Adelaide Festival of Arts
Today I attended the Thursday sessions of Writers’ Week in Adelaide. This is a regular feature of the Adelaide Festival of Arts which is held every two years. Prominent writers from all over Australia and selected writers from overseas are invited to be guest speakers. Previously I have been unable to attend because of work commitments.
Writers’ week is held in a beautiful section of Adelaide’s parklands, about 200 metres across the road from the Festival Centre and about five minutes walk from the CBD. While I primarily attended to hear the speakers talking about thier writing and books, birders like me are naturally always on the lookout for birds flying around. As the tents where the sessions are held are open sided, the birds are easy to observe.
The most conspicious species was the Rock Dove. Groups of three to five flew overhead or around the nearby buildings every minute or so. The next common species was the Rainbow Lorikeet. Small flocks of up to six or eight went screeching from tree to tree at least every five minutes. Noisy Miners squabbled and carried on in nearby trees all day. I was surprised none came down to the lawn to search for dropped food. Perhaps the large crowd was too intimidating even for them. I also observed two Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos over the Torren River, several Adelaide Rosellas flying nearby and a single Magpie Lark. Surprisingly, I also saw only one Crested Pigeon all day. They are a very common species in the parklands.
The most unexpected sighting was a Brush-Tailed Possum. It came scampering across the grass from the back of the Governor’s residence, through the chairs of about a dozen attendees, and disappeared up one of the beautiful palm trees in that part of the garden. These mammals are essentially nocturnal, so that makes the sighting even more interesting.