It seems a neighbour has a family of black cockatoos making babies in his grevillea. I hadn't heard cockatoo-like noises, but then, before moving back to Melbourne I was used to having two or three hundred settle down in my gum trees every night at dusk. It's the sort of noise I'd learned to block out.
The Other, on the other hand, has been gardening and mowing and making hay before the cool change, and always has an ear cocked at this time of the year, because rainbow lorikeets love trees full of green almonds.
Around lunch time the cockatoos had moved to the other side of the court and into a tall gum, so everyone emerged from their homes in stages to check them out. Funny how babies can bring people together.
Armed with nothing but my "this'll do til I find the good one somewhere in a box somewhere in the shed" camera, I was lucky enough to snap one clearly enough to identify it properly.
Seems they are yellow-tailed black cockatoos. While I had long believed black cockies were, like black swans, a WA thing, surprise surprise I was wrong! [Who'da thunk!]
A neighbour told us black cockatoos are a sign of bad weather to come. If this is true, then we have had bad weather for as many years as black cockatoos have been around. I personally thought the gathering clouds, the change in temperature and the few drops of rain were a sign of bad weather to come, but I think she was talking about global warming and the way Melbourne's climate is getting more like Queensland's.
At the risk of offending the 6 million followers of this blog, all I can say is "tosh".
Some websites provide lists of widely accepted beliefs about weather. 'When spiders come inside, bad weather is on its way". In the summer, huntsmen do seem to move indoors when the barometer climbs, but this might mean that it's breeding season and a house seems like a pretty good tree.
Another good claim is that 'when worms come out, the rain has stopped'. I think it would be easier to just stand outside and see if you get wet than to carry around a worm farm. It's a bit like people who have been looking everywhere for something and then say they only ever find things in the last place they look. Well... yeah!