More noisy neighbours

I thought the masked plovers were noisy and inconvenient.

I had no idea. They were mild and quiet by comparison with our new bird neighbours. We have had Mr and Mrs Bush Stone-Curlew move in and set up housekeeping 5 metres (5½ yards) from our back door. To start with, they’re weird, staring, neurotic-looking birds, quite large (50-60cm/20-24 inches tall), with huge glassy eyes and tremendously long legs. But the biggest disadvantage is the sheer racket they make in the middle of the night. The video link doesn’t begin to communicate just how loud it is, or the fact that it’s mostly at night…

Mrs Stone Curlew

They’re here for a while, since a nest has been established and there are already two eggs in it. Our couple has at least made a bit more of an effort with their nest than the one in the video.

Curlew nest

The Husband of Chiconia is not delighted about it, since he can’t mow near there, and I’m not delighted either, since they are 2 metres away from my washing line and I can’t hang out laundry without disturbing them. It’s nice having natural processes taking place in our obviously desirable bit of avian-friendly real estate, but I wish we attracted the quieter and frankly less creepy looking birds!

The Husband of Chiconia tells me I should be grateful it’s not emus…


35 thoughts on “More noisy neighbours

  1. Anlina says:

    I love curlews, do you think they are weird looking? I think they are beautiful (although I would not be saying that at 2 in the morning). Hopefully they hatch soon and nick off!

    • katechiconi says:

      I think I’d find them much more attractive if they didn’t sound like someone being murdered. A pretty tinkly song would go a long way towards making them endearing. As it is, you wake with a huge jolt, wondering whether it’s time to call the cops! Not so very welcome when the Husband is on day shift and we have to go to bed at 8.30 and get up at 1.30am…

  2. I think it is a lovely excuse to neglect the lawn and the laundry.

    • katechiconi says:

      We do love the fact that our back yard is a haven for wildlife – it must be, this is the second lot of birds to move in and nest close to the house – but they can behave quite aggressively, they’re not small and their beaks are very sharp.

  3. Kim says:

    Guess that is why their eggs look like rocks since they lay on the ground, tho those eggs don’t really disappear into the background in your yard. Their cries are rather eerie. There was a bird where I grew up that did their calling just as it grew light in the mornings, the chacalaca. Very annoying at the time, but I miss them sometimes.

    • katechiconi says:

      The most common description of the curlew song is “a woman being murdered”, and it can be quite chilling when it comes in the middle of the night. I went and had a listen to your chacalaca – I agree, a dawn chorus of that would be a bit much!

  4. Argh, how creepy is that noise! And not the prettiest of birds. Every Now and then we get (what I think) are Common Koels outside our window and they mostly screech at night, in ever ascending crescendo and excitement. Almost drove me mad.

  5. Argh, sorry, didn’t mean for the whole photo to paste! Just wanted to put the link in for you!

  6. M. L. Kappa says:

    Shoot them and make an omelette with the eggs! (Just joking 😋😱😂)

  7. ladyredspecs says:

    We suffered through the plaintiff calls of a horny and mateless male peacock one summer. Bloody thing went on all night….

    • katechiconi says:

      I know… my sympathy! It’s not so much the sound, but the fact that it’s bloody loud and they only do it in the middle of the night, being nocturnal.

  8. tialys says:

    I remember being tempted – for the first and last time in my life – to get a gun and shoot at birds when we were on holiday in Tobago. It was a bird known locally as the Cocrico but I think it is the same as the Chacalaca mentioned by Kim above. Apparently it’s also known as the Tobago Pheasant as it’s the only game bird on the island. See, I would have got away with it!! 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I think it is the same, and yes, it certainly has a very loud and annoying voice! I could storm out there and shut the bloody things up if I wanted to drive them away, but it seems a bit mean…

  9. claire93 says:

    you need to start wearing ear-plugs at night!

  10. dayphoto says:

    Oh! Goodness! I guess your husband is right emu’s would be horrible but these sound down right disturbing!


  11. Good grief, they squeal like a stuck pig!!! Hope the eggs hatch soon and they all clear off!!

  12. EllaDee says:

    I was wondering what kind of bird they were having seen them in almost every carvan park we stayed at in Nth Qld and the NT… so in that sense it surprises me to hear they’re just a little bit endangered but on the other hand at Jabiru they were being chased by an irate, shouty and I assume sleep deprived man as they had had quite a noisy night.

    • katechiconi says:

      They used to be common throughout Australia, but are now mainly confined to the northern half of the continent. It’s due to habitat loss and predation by feral domestic pets, etc, since they’re ground dwellers. Our particular neighbours only moved in about 6 months ago, but they’ve been scoping out our back yard for a while. They looked at the house next door first, but the grass is cut there far too often!

  13. Magpie Sue says:

    I’m surprised they decided to set up housekeeping so close to your house. They must feel particularly safe with you – good karma! I hesitate to bring this up but can’t help but wonder how noisy the hatchlings will be, crying to be fed…

    • katechiconi says:

      I feel as if they regard me as some sort of scary monster – they have a deeply neurotic look, and while I never go anywhere near them, I am regarded with immense suspicion. Heaven knows if I’ll be allowed in my own back yard at all once the (potentially extremely noisy) babies arrive… On the upside, they eat large quantities of insects.

  14. […] I hang a quilt on the line to photograph it, but I didn’t like to disturb Mrs Noisy on her nest. The design wall is fully occupied by S+ so I can’t hang it there. The Husband of Chiconia […]

  15. rutigt says:

    Living near the nature is a gift, but sometimes the nature can be very disturbing 🙂 I agree with your husband…”be glad it´s not emus”

  16. Wow, that would be … annoying! Sorry I’m late in, I’ve been down with yet another sinus/bronchitis bout and am just now feeling better!

  17. […] If you’ve been visiting Chiconia for a while, you’ll recall Mr & Mrs Bush Stone-Curlew. […]

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