Toowoomba front yard, Queensland, Australia
What would an Australian living overseas possibly miss? Marsupials and Eucalypts? A lingering sun over reflective plains? Meat pies and chocolate milks?
Well to narrow it down, I’m a birder. If anyone has seen this blog they’d probably see that I’m a raptor nut, but even though I do miss Aussie raptors, I can see Steller’s Sea-eagles, Northern Goshawks and Oriental Honey Buzzards where I am. Another hint comes from a strange experience I had in Tokyo about eight years ago. I was standing on top of an apartment building hanging out my washing, totally surrounded by the grey, urban ocean of Tokyo as the sun faded the day away when I flock of bright green budgerigars flew right over the corner of the building and I watched as they disappeared into the dark canyons beyond. They, of course, are not natives here but a successful colony of escapees. Japan has a variety of escaped species now successfully surviving here. But anyway, apart from that encounter, I miss seeing……wild parrots.
I remember going to a wildlife sanctuary years ago and hearing a presentation about Australia’s parrots and learned that Australia’s first scientific name, meant “Land of Parrots”. I tried to do a google on the topic but only found a documentary by David Parer made in 2008. I was very excited to learn of this documentary and immediately shopped for it. I soon found it for sale in Australia ordered it and waited six weeks for it to come. Finally it arrived and I popped it in my player and discovered I can’t play it because of the region code. What fun. Actually I knew it was for Australia's region but I wanted it and ordered it anyway because I just hoped...Dare I attempt to occupy my mind with knowledge from a foreign land and wash the brains of the masses with the lifecycles of Australian Parrots. I guess I’ll take it back home some day and watch it if they let me take it back in through customs. David Parer is a great photographer. Maybe you have seen his work? He was responsible for footage of Killer Whales beaching themselves to take seals. Back in 1992, I was at a picture framers, when a television station delivered some of his work to be framed; stunning, huge, perfectly clear photographs of wild albatrosses. The parrot documentary was also filmed by Lindsey Cupper who made a beautiful book with his dad, called “Hawks in Focus”, which was a big influence for me. I always keep an eye out for the work of both of these guys.