soft banksia cones
rainbow lorikeet crisps
ready for snacking
We have a local indigenous Banksia tree growing by our front gate. Currently it is flowering and a variety of birds, Noisy Miners, Wattle Birds and Rainbow Lorikeets are daily visitors. The Lorikeets are big in numbers and very noisy so when they arrive anyone else feeding tends to disappear. This is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 349 CRISP and Soft. Visit this site to see how other poets respond to Ronovan’s challenge.
Flocks of Little Corellas are quite common in our part of Melbourne. They mainly feed on grass seeds and small bulbs on and around the many sports fields scattered across our suburban city. Corellas tend to pull up bulbs and can cause damage to the surface of a sports oval. When a flock of these birds are on the wing they all cry/laugh at the same time. It is an ear splitting sound especially if they are coming in to roost on trees you may be standing under. Out in the countryside the damage a huge flock can cause to grain crops on agricultural land causes problems for farmers. When frustrated about the lack of food or having been chased off a meal Corellas have been known to descend on a rural community and attack roof fittings, street infrastructure and even cars and clothes lines. Their bills/beaks are hard and sharp. There are of course anti bird rednecks who think such trouble makers should be shot .
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time slowly passesas tidal ebb and flowreveals more food
This Sooty Oystercatcher returns at low tide to the same section of rocky outcrop when a variety of shellfish, some attached to rocks and others in pools is exposed. The bill of these birds is shaped like a skewer and it makes short work of any uncooperative Oysters etc. They are solitary birds and live in their own worlds of meditative patience.
This solitary Eastern Spinebill, ( a honeyeater) visits our garden annually, arriving in late Autumn and departing back to the mountains in early Spring. He seeks out the indigenous plants flowering in our back yard, Grevillias, and Correas Thirty years ago whole families of these beautiful birds could be seen across our city, but climate change and bird species adaption change now means seeing one is fortunate.
We have planted many indigenous shrubs and small trees across the rear of our yard and they are now flowering regularly. This young Little Wattle Bird and its mother claim the garden as their territory and aggressively defend it against other nectar eaters. These particular Wattle Birds are also insect eaters so they gain extra benefits when they are feeding. I can sit in our back passageway with a telephoto lens and photograph the birds through the window. Unfortunately very few other breeds of birds are feeding here because of the Little Wattle Birds and also the drought.
These two young birds, a Little Raven and an Australian White Backed Magpie were hanging around the Beaumaris Community Centre demanding food. The Raven had parents who were keeping a close watch however the Magpie seemed a little older and only joined its adults later. A variety of activities occur every day at this centre that includes a Library and Artists workshop/gallery, playgrounds , tennis and other sports facilities. These birds were outside the University of the Third Age outdoor eating/socialising area. Plenty of human food, not much in the way of natural carnivorous bird food though. I was involved in a Photography Workshop and could not resist the temptation of practising the art whilst my colleagues had tea and biscuits.
An interesting comparison at the Middle Brighton Sea Baths in Brighton, (Melbourne) recently. Behind that screen and under the umbrellas were people who had paid to use the facilities . At the adjacent seawall some Cormorants and a Seagull rested up in the sun before taking to the water at their leisure. Same sun, same water. Isn’t the life of a bird so much less complicated?
For water birds there has always been a known environment to feed, rest and relax in. In these recent local photos from top to bottom are examples of, Silver Gull, Purple Swamphen, White faced heron and Black Swans. For all the other birds water is simply the difference between life and death. On our recent 40 oC days our water bowls were potentially life savers for the local Magpies, Doves, Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners and Thornbills. Tragically the drought and increasing temperatures across Australia are leading to significant decreases in the numbers of birds generally. Even our water birds cannot rely on available water or feeding/ wetland environments any more . Another reason to hold our politicians around the world to account on Climate Change NOW .
This Great Egret was hanging out with two fishermen beside the Moyne River jetty at Port Fairy.
Usually these birds are observed from a distance as they quietly seek out frogs, tadpoles or other small specimens of water/ swamp dwelling life. Not this bird. It was right beside the fishermen who explained it had trying to steal bait from their fishing tackle all afternoon. At one stage it was standing on one man’s car when he hid the bait inside it. Either a very hungry or very tame bird.
It seems they had decided to share some bait with the bird when it clearly was not going to go seek its own food naturally and of course more was asked for. Maybe another consequence of changing conditions out there in nature.