I’ve finally unpacked everything and got 97% of my possessions back in place after my apartment move on Monday this week.
(I seem to have more possessions than 2 weeks ago 😀 but that’s impossible, merely that I’ve done a bit of re-arranging in this move to try and eradicate so much bending and/or twisting in daily activities for my degenerative spinal condition and right hip OA).
Anyway, this means I’ve found my photographic field guide Birds of Australia by Jim Flegg.
By the way, if you live in Australia and are interested in Bird Photography, I can highly recommend this relatively small, (well, about 8″ & 6″), book to help you identify any Australian Birds you’re keen to put ‘name to face.’
Most of the images in this guide are very clear in both colour and bird shape, sometimes the eye colour being the only thing to help you identify between 2 or 3 similar birds. Jim Flegg has inserted a small map of Australia with shaded blue areas of where the bird species is usually found for each one and a very concise description of the bird, the differences between male and female, its call and whether it’s common or rare etc.
I believe the couple of photos I made of a large black bird last week in the local children’s playground have now been identified correctly, (although please let me know in the comments section if you believe I’ve got the name wrong).
There are 6 species of Raven or Crow in Australia, with the 3 Currawongs adding to an easy-to-mistake identification.
First I cast aside any bird photo that didn’t fall into my state of Victoria, then dismissed the ones with dark eyes and carefully read the description to reveal the name Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides).
I think Jim’s description finally clinched it.
47-56cm Large, familiar, and the largest Australia Crow. Entirely glossy black, with an oily sheen in sunlight. Throat feathers of adult bushy and bristly, especially during calling, when body is characteristically held horizontal. (yes, this description definitely looked like the bird on the right side of my photo). Eye white in adult. Beak long, strong and black, with slightly convex ridge to upper mandible.
Immature duller with brown eye. Mated pairs characteristically sedentary, roaming flocks of non-breeders small, not cohesive as in very similar Little Raven.
And so on………
This identification was a hard one for me as I’m not good at judging bird size from any distance and 8 (out of the 9) birds in the book have white eyes.