Even in the Blue Mountains the summer days were hot. I drove up into the Mountains from Emu Plains in the morning as quickly as I could but often bird activity was rather dead. On my first day of searching I missed my directions and stopped at the wrong location but lucked out! I heard the snapping and cracking of seeds being eaten and that unmistakable rusty door hinge sound that could only mean one thing. Gang-gang Cockatoos!
In this locale in the Blueys there were plenty of Casuarina seed pods around. That meant that not only were the Gangs enjoying them but perhaps I would luck into seeing some Glossy-black Cockatoos. I visited the same area repeatedly for several days and saw absolutely no sign of Glossy’s.
Then on my very last full day in Australia as I was about to climb into the car and drive off, I heard a throaty cockatoo cry I had never heard before. Way up in the sky were several Glossies! They were playing “lets live dangerously” and escorting a hawk out of the area. Fortunately for me after they wisely left the hawk alone they came flying down and perched only about 75m away!!!
This male (top photo) is almost fully mature indicated by his almost pure red tail feathers. The female with her distinctive yellow patch-like head pattern is being accompanied by a huge male chick demanding her constant attention. With literally only minutes to spare before my trip ended the Glossy’s put in an appearance that was literally an answer to prayer! What a fantastic adventure this entire trip was! I will remember it for the rest of my life!