Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birds, not sheilas.

                                                              Not just birds...... Blisters. Margaret, Gabi, Cathy.




Rainbow Lorikeet.


Noisy Miner.



Sulphur crested Cockatoo.

Butcher Bird.

Crested Pigeon.

                   A seldom seen flock of the extremely rare 
                                Cosmopolitan Bondi Birds
What do you think of some of our better looking residents?
Living in the provincial regions as we do, makes it possible for Gabi and I to get acquainted with most of our feathered friends. Growing up in the city saw to it that apart from pigeons, doves and sparrows, there were not too many other birds around, apart from the wingless variety.....come to think of it, they were fairly scarce as well.
As we are only a short walk from the shores of Lake Macquarie, we get to see quite a few seagulls hanging around for a free feed. Two of these appear to be mostly land based and spend their days and early evenings pecking out the garden worms. When we were living in Arcadia Vale, the rear deck that was 18 feet above the ground, became at times a crowded landing field for over a dozen or so varieties of native birds, many of whom we named and would recognise during their many visits to the deck railing. The crested pigeons Walter and Greer, the butcher bird Butch and her annual new offspring, the Rosellas Ross and Julie and Brad and Janet, the scaly crested lorikeets Jamie and Jodie along with the rainbows whose numbers increased rapidly making it impossible to know who was who and there were kookaburras Chips and Beryl, all of whom were regular visitors to our rear verandah. Our cats were horrified, but realised they were outnumbered and any attempts to catch supper were at best half hearted. 
 I have managed to locate a few photos of some of our feathered families that were regular visitors over at Arcadia Vale............

Brad and Janet were the first couple to honour us with their presence.
Curly and Larry.
Jamie and Jodie.
Lockie and Sarah with the kids.
Walter and Greer.

Freddy and the Screamers with Butch and Baby the Butcher birds.

Tawny Frogmouths. Liz and Richard.

However after moving to Blackalls, our reasonably flat block of land and the geographic layout of the house makes extended stopovers by any birds a bit risky to say the least, although the plovers seem to have our two female felines completely bluffed. 

What!! Where's my beer?
I was excavating on the western side of the house and was placing the soil on the front lawn. This great pile of earth remained there up until I was inspired to take it to the council tip. Whilst digging and shovelling something caught my eye. It was Wally, one of our regular magpie visitors observing my every movement as I shovelled away. Several times I dug up an earth worm and offered it to my feathered mate, but he did not seem too interested, but when a fat juicy lawn grub was dug up and offered, it disappeared down the hatch quick smart. After an hour or so, his belly full, he waddled off to join his wife Maggie and the rest of the Wallington family who had arrived.
The following day when preparing the front garden to install treated pine boundaries, who should turn up, none other than my black and white supervisor. He watched me for about 10 minutes then wandered off and roughly 3 minutes later returned with a large, long earth worm dangling from his beak. He walked right up to me and dropped the worm onto my left foot, squawked, then flew off to rejoin his wife and progeny feeding across the road. What I really felt like was an icy cold beer, but I said nothing as I didn't want to offend him....I'm sure he meant well.

Wally, with lunch.

Apart from the fact we are in a bushy environment, the local flora is of the indigenous type that attracts and retains the native birds and it does not take one too long to take for granted what is on the move all around the street and district. But every now and then around sunset one can and quite often does flop down into the comfortable outside furniture and fully appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature at its best whilst sipping on a coldie.
I cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else.

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