On Allen’s first walk to the orchard this morning he was very pleased to be able to observe a female Swamp Wallaby without disturbing her – we often see her and she is becoming more used to our presence. When Allen returned to the orchard about 10 minutes later he saw this Cassowary feeding under an old Leichhardt tree (Nauclea orientalis) on the edge of a revegetated area. Needless to say he returned to the house for the camera and I followed behind so that we could get a photo before disturbing the big bird.
This is only the second time we have seen a Cassowary on the property. Our first sighting was of a bird that had walked onto our house lawn, she was understandably ill at ease and wandered off quite rapidly. This is not the same bird, her casque is quite distinctive, tall with a very obvious bent top. We were careful to move quietly but she seemed unconcerned about our presence, eventually walking off only to be observed a little later in the orchard standing and preening.
It is difficult for me to put into words the sheer delight and gratification that we are experiencing. After many years of restoration work this is our most cherished reward. We never doubted that we would eventually see a Cassowary feeding here but to see one of these magnificent birds feeding and looking content in her surroundings is quite simply ………wonderful!