Flying things seen from our flat

flying foxes
myna birds (alas)
white ibis
rainbow lorikeets
sulphur crested cockatoos

Heard but not seen:


We’ve learned that the flying foxes fly past at the same height as our flat—so we can see and hear them clearly—mostly when it’s raining or there’s low cloud cover. They’re way up high when the skies are clear. So, um, there has been much praying for rain. There weren’t nearly as many flying foxes in Sydney when I was a kid so I never get tired of seeing them.

Same for rainbow lorikeets. They’ve been everywhere over the last week. Yesterday they decided to distract me by landing on our deck directly in front of where I sat writing on our couch. I mean seriously how am I supposed to keep working with them frolicking about in front of me? Here’s a photo Scott took after I called for him to come down from the study and check ’em out:

And here’s a close up:

They hung around for about half an hour. Chirping to each other and to the other lorikeets perched on nearby buildings. Um, no, I got no work done during that time.

Why, yes, I am loving our new digs. It’s amazing how having a view changes everything.

And, I kid you not, another flock of ’em flew past just as I was about to publish this. Their brilliant greens, reds, blues and yellows even more intense against the grey sky. Leaving this place is going to be such a wrench. I want to stay forever.


  1. Lizabelle on #

    I love the lorikeets. I was so excited when we first arrived in Sydney and came across some near the Botanic Gardens. Now we regularly get them on our balcony, and I have to remember not to get all blasé about them. 🙂

    Australian nature: not all scary and deadly.

  2. Lizabelle on #

    It occurs to me that the last line of my previous comment sounds very flippant given the current situation in Victoria. Sorry – it was completely unintentional. :-/

  3. Justine on #

    Lizabelle: Not at all. USians do have an image of our fauna being all poisonous and scary. They do not know how many gorgeous birds and other fauna we have. I would have made the same comment. Truly. That’s why I posted these pictures. They think we’re all blue-ringed octopuses and funnel web spiders.

  4. Patrick on #

    Stay inside!!!

    You and Scott are in grave danger. Outside your window is the Australian Lorikeet of Death! Look at the anger in its eye. And it is poisonous.

    Whatever you do, don’t go outside. They have your scent now.

  5. Feywriter on #

    Gorgeous birds. I am quite jealous. The only squawking we hear in these apartments is that of our neighbors…

    I have an Award for you!

  6. Ally on #

    They’re so beautiful(:
    How easily are they scared? (Like are they used to people)

  7. Rachel on #

    Actually, my idea of Australian fauna (pre-Justine’s blog) was that there were kangaroos and not much else. Pretty much paradise for five-year-old me.

    Fifteen-year-old-in-a-few-hours me prefers the idea of rainbow lorikeets. I mean, Rainbow! Lorikeets! Rainbow lorikeets!

  8. Vivian on #

    This must make for some great inspiration for your work. Beautiful!

  9. Janet Lafler on #

    Hmph. I want to see me some rainbow lorikeets.

    On the other hand, a few days ago I watched a couple of hummingbirds having a territorial battle in our backyard, and then yesterday I saw a hummingbird unceremoniously chase off a rather larger black phoebe. It was a male Anna’s hummingbird; he obligingly turned toward the sun so I could get a good look at his iridescent pink head.

    Plus, we have acorn woodpeckers. They are not as colorful as rainbow lorikeets, but they have a sort of commedia dell’arte flare.

  10. Nick Edards on #

    Hey Justine, the colony of flying foxes in Royal Botanic Gardens has got a fair bit bigger in the last 10 years or so (there’s about 9000 in there at the moment)which is probably why you see more of them now than you did when you were growing up.

    Did you see any mums carrying their babies in flight? It’s an amazing sight but can be hard to see. I got a few photos of it (and other batty behaviour) this season

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