BLUNDERS BIRDS & BUTTERFLIES
SATURDAY OCTOBER 2, 2021
Poor old fart fucked up again. It wasn’t COME ON YER BACK for God’s sake; it was DANDY PANTS ex PEKING H3. And it wasn’t Bushh it was Brush Cuckoo you wanker, renamed apparently Rusty-breasted Cuckoo but who cares? bleedin’ taxonomists. I first heard the typical Plaintive Cuckoo call – tea for three times three – but instead of stopping at three it went up to ten. Hysterical it seemed and I thought no more about it. I was reminded of the time when I walked many years ago with my father in the Cuckmere Haven which runs between Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters. It was a patchy day following stormy night and the fields were full of sheltering waders. Suddenly a Cuckoo called nearby. but instead of delivering a single cuc-coo, it went on and on, and we counted 160 calls in one minute as we watched it perched on a telephone wire ten yards away. Then it flew off and we saw it no more. Absolutely hysterical, never heard anything like it, nor had my father in 70 odd years. Back now to my garden in Bali a week ago and I heard the first three notes of the plaintive Cuckoo’s cadence call, followed by 12 similar notes descending, so I realized at once that ye had here a Brush Cuckoo (or whatever else you may wish to call it). It was only the second time I’d heard it in Ubud in 40 odd years, though I know the bird well from higher up in the hills and from lowland forestt edge in Negara.
Three heavenly days at my daughter’s eco-resort in Marwang to celebrate new grandson’s first birthday, where the garden was bristling with flies including Swift Peacocks and Diadems (see Hypolimnas spp in Butterflies of Bali) and where I had my second sighting in 50 years of Small Buttonquail which was pottering about on the path next to my bungalow barely 10 feet away. Amazing. I see Barred Buttonquail everywhere all the time and that is the bird you nearly step on before it whirrs away. Good old WORM picked me up from my daughter’s place – we’ll do another run from there one day, and there is now an Olympic-sized swimming pool – and brought me to Lungsiaka ‘n and 69ers birthday run – a brilliant stroll thro the fields and newly rock-carved gorges north of Ubud and, best of all, that nameless temple fronted by giant lychee trees and guarded by huge stone crab in its grassy outer court. Thank you SERIAL OFFENDER and 69ER – you must have been a babe in arms in Canberra in 869.