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Days in the plateau


Mark Tredinnick


My days in the plateau were sung by coal-black birds. There were other birds, of course — the Bassian Thrush; the Crimson Rosella; the Yellow-Breasted Robins out the back; the Eastern Spinebills in the grevilleas under my study window; the nesting pair of Bulbuls; the raucous Red Wattlebirds; the Satin Bowerbird and his squabbling elegant troupe; the sweet Golden Warbler; the Whipbirds, who whistle up the morning from wherever it’s been; the Kookaburras, whose is the dawn and the dusk; the Currawongs, who sing their name and steal everyone else’s; the migrating Cuckoos and Koels; the tiny Thornbills; the Gang-Gangs, scarlet headed, metal grey, with a voice like an iron gate opening in fog; the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, shockingly white, some kind of errant messengers of the fallen gods; the Sacred Kingfishers, itinerants, gods themselves; and in the valleys, the eagles.



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