I HAVE started 2015 with a new bird app (The Michael Morecombe eguide to Australian Birds) for my phone so I am filling in my year's lists with fresh enthusiasm. I have lists for The Rifle Range, Campell Street Bush, Baxter's Wetland, the cemetery, Tank Hill, Screw Creek and home.
For instance, last Friday I just happened to glance into the back yard and spotted a very unusual bird sitting quietly on a garden stake At first I thought it looked like a common pigeon that happened to be passing through but on closer inspection decided it was something I hadn't seen before.
Out came my phone and its app and a couple of reliable bird books (Simpson & Day and Pizzey). I found my visitor was a white-headed pigeon. This bird is normally found along the eastern coast as far down as East Gippsland but I think the continous east wind we have been experiencing probably made it overshoot its normal territory.
Being able to observe it very closely for a good half hour, I was able to see some of its identifiable markings quite easily. For instance, bill red with paler tip and glossy iridescent markings on the back.
After it had rested for about half an hour, it went on its way.
I was indeed fortunate to be at home when it dropped by.