Flying Things Seen From Our Flat in Winter

Yes, I seem to have become one of those birdwatching types. What of it?

rainbow lorikeets
sulphur crested cockatoos
flying foxes
myna birds (alas)
spotted turtledove
pied currawong
noisy miner
white ibis
ducks (!)
sea gulls

And a tiny little wee birdie smaller than the palm of my hand that I haven’t been able to identify. Zips by too fast for me to even figure out what colour it is. I’d love to hear any suggestions as to what it might be. I am new to this birdwatching caper.

Here’s this morning’s sunrise:

First bird I heard this morning: rainbow lorikeet. They really do have the happiest-making calls.


  1. Rachel on #

    Wants: Sydney.

  2. Q on #

    I don’t think hummingbirds live in Australia, but that’s what it sounds like.

  3. Justine on #

    Rachel: It is a lovely city. I always miss it so much when I’m away . . .

    Q: We definitely don’t have hummingbirds. Plus they’re dead easy to identify. I’d have known if it were one which it isn’t. (I adore hummingbirds.)

  4. emmaco on #

    My brain is still waking up so can’t think of a tiny quick city bird, but maybe this excellent website can help.

  5. alys on #

    Why alas myna birds?

  6. Katie-bug on #

    Hi Justine,
    it could be a fairy wren or a silvereye maybe. The male fairy wrens you see in sydney are fairly brightly coloured but the females are brown, and all silvereyes are brown (that I’ve seen, anyway). Fairy wrens tend to live in quite large groups in bushes, but I’ve seen silvereyes on their own.
    Completely off topic: I’m writing a mini-essay on the US Liar cover controversy for my Master of Publishing course on Legal and Ethical Issues in the Media (I’m not asking you to do my homework! Please read on!) and in order to make a fairly boring point about the difference in new and convential media in reporting the story, it’d be really helpful for me to know what blog publishing service you’re using. I can’t seem to find anything on your site to tell me (my sincere apologies for bothering you if that’s just because I’m not looking in the right places).
    Of course, if you don’t want to tell me, or would like more information first, that’s fine.
    I’d never heard of you before, but I’ve been lurking on your blog a bit and both you and your books sound cool (and I’m not just saying that to flatter you). I’ll definitely read Liar when it comes out, and I’m going to try and hunt down How to Ditch Your Fairy too, which sound hilarious.
    Thanks, and sorry for the long comment!

  7. Katie-bug on #

    PS: I know fairy wrens live in the city – we have heaps at Sydney uni in the bushes near the tennis courts. Not so sure about silvereyes.

  8. Nadine on #

    If you go to the linked site you will see that “Mynas are listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the World’s 100 Worst Invasive Species.”

    It was neat to see how different the crows and magpies look from North American crows and magpies.

  9. Justine on #

    Alys: as mentioned by Nadine if you follow the link on myna bird you’ll see that they’re one of the worst invader species in the world.

    Katie-bug: It could be a fairy wren. But hard to tell as they zoom by and do not stop so I can’t check out their eye colour or plumage. Most inconvenient of them!

    I’m not sure I entirely understand your question. The blogging software I use is wordpress.

    Nadine: It’s cool, isn’t it? Diversity makes everything more interesting.

  10. Rachel on #

    I’ve never been to Sydney, but since I started reading your blog (going on a year now, wow) I’ve been convinced it’s my dream city. Except it sounds like there are no pigeons there. Call me crazy, but I do love pigeons.

  11. Katie-bug on #

    Hi Justine,
    thanks, that you use wordpress is what I wanted to know.
    Cheers very much!

  12. Justine on #

    Rachel: There are pigeons. Look above! They’re on my list.

  13. Rachel on #

    Ooh, I didn’t notice! That’s it, I’m moving to Sydney the second I get old enough!

  14. Robyn on #

    Rachel: Stacks and stacks of pigeons! Just like every other city in the world I think.
    Justine: Currawongs are also joyful sounding birds, don’t you think?

  15. Rosemoo on #

    I just started that whole bird watching thing last year. Do you have a Sibley guide? (By David Sibley). I think it’s only North America but it will be useful for bird watching in NYC at least! And on tour I guess!

    See you at The Voracious Reader in Oct!



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