Thursday, 17 January 2013

Birds and other animals

It has been a hectic past few days. I wanted to get the grass around the house and dog paddock slashed, due to the fire risk. I also wanted to have the house ready for my two expected children. This last came crashing down; I found out that the details I had been given were wrong, and sadly had to turn around and say No, I could not manage the children as they turned out to be. It's better to say no beforehand than take the children and not have it work out. However difficult they may be, having a placement fail is upsetting for them as for everyone else. So I now have a lovely organised house (this does not last!) but no children to put in it!

Last night I stood outside and could smell the smoke from distant fires. I thought of all the poor animals affected, besides the people whose lives are turned inside out. Pets, farm animals and native animals are all caught up - in NSW last week swans were falling from the sky as they tried vainly to outstrip a fire, while one pet pug rescued in Tasmania is being nursed through having 55% of his body burned, poor little soul. Gloomy thoughts. 

However, on my little block animals are safe at present. Not only do I have as many firebreaks as possible but I provide drinking water and a bird bath. The drinking water is in a trough behind the garden, away from bouncing dogs. In this hot drought time the wallabies come along at dusk and dawn, timidly checking out that it is safe, their big ears doing radar duty before they emerge from the trees.Oddly, they don't seem to mind if I talk softly to them, so long as I stay still - maybe I'm a noisy tree? And I haven't seen the koala that risked its life to drink in the dog paddock, so hopefully it has found the safe water source and is also helping itself. 

The bigger birds use the trough, but the smaller ones enjoy the bird bath greatly - it's just an unused kitty litter box that is shallow and big enough for them to both drink and relax. Sometimes there is a row of assorted varieties of birds sitting along the fence waiting for their turn with the water!

The birds this year are spectacular, coming in to the oasis for food and shelter - in particular I have never seen so many wrens of several different species.

(source: Google images) 

This little fellow is called the Splendid Fairy Wren and the ones I have seen around seem to have harems of dowdy little females with them. They are all infinitely busy and tiny enough that they can fly in and out of the chook run, zipping through the netting. They seem to co-exist not only with other wrens but also other birds entirely, especially the willie wagtails.

There are also some lovely kingfishers looking fit and well, though I am not sure what they are feeding on; so long as they are happy!

Conversely, the sulphur-crested cockatoos, usually present in a big flock, have left for places new, leaving only one family here. Hopefully they will return after their travels. I'm used to their raucous comments on life, their occasional squabbles... maybe when the weather improves!

So, old and new friends, that's my life up to date. How is yours? Oh, and lovely to see you, Wanda in Canada! How are you in your lovely cold weather? Take care, everyone!


  1. Oh my you HAVE been Busy, and I love the colour of that Wren.
    I sincerely hope that the fires never reach you or your property Felicity7
    Keep well and Happy.

  2. Not nearly as busy as I should be,Bri! We all seem to be suffering reactive sleepiness! Maybe the reduced heat causes sleep to catch up.

    So far so good with the fires - they now have many under control and there are none threatening here now, praises be - there was one in the National Park some miles away, but the cooler temps and that shower of rain we had helped the firefighters.

    And you folks - stay warm, or mail a snowball and I'll send you back some steam, lol.