Sunday, June 11, 2017

A most unsatisfactory twitch

The unremarkable woods of Cessnock

The (relatively!) cold weather indicates that we're well into winter now and so the migrants are starting to show up. One of those winter visitors is the Swift Parrot which, despite arriving from Tasmania every year, has eluded me until now. Apparently the woodland around Cessnock in the Hunter Valley is a prime location and, upon hearing of massive flocks swarming throughout the region, I made the two hour drive north to finally get this bogey bird onto the list. On my first day up there I scrutinised the many groups of Little Lorikeets all to no avail and every other movement seemed to be the ubiquitous Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds. As the sun was setting I got onto a single parrot which appeared to fit the bill but high up in the canopy against the setting sun I couldn't be sure.

I returned again the next weekend as reports continued to pour in describing vast numbers of parrots in the very woods where I had been. This time we weren't there long before a pair of Swift Parrots #486 shot past giving the briefest of glimpses and that was that. A rubbish view and I can't decide whether it would have been better not to see them at all which would have forced me to return yet again for a better look.

Back to the Hawkesbury

We didn't have much better luck fishing on the Hawkesbury again last weekend. The weather was lovely but the tide was all wrong resulting in ridiculous currents which our light kids' gear couldn't cope with. We were then boarded by Ministry of Fisheries who couldn't believe that we didn't have any catch on the boat and were sure that we must be hiding a load of undersize fish in our eskys. Upon discovering that we were in actual fact just useless, they provided some top tips and the next cast saw me pull in the one fish for the day. We then promptly got our anchor stuck and had to cut it loose putting an end to the day's angling. At least Emily managed to pull off another great fishing feat. After previously catching a seahorse with rod and line which was pretty impressive, she may have bettered that catch by 'hooking' a cockle. These things don't even have mouths or anything. Remarkable.

School Mulloway

Even though the air temperature is getting a bit low at times just now, the water temperature remains relatively comfortable and so the snorkelling is still on the cards now and again between the rain.



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