It started off with the visit of a curious bird, the Wonga Pigeon. Of course at the time I didn’t know that was its name. One afternoon it arrived in the backyard of the holiday house
“Woop woop woop….” a continuous melodic sound called me and I looked out the window to see this beautiful speckled bird quite at ease walking through the backyard. It noticed me, regarding me full in the face, unperturbed by my existence before continuing its call and its reconnoitre.
I was intrigued by this creature that showed no fear of the sleeping dogs or humans.
I described the birds to neighbours, some suggeating that it was an apostlebird but that turned out to be false. In searching the internet I came across a local landcare event “The Birds of Moonee Beach” a public event to be held on the final day of my stay. An environmental scientist and bird expert was to give a talk on the birds of this special area as we walked through the rainforest of Green Bluff
The Green Bluff Headland is a beautiful area, sacred to the local Indigenous clan.The day before the birdwalk, I had taken an opportunity with a break in the weather to walk up to the headland and was rewarded with the sight of two humpback whales breaching and playing as they headed south.
On the day of the walk the rain commenced but undeterred I joined a large group of nature lovers, the landcare volunteers and Dr Andrew Huggett, the presenter.
I showed my blurry picture of the mysterious bird to Dr Huggett who confirmed that it was the Wonga Pigeon. How lucky to have an expert on hand to identify the lovely creature!
Dr Huggett then provided us with a booklet on the Green Bluff Habitat and Connectivity project containing information on key bird species of the area. No, the Wonga wasn’t included, but I did learn that his habitat was located in the nearby forest. The volunteers and Dr Huggett then led us on a tour of the area pointing out the various birds, their behaviours, calls and habitats
What a rich learning journey! Brought about by a visit of a beautiful forest dweller