Clouds lingered overhead and tickled the humidity to life. I sweated. The promise of rain didn’t deliver and my ride up the Tallebudgera Valley was a warm and sticky one. Yet it wasn’t the weather that made this bike ride memorable. It was the bird life.
The Tallebudgera Valley runs inland from West Burleigh for about 21kms. The road climbs steadily kicking up into small hills along the way. It’s a good route for training for the Great Vic.
As we pedal inland, Tallebudgera Creek criss-crosses the road. Tall white gums stand straight like telephone poles. Ferns and palms hug the roadside cuttings with damp delight. There are paddocks dotted by cows (and a couple of bulls who bellowed as we passed, making me grateful for fences and avoiding a repeat of my misadventure on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail).
But the birds left a trail on my memory.
Fleeting moments of wings and colour flashed across our paths as we pedalled the valley. We saw Crimson Rosellas, Pale-headed Rosellas, King Parrots and two Azure Kingfishers. There were Magpies and Butcherbirds, Kookaburras and Currawongs. Wrens and Yellow Robins flitted in the undergrowth. A Brown Cuckoo-Dove clambered onto a branch and fanned its tail.
I have no photos to share of the birds. Me on wheels. Them on wings. We’re all moving somewhere. Our paths cross for a moment. Yet the colours and flight echo brightly in my memory.
Here’s a short video of my ride in the Tallebudgera Valley: