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.
The lockdown to combat this Covid virus certainly created many new habits and customs for us. Online shopping became a necessary option as we could not travel more than 5 kilometres from home and were confined to our homes except for 1 hour of food shopping and 1 hour of exercise a day.
Maggie always loves to greet the Posties and parcel deliveries at the gate, usually to be patted, by the postie and to play bluff with the parcel deliverers. With a lot more parcels arriving for us they were being left inside the gate and this opened up a new exciting world for Maggie. She developed a sense of responsibility to collect any found parcels and then entertain herself unless we beat her to them.
My favourite gluten free vegimite, (Vegemite is an Australian necessity) was suddenly not stocked in the 2 accessible supermarkets so I had to order it from Adelaide. My 5 jars arrived well packed as seen in photo 1 except this was after Maggie unpacked them. She then carefully created an art display on the ground with the 5 jars. We titled the work of art, “Maggie’s Mess”.
One of the most inhumane aspects of Australia’s economic fantasy world is the live animal export market. For some years there is growing demand for our Federal government to stop this practice. Sheep are exported to the Middle East and cattle are exported to Asia to be killed and eaten.
This ship I photographed some years ago at Fremantle in Western Australia is designed to carry sheep in absolutely unbearable, cruel conditions. I will not describe them however if you want to become a Vegan google Live sheep trade Australia. Most of the sheep that survive the journey are treated then killed in the most barbaric of ways. The trade of cattle to Asia is barely any better as often the abattoir processes the animals die in are as barbaric as the treatment of sheep in the Middle East.
There are 2 solutions to this deeply disturbing practice. 1. Stop the trade full stop and stop it NOW. Or if the demand for animal meat to be eaten in these markets is necessary!!!!!! then have animals humanely euthanised in Australian Abattoirs under strict humane conditions and the processed meat is exported in refrigerated ships.
Under our current valueless conservative government neither solution looks likely. Protests and lobbying for the animals will continue. Just one more battle the Australian people are currently fighting against their “elected” government. Anyone with half a brain and any compassion knows sheep and cattle are sentient beings with emotions and feelings. I am sure most farmers really know this, the conservative politicians and those who profit financially from this trade choose not to. Perhaps the latter could take a cruise on the ship above for a few days and rethink policy!! What do you think reader?
This Haiga is my response to Ronovan’s prompt for this weeks haiku. Visit his site to see more weep and sheep haiku at
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.
This beautiful little Eastern Spinebill has been visiting our garden for the last four Autumns. They are a honeyeater and seek out nectar in blossom. This is a grevillea we bought last Spring in Bendigo hoping it would attract Honeyeaters. For such a small bird they have an incredible loud and sharp whistle like call. Usually we hear them however this year we have seen him/her more often. Today when I came in the front gate I heard, then spotted the bird,feeding on Charlie’s kisses, a fuchsia growing on Charlie’s resting place. This was an extra special moment.
A couple of weeks ago Jill and I were sitting in the garden eating our lunch when this baby Pied Butcherbird flew in and landed on a branch above us. It then flew to the ground and began demanding something to eat. All we could offer this young carnivore were a few pieces of tinned tuna. That was enough to curb the appetite and it flew back to the branch and had a short sleep. This is the first young one of that species we have seen. When small birds are breeding in Spring adult Butcherbirds raid nests after fledglings. This baby looks cute however it is destined to become a feared marauder in our neighbourhood. The other curious fact about the visit was the time of year. We are almost to Winter and we have had visits from a young Butcherbird, then fledgling Little Wattlebirds and some young looking Magpies during this last month. One more pointer to the effects of Climate Change?
The Sulphur crested Cockatoos at Brambuk Indigenous Centre near Halls Gap in Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park insist on sharing food on the outside terrace with visitors. Anyone who ignores their advances is quickly abused and intimidated, the trick is to drip feed them crumbs while you enjoy the food and ambience of the setting. This particular Cockie walked around the table and had to be pushed away while I ate my cake. Upon cleaning up the crumbs he picked up the spoon with his beak and threw it upon the decking screeching something unpleasant in Cockie speak. I thought this was an ideal photo sequence with an added haiku after seeing Ronovan’s Post, Word of the week Imprecation at https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/word-of-the-week-imprecation/
We have started planting local and high nectar native tress and shrubs in our garden with the long term plan being more of the little nectar and seed eating native birds will return or visit. The top image shows a Little Wattlebird discovering a Red Ochre Grevillea, the second is a Crested Pigeon foraging for grass seeds on the ground and the third captures a Rainbow Lorikeet snacking on a native bird seed stick. There are plenty of introduced species such as Spotted Doves and Common Mynahs who need less encouragement or invasive native species like Noisy Miners and Little Ravens who force out the original small little birds we want to attract. Our aim is to encourage more of the latter and see or hear less of the former. We want to see small Honeyeaters, Pardalotes, more Thornbills and Eastern Spinebills and one day some Wrens.
There is a lot to read into the imagination of this butterfly. Was it attracted by the colour of Jill’s runner? Was it fooled by the pattern that looked like plant structure? Was there some spilt honey on the shoe? Whatever the reason this persistent little insect would not depart. Jill took her shoe off and held it up for me to get a close up shot and still it stayed. Eventually it walked onto her hand and stayed there for a while before finally flying away hopefully discovering real food somewhere.