midnight tonight? I hope not – and hope everyone there is staying sane.

      1. I am okay? Ish? How are you??

        We didn’t go anywhere for the holidays so we’re sitting comparatively pretty at home, but according to my hubby’s work mates the highways are clogged with tourists fleeing the area before the closure takes effect. I am suuuuuuper glad we did our shopping for the week yesterday. I don’t even want to think about how clogged up the poor little two-lane bridge is right now. Speaking of trying to cross the bridge, I’m currently waiting for the VIC website to update its info so I can see whether border town residents will still be able to cross with permits. Oh, and my in-laws are currently visiting relatives in Ballarat, so that could be interesting. Hopefully they have no trouble getting home.

        I’m not any less active than I was pre-pandemic (it’s hard to do less than the minimum, LOL) and I can still get my button-up pants on, but apparently I’ve been hitting the comfort food a little too hard because I’ve got a bit more of a muffin-top thing going than I used to. Oh well. I only buy ice cream sandwiches like twice a year anyway. And they were on special. And 95% of my clothes are stretchy. XD

        1. Other than getting our Christmas cancelled, we’re fine. Work wiped me out at the end of the year, and I have every reason to look forward to more work exhaustion when I go back. Yay. But otherwise, MT and I are doing great. It’s that time of year again when I drag him around to various national parks and explore if the weather in January doesn’t go to complete crap one way or the other. We’re optimistic about MT’s business slowly clawing its way out of the pandemic, although who knows what the next few months will bring? Fingers crossed 2021 doesn’t feel the need to out-perform 2020. And HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 😀

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