about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

birds


























I am fascinated by birds but am very short sighted, so they have to be fairly close to make identification possible. That cuts out bird watching of the serious twitcher variety, but it's a satisfying home garden activity.

Like people, some birds are more likeable than others. My least favourites are crows, pigeons and mynahs. This verdict comes from feelings, fantasies and projections, not science. Crows are so big and black and sinister, their caws so unattractive. Pigeons I believe have been regarded as flying rats. This is an extremely off putting association, and I am not turned on by cooing. As for myenahs - they are very aggressive and not good at sharing the territory with others.

Magpies are in between. I don't mind them but don't love them. I am quite impressed by their behaviour of aggressively defending their babies, even when the innocent walker-by is unaware of the babies' presence until they are dive bombed.

These are the birds that I love and have seen in my garden:

1. On one occasion about 10 years ago I spotted a kookaburra. It just sat on a tree branch, quite oblivious to my silent welcome, then flew away, never to reappear.

2. A couple of months ago I came home one night and spotted an owl sitting on the electricity cable silently, watchfully. I rushed inside to get my camera, but by the time I got back it was gone.

3. I sit in my study and often delight in watching the little bush birds. They may be a type of pardalote, but I'm not sure. They rush and twitter, are sweet and sociable. They obviously appreciate thickish foliage for protection from the larger birds.

4. Blackbirds. I know they are common, but I am really fond of them. At the moment one in particular is excitedly eating grapes from the vine on the deck, and it gives me great pleasure to grow food to make it happy and contented.

5. Sulphur crested cockatoo. A couple of years ago one appeared and I fed it and it stayed. It was great having a wild pet. Until I realized it had started chipping away at the windows, so disappointedly I stopped feeding it and chased it away. I always was reluctant to believe the worst in people and other living things.

6. Rainbow lorrikeets - wonderfully colourful, they fly high overhead noisily, swiftly, sometimes staying for a bit and feeding in the highest branches of the gum trees.

7. Wattlebirds - I love watching them sucking the nectar out of flowers on Australian native plants such as eucaplyts, leptospermum, baeckia and brachysema.

I have no photos of birds in my garden, so for this entry have inserted images from other sources.

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