I walk along this road every morning about 03:30. Can you see those white blobs in the upper branches of this tree?
They’re ibis, known more commonly as bin-chickens for their Darwinian(!) adaptation to urban life.
They’re always grouped together in this tree and a couple of other trees along this road.
Last year in the vote for Bird of the Year they came second, just being edged out by the magpie, and two places ahead of my friends, the tawny frogmouth:
This popular vote was a huge social media battle ground in Australia and no doubt many ibis have their noses out of joint as a result of their rejection. The ibis roost at night in large groups, sitting quite still until around sunrise. They’re usually very quiet, and you might not notice them as you walk past, except every few minutes there’s a loud splat as the digestion of yesterday’s bin-pickings is completed and the remnants hit the road below, exacting sweet revenge non-ibis voters (such as me) who would dare to walk underneath.
I’ve seen cars parked under this tree overnight become almost undrivable from the ibis excrement caking the windscreen. Our local council places signs under Bunya Pine trees to warn of falling pine cones. Maybe it’s time they did the same for falling ibis shit.