I could be many places in the world a Scottish loch, a cove in a Cornish Bay, a Nordic retreat but I am not. I am here on my Island home, where I sleep on the edge of a tranquil bay, where the waves lap gently on the shore. This is a place where you can dive into the stillness of your mind and come out refreshed just by looking across the mirror that is Little Taylors Bay. I am supposed to be writing about Cloudy Bay, but that can wait for another time. I want to say something about here, the place I love, where tall dead eucalypts stand proud and sentinel watching over my bit of shore.
Sometimes visitors say, and we do have a lot of them, you should cut down those dead trees. Little do they know the way these grey ghosts of the past talk to me and give me comfort. The tallest of these is the Sea-Eagle Tree, it is here the White-bellied Sea-Eagle rests on his exploration of the coast or where he escapes the merciless attack of the Forest Raven. Last summer the tree had other visitors, it was their call that alerted us to the fact that high up in the branches there were a group of Swift parrots, one of the threatened species that breed in Tasmania.
The Cockies (Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo), are fooling around, hanging upside down and swooping about as they do at this time of year, the Green rosellas are sitting on the railing and the Sparrows ever hopeful. Yesterday the Cuckoo and the Bronzewing pigeon had a barney under the Native Cherry, who knows who was at fault, probably turf wars.
I haven’t even mentioned the rest of the birds around here, but you probably wouldn’t believe me if I did.
But I must tell you about Edward. He arrived on the scene a couple of years ago, then he was just known as Bird, he is a Grey Currawong and an opportunist who loves snax crackers. He calls in the morning and taps on the glass then runs away, some days we are fortunate to receive many visits and other times he will bring friends (didn’t I say earlier we have a lot of visitors, people & birds). The best thing about Edward is that he lives his own life, but if he is about he is happy to have a chat. I call him from the deck, and sometimes if he is sitting in one of the dead trees or hiding amongst the live ones he will answer, and other times he just hops on over.
Perhaps it is something about the island that makes us like birds, both happy in our solitude and eager for a chat.
About 150 bird species have been recorded on Bruny Island and all 12 of the Tasmanian endemic species are found on the Island.
In 1930 a small wooden boat set sail for unknown adventures. This might not in itself be remarkable; however, this was a journey that was eventually to lead from Kiel in Germany to Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Cloudy Bay was initially named l’baie Mauvaise by French explorer Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792, after 1822 it was marked on the maps of the time as Bad Bay, and after 1859 became known as Bad or Cloudy Bay.