5 Favourite Birds You Can Spot In Tasmania (and Australia) Selected By EWAH & The Vision of Paradise

EWAH & The Vision Of Paradise's newest single is titled 'Vanishing Point'. EWAH & The Vision Of Paradise's newest single is titled 'Vanishing Point'.

'Vanishing Point' is the latest single from Hobart four-piece EWAH & The Vision Of Paradise.

It's all new-wave pomp, soaring synths and guitar with solid as rock bass and drums; 'Vanishing Point' follows earlier 2020 singles 'Vultures' and 'Play Hard', with the group hinting at a LP that is due in 2021.

With festival credits including Dark Mofo, Mona Foma, BIGSOUND, and Party In The Paddock, plus international fans Henry Rollins and Jarvis Cocker, here the band dig deep into their birding vaults to select their favourite birds you can spot in Tasmania (most likely) who don't get the headlines.

"We've gone for a birds theme. Our upcoming album, due in 2021, features bird sounds.

"You can see wedge-tailed eagles in the 'Arcadia' and 'Vanishing Point' music videos, so while a Top 5 can never truly nail down the wildly varied array of appealing birds out there, we've thought of a few that are pretty cool you can see in Tasmania (and Australia), but maybe don't get the headlines."

1: Black-faced cuckoo shrike

Drummer, Paul 'PB' Brooks chooses the black-faced cuckoo-shrike because it's an all round, well put together bird.

It's flashy, but elusive with powdery-grey plumage and (as the name would suggest) a striking black face. You're possibly more likely to hear it than see it. Their metallic call travels far and will peel out sonorously across a valley.

Those in the know will see them perched, perhaps in the high, silvery branches of a dead tree. PB is a serious birder, can hit you with Latin names, takes pelagics (that's a seafaring birding expedition folks) and is basically a fast ID hotline for insects and birds for all who know him.

2: Philippine eagle

Keys player Charles 'Chucky Cheese' Donnelly choose to go rogue from the Tassie birds brief and selects the Philippine eagle, because it's "a beast".

So much so it's known to take monkeys, so hold onto your pint-sized friends if seeking out this formidable bird.

Chucky has a PhD in the Philippines (#eightyearsofmylife), and having lived there for a bit can still lay a few essential Philippine phrases on yer.

3: Firetail Finch

Bass player Stuart Hollingsworth chooses the firetail. This tiny bird – a member of the finch family – is cryptic, flitting about in tall, seeding grass. But a quick flicker of hot red gives it away.

It's an overly handsome little bird. In fact, it's called the beautiful firetail with a red beak and black and white striated belly. However, it's the red rump that gives it away as it flits about in the tall grass.

Stuart is (also) very good at making fresh tacos.

4: pallid cuckoo

Vocalist and guitarist EWAH chooses the pallid cuckoo. It's a cool name for starters. They're understated to look at – taupe and mousey feathers with a stripy tail – and skulk about in the understory.

During spring the air fills with their mournful cry, an ascending wee-wee-wee-wee-wee. They might sound sad as fk, but they party hard while they're desperate and dateless, starting well ahead of sunrise before the first red-eye has fuelled up and until the last ebb of sunlight is done.

They are a worthy counterpart to the fantailed cuckoo who have a melodious descending trill and compete for bush airplay at this time of year.

Fast fact: EWAH recorded bird songs on her iPhone in her backyard and out bushwalking, which is woven through a bunch of songs on the upcoming album. You can hear fantailed cuckoos, New Holland honey-eaters and yellow throated honey-eaters in the intro to single 'Arcadia'.

5: You

You. Hmmm, that's a bit weird you might say. I'm not a bird. Well, maybe it's another tangent in our bird top five, but you are in our top five as a friend to birds. We're bumping our fists to heart now.

With summer ahead there's any number of very easy things that we can do that will help birds out.

Have a shallow bowl of water with a perching rock in the centre of your backyard to keep birds hydrated and cool on hot days. Leave some leaves; a little leaf litter around the base of a tree or bush to create insect habitat and therefore food for birds. Plant a flowering native full of delicious nectar for birds to eat. Yes!

We bird nerds think birds rule. Fist bump for birds!

EWAH & The Vision Of Paradise play MONA FOMA (Hobart) 23 January.



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