Monday, December 24, 2012

Bird spotting

Incredible though it is to believe the best spot for bird watching at the farm is from inside the house. This beautiful old farm house has many windows with a garden outlook. My favourite spot is in the family room, just off the kitchen. Catching the morning sun it is the perfect spot to look out onto the garden. With a little patch of lawn, some garden beds and a wild patch left for the local wildlife, birds seem to love this spot. As for me, with a sofa, and fire place I too am snug while I look out at the world beyond. The tally so far is as follows - a Little Wattlebird enjoying the nectar from the bottlebrush. Although the name suggests otherwise, this guy wasn't so little. A good sized bird, although obviously smaller than other wattle bird species, he had beautiful speckled feathers and was obviously enjoying the nectar. The Superb Fairy Wrens are still here, although not as easily spotted as my last visit. The male comes around in the late afternoon sunshine, working over the lawn for a last snack before settling down for the evening. His Jennies, of which there are currently two, watch proceedings from the safety of the nearby bushes. They seem to be erring on the side of caution, as opposed to my last visit where they regularly came down into the garden, dancing across the lawn and displaying on low lying shrubs. That said, their favourite haunt then, was in another part of the garden. More secluded and sheltered, with a natural little amphitheatre formed by foliage. It was the perfect viewing point for these little birds. Now, if they would only stay still long enough for me to take their photo! The Green Rosella's have taken me by surprise. Whereas previously I had only seen them up on the high part of the property, in the farthest corner from the house, yesterday they came down into the trees adjacent to the farm house. A small group of four or five birds flew in and settled to feed for a while. These Rosella's are less flamboyant than the Eastern Rosella's we get at home, but they are equally beautifully. It amazes me that from behind they camouflage so well, yet if you see them from the front, or as they take off in flight, a vivid flash of colour announces their presence. The Starlings get the award for the most numerous and the dumbest birds on the farm. They are in such healthy numbers they can only be considered in pest proportions, yet I still find myself rescuing them if I can. It seems these kamikazes of the bird world like nothing better than to launch themselves into the chimneys and fire flues. Wouldn't be a problem if they could get out again, but they can't. So, current tally is three birds rescued and one who wasn't discovered in time. Rescuing these twits involves closing all doors, windows and other egress points, gathering a towel or the like, stealthily opening the door to the firebox, then trying to secure the bird/birds before they launch themselves into the room. Fingers crossed, but so far so good....and even though considered a pest, rescue is much preferable to a slow death through smoke inhalation or starvation. One happy little visitor has been the Common Blackbird. As their name suggests these guys sport jet black plumage, but have a bright orange beak. This and their attitude makes them appear to be the comedians of the farm. If birds could talk these guys would be the ones cracking jokes. They are always busy getting about their business, whatever that might be. Better get back to my bird watching....might miss something if I spend too long blogging instead of bird spotting. Late addition...spotted a European Goldfinch this afternoon. It was sitting in a nearby tree singing a beautiful song until a Myna came and scared it off. Bummer.

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