A Nightingale Sang in Booyeembarra
One of the joys of living in WGV is Booyeembarra Park with its wattle and Eucalypt thickets and bush clumps, stream and ponds. It has varied habitats for a number of native birds and Ken and I are avid bird watchers.
Just before sunset when the late light plays on the paperbark trees around the pond and reedbeds we have listened with delight to the evensong of our local nightingale – the Australian Reed-Warbler.This shy little bird has a territorial song almost as musical and as varied (although perhaps a bit more jazzy!) as that of the famous European Nightingale, and like the Nightingale it sings well into the night.
Acrocephalusaustralis isa small and somewhat nondescript bird(some twitchers may call it an LBB, or Little Brown Bastard) until it opens its mouth and pours for this unforgettable melody. New Zealand Birds Online describes its song as ‘a varied outpouring of guttural and liquid notes with some phrases repeated – a little like an improvising Jazz musician.’Another species of Reed-Warbler in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific has actually been named Nightingale Reed-warbler.
Our reed-warbler migrates to the south west of WA from northern regions during September and breeds in reed beds before returning north again in February or March. Only the male sings during the breeding season, often both day and night.
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SHAC is a group of Fremantle based artists living as an co-operative housing group