Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Microwave Birds and Tap Dancing Dogs? It sounds like Australia.

Australia has some wonderful and distinctive bird life. The other morning I woke to a neighbouring house alarm. Only, it wasn’t a house alarm at all, it was a bird that sounds like a house alarm, and like a house alarm, it went on all morning.

I love the birds here, they have such interesting calls. If birds were classified by their sounds there would be the Microwave Bird, the Rat Bird and the 60’s Theme Tune Bird. There is one that echoes as if it is calling through a long tunnel and one that brings to mind an angry duck.

There are colourful parrots with colourful calls and musical magpies which are a favourite that remind me of the New Zealand bush. The laughing kookaburra is an Australian icon, as are the chattering pink and grey Galahs, who gather in colourful flocks and play noisy games.

I remember a woman in the remote countryside of the organic farm where I stayed who complained about the cat that called all night; probably a bat that I would like to rename the cat bird. Then there are the birds that sound like chattering monkeys and others that bring to mind a child’s squeaky toy.

This morning I woke up to the more gentle sound of a flock of cooing pigeons outside my window, ..... and the sound of tap dancing dogs in my room. The floor here is polished wood and one of the little Maltese Terriers I am looking after is already busy. She paces the floor under and around the bed, her little toes pattering on the floorboards like some sort of Fred Astaire impersonation.

Did I mention I love Australia? You bet I do.

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