Rain, Rain, Come Again
Kumudika de Silva
I’m not sure what was so special about the rain this morning. It rained a few days ago too and there was none of this ruckus. The screeching comes from several gum trees nearby and sounds like the shrill notes of rainbow lorikeets. I step outside for a better view and there they are: hanging upside down, spreading their wings, and shrieking to each other. Most are on the leaf-laden upper branches. Some fly to neighbouring trees and continue the same raucous behaviour. They seem to be revelling in this rain. A few years ago, I saw sulphur-crested cockatoos doing the same, but that was when it rained after a long dry spell.
I go in to get a pair of binoculars for a better look. When I come out again, there’s a king parrot on the deck taking shelter from the rain and staying clear of the noisy party in the tree canopy. I see one king parrot in a tree, quietly cleaning its feathers in the rain. Perhaps there is a grey butcherbird in there too and definitely some noisy miners, but I don’t hear their chatter.
After a while most of the rainbow lorikeets flew away, calling to each other as they depart - taking their excited noisy chatter with them - a few remain. In the tree closest to me I can see a pair side-by-side and another by itself on a mid-level branch. The lone lorikeet shakes water off itself. It preens its tail and then its body feathers. It looks soggy. Another pair of lorikeets fly-in and ousts the initial pair, who simply move to another branch close by. Perhaps the original pair were in a prime position since it is a big tree with few birds on it now. It’s much quieter now, I can hear the rain, but I miss the lorikeets noisy exuberance already.
Author bio: Kumudika is a keen watcher of urban birds and is well-known to bore her family with long-winded tales of interactions with the ones that visit their garden.