Dawn Chorus in the Suburbs

Dani woke up early on his first morning in the new place. No struggling to wake him from his usual deep sleep that morning. He said he heard someone shouting. Then he made the same noises that he heard. I had heard it too.

A Bloody Bird

I laughed when he made the noises because he did a perfect imitation of the dawn screams. In the hotel we were eight floors up with double glazed windows and in a totally built up area. In this single glazed apartment, in this part of town, the buildings have garden areas with trees. Perfect for this pesky and noisy bird. Perfect for all birds actually.

It was not human that was for sure. It was definitely a bird. So, as usual, I did some investigation work.

Common Koel or Aussie Magpie?

I thought that it was almost certainly the Common Koel. A blackbird with distinctive red eyes. Dani’s mum thought it was an Australian Magpie – similar in colouring but a fair bit larger than its European cousin. She could be right. Or we could both be wrong. Whatever it is, it sounds a little bit like a child screaming.

Check them both out on youtube to hear their annoying calls.

Where’s the Airgun Shop around here?

There were other birds singing – like anywhere in the world early in the morning but this one particularly bloody noisy beast woke me up too. I may just buy an air rifle and take them out. If I can actually see them. But don’t tell Greta. Mind you she probably wouldn’t know any Australian birds. She left school before the antipodean bird lectures (amongst others).

In any case if this bird is a ‘common’ Koel then there must be loads of them. Right? And there are definitely loads of Australian Magpies. You see them all the time.

Ok. Before I get reported to the RSPB; I am only joking.

Or am I? Let’s see how well I sleep in the coming mornings. After the first few mornings I may be getting used to it.


Early last evening I spotted an iconic Australian bird in a tree opposite. One that most people in Europe would have heard of but have never seen or heard. The kookaburra. More commonly known by its full name – the Laughing Kookaburra. Now there is one bird call that you cannot mistake. But do they make the other (more annoying) screaming call? More investigation needed…

* RSPB stands for Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. As Australia still has the Queen as head of state, I assume the RSPB are in operation here.

2 thoughts on “Dawn Chorus in the Suburbs

  1. Hi Chris, The laughing jack ass is a pain in the arse. When I was a child living in the hills around Melbourne I would hear the Kookaburra laughing at me as I picked sprouts with my mother in the rain. Happy days. At least the rain was warmish….

    1. Hahaa. Nice one Nigel. Interesting that you remember it so clearly. They certainly make an impression eh? What year would that have been (approx)? Just wondering if the next post will spark any memories…

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