Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spring Is Here, The Grass is Riz . . .

It's getting very nesty here . Spring is here, the grass is riz and there's no doubt where the birdies is. I'm woken at 4:30, yes 4:30 by angsty Kookaburras whose giggle often precedes rain but in this case it's all about sex baby. Then Cheeky Charlies (native minor birds) feeding their cheep cheeps. There are wood ducks nurturing a clutch of 7 ducklings within the safety of my pool fence, although I know that in a matter of weeks, if they've been able to raise three to adulthood, they've done a sterling job. Channel Beak Cuckoos have been and gone, depositing their own eggs in Magpie and Kurawong nests and the silly birds will raise the enormous things without noticing they are not only huge and noisy but bear no resemblence to their good selves.

Hatchlings will soon followed by Kurawongs and Crows chasing the cheep cheeps. The yellow breasted black cockatoos have retreated to the cooler mountains but the Sulpher Crested remain all year round with their rawcus squawks and destructive behaviour trying ever so carefully to mingle unnoticed amongst the Corellas. Early in the morning we can hear the ever shy King Parrots, beautfully emerald with red feathered heads but they are then bullied by Rainbow Lorikeets who's voice is heard long before they're seen. I have no idea how something so colourful can be so well camouflaged among the gum blossoms. Here' they range high and are rarely seen near the ground but the colours on these aggressive little punters are amazing. If you want a decent look at Eastern Coast bird life, take a look at Bird Anonymous blog. She's not much of a talker but her photos speak volumes and she should take part in the Foctober celebrations.

Ah that reminds me of another story; Once upon a time, we had three horses in our back paddock. One, a particularly handsome thoroughbread who was well trained in the art of dressage was on full grain feed to maintain condition. Sadly, he was shithouse on trails. Memories of the track still in his head as soon as he saw a patch of green, he was uncontrollable and wanted to race. Upon his departure to a happier home (no we didn't green dream him - he was sold on to a nice lady in Vaucluse) the mice had inhabited our shed even though the grain feed was no more and gradually became savvy and moved down to the house. So . . being the animal lovers we are, we bought a humane mouse catcher. The mouse goes in after the bait, gets trapped without being squished and we take it over the fence into the wilderness and dispatch it quietly into the grassland. Well, one morning we had trapped two of the little dears . . dutifully walked about 250 metres down the road, found a great spot, good habitat, released the little furballs and within seconds of the mites hitting the ground they were swooped upon by two Magpies and swiftly devoured . . . nature is cruel but maybe a baby bird survived that day thanks to our sacrificial rodents. And my minors in the plant pot . . all three fledged and two are still being cared for . . .awww

The little dude has been stuffed full of Huntsman Spider which took about
15 minutes to digest


Grannymar said...


We have an increase of Magpies and with them a decrease in other species. The Tits are appearing in the last few days, but I miss the Wagtails.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Aw and double aw! That's so sweet! Lovely those little fledglings in your hanging plant pot.
The guinea fowl around here are exhibiting the most insane courting behaviour I have ever seen. She runs like hell, he pelts after her, she flies over the wall, he follows, she runs around the pool, he, of course, falls in, flaps out and sopping wet takes up the chase again. Eventually he gets hold of her and pulls great tufts of feathers from her. She takes off again. A new male joins the chase and being a much "fresher" bird, he grounds her and humps himself into a frenzy. The other poor dude is left to preen is sodden feathers. I might add that this goes on for a half an hour!

Baino said...

GM: It's warming up here and there were quite a few Tits of the unfeathered kind at the Indie 500 last weekend! You can protect your hed from swooping magpies by wearing a 1 litre ice cream container!

AV: They were sooo cute. Not as cute as Zebra foals tho! We have native doves that do the same thing while making an excited "Wooo" noise, very entertaning (perhaps not for the hen)

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Baino and shhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone I've been here (limited internet connection until Monday). Noisy Minor birds are ANNOYING! How do you put up with the SCREAMING - stuffing them with Huntsman Spiders ... very clever :) Love the photograph! I once had a minor bird drop a bag of rat poison onto my head after we mistakenly thought it had a rat's nest above the dryer in the laundry. Had been stalking the spot for weeks and was sure it was rats.

Also, I wouldn't put up with ducks within the confines of a pool - EWWWW! Or I'd punish the kids to clean the mess on a daily basis Hahhahaaa.

Thought about entering 'Foctober' but its over in a week. Or is it then named Fovember?

Nonny said...

you have Magpies? I love the little birdies chippers. I love watching them learn to fly.

Baino said...

Anon: Yep they wake up very early. They're massive alarm bells tho. I always know if there's a snake or a blue tongue around or a hawk in the treetops. I don't mind them too much.

Ah the ducks! What can you do, the littlies can't fly yet. Just up the chlorine. You can put something in your pool that softens the oil on their feathers so they start to sink but I don't want to drown the little feckers. They'll be gone in a week or two.

Nonny: welcome back from the big apple. We have magpies but they're big as crows, not you're diminutive European types. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Magpie

They're very aggressive in spring.

Then there's a Currawong which is like a pied crow . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currawong

Here endeth the ornothology lesson for today. Check Bird Anonymous,