Tuesday Evening

Mission Beach still


Today was really a laid back day, especially with regards to birding.† After brekkie, I saw a bird here in the yard, and I didnít know what it was.† I got a good look, and eventually I decided it was an immature Black Butcherbird, a trip bird.† Then, after I set out for the day, I saw a tree full of Metallic Starlings, a lifer species.† So, for the rest of the day, I didnít worry too much about birds.


I checked out the beach areas around here, but there werenít any birds on the beautiful beaches, so I took some pictures, to be posted eventually.† Lunch time found me somewhat inland, and I found a little trailer takeaway/fast food place.† I should have taken a picture of it, as I realize now that we donít have anything comparable in the States.† Anyway, I ordered a cheeseburger and some chips.† The girl working there said it wouldnít be long, so I sat in front at their little table and enjoyed the nice day.† After ten minutes or so, she said there was a problem with the grill, and she had called her mother to help.† A little while later, the mother appeared, and they made another phone call and got instructions on how to switch over from one gas bottle to another.† Finally, after about a half an hour, I got my burger and chips.† They forgot the cheese, but otherwise it was good (beet slice and all), and there were enough chips that I brought the leftovers home to heat in the microwave, to have with my Campbellís Chunky Beef Soup tonight.† A real Aussie lunch experience.† It was a little hotter than I would have liked, waiting for it, but it was otherwise very pleasant, and I saw about 8 species of birds while I waited.


After lunch, I tried a rainforest park area, to look for birds.† It was hot, it was a rainforest, which meant it was hard to see the birds, and the damn biting flies were out in force, despite the fact that I had sprayed my legs with bug repellant.† I gave up after 15 or 20 minutes, with the sweat dripping off me.


After that, I just took it easy.† I found a couple of beaches, in succession, where I could sit on a bench in the shade, with the car in the shade, and just kick back.† I thought about the 777 point loss in the Dow ďtodayĒ, I thought about birding around Australia, and I thought about life in general.† It was good.† At my second point of beach reflection, there were a couple of guys standing around by a flag set in the sand, and it said on it something about skydiving.† Well, after a while a young woman also showed up, and then they were all pointing at the sky and taking pictures.† So, I went out from under the trees and saw a couple of skydivers coming in, tandem, like they always do on a first jump.† They landed on the beach perfectly, and soon a second pair came in.† It appeared that a couple had decided to experience skydiving, and this was their day.† It was fun to watch the ending of their experience.


On the way back to my room, I stopped and checked email and the news.† I had gotten a dozen replies to my post to my Aussie birding mailing list, and everyone agreed that my Kingfishers were Forest Kingfishers, not Little Kingfishers.† So, I took Little Kingfisher off my list, and will try to see them later in the trip.† The replies were very helpful, and they told me what I should have noticed for myself Ė the tail length definitely ruled out Little Kingfisher.† The Little Kingfisher is also unbelievably tiny, although size is always hard to estimate.† I feel dumb to have identified it wrong, but it is great to learn, and it is great to have gotten so many helpful replies.† Aussies are very helpful people.


So, then I came back to my little room and sat on the veranda until the biting flies chased me inside.† It isnít as if I donít have plenty of flesh to share, and the pain of a bite is about like a pinprick, but the idea of them eating me creeps me out, and I just plain donít like it.† I took a cold shower to cool off, and made myself a nice Bundy rum and orange-mango juice drink (using the ice I put in the guest lounge fridge this morning), and now I am writing this. †What a life!


Maybe Iíll add to this in the morning, but I donít expect any big developments.