Trees are green, right? At least our native non-deciduous ones are. Except when they’re pink.
These plentiful local paperbark trees right now are so totally decked in new leaves that from a distance the whole tree appears pink.
While the flora are playing tricks with colours, so are the fauna.
Hearing a very noisy and unfamiliar bird outside, and another answering it, I of course went out to try to see what was making the racket. Usually I fail, but this time the caller broke tree cover and flew to the power lines on the street.
It was joined by another.
The two birds remained apart… and now silent. But what were they? Brown-headed birds are many, but that blue tinge on the breast feathers should be a clue…
Search my bird books as I might, thinking maybe some sort of Wood Swallow, I could not pin it down. I had to seek help from real birdwatchers.
When the answer came back, I realised I would never in a million years have got it.
A juvenile Dollar Bird (Eurystomus orientalis)!
Bird books, be they illustrated with photos or drawings, are no substitute for the variability of birds in real life, especially throughout their development into adults.
That apparently distinctive blue tinge does not show or get a mention on the juveniles in my books.
I had never seen a Dollar Bird, young or old. The very colourful adults are migratory, so that is perhaps why. I read that they
‘indulge in spectacular swooping, diving and rolling in the air’. So I am sorry they did not stay to entertain me, but they certainly did intrigue me!