It was only fairly recently that I noticed a new breed of visitors to my garden. At first I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me, or the varying light of day changed the colour of the birds, as some seemed to have a brilliant blue colouring around their eyes, whilst others didn’t!
With the help of a few Google searches, the mystery was solved. “Honey Eaters” develop the beautiful blue “eyeshadow” when they reach maturity, around the age of sixteen months, whilst the younger birds must stay content with a rather dull beige eyeshadow in their youth.
Whatever did we do before the days of Google for research? (Oh, now I remember, we used books for research! I must invest in a good Australian bird identifier book.)
At the end of June, The “Australian Wood Ducks”, who have chosen my swimming pool as their own personal duck pond, were still rather timid, and all the photos I took of this charming pair having breakfast near to the back of my house were taken through the window, so as not to frighten them away.
Well, the good news is, we are now old friends, and they seem quite content to walk around my paved area, pecking away at the bread scraps that I leave out for them, even when I’m out in the garden with them!
These two photos were taken as I sat quietly on the pavers, with the pair of them only about three metres away, taking photo after photo! They occasionally looked my way (especially Sir Drake, who is rather protective of his lady friend!) and continued with their pecking.
The ducks have become rather possessive of the garden, and seem to think they have first dibs on the bread too. When a pair of “Rainbow Lorikeets” visited last week, the ducks wasted no time in making sure the lorikeets knew who was there first!
The lorikeets rarely visit my garden, and when this pair dropped by for breakfast I had hoped they would return. Unfortunately, they haven’t, so I wonder what the ducks said to them? Perhaps the ducks offended the lorikeets!
Mother and father magpie have visited me for a long time now. This pair are my “old faithfuls” and swoop down to me when they see me walking out of the back door. They are so tame, have their own individual personalities, and bring me so much pleasure with their regular visits.
The magpies brought their three baby magpies to us when they were old enough to leave their nest. I always knew when the babies were in the garden, they made so much noise! My maternal instincts delighted at the sight of the baby birds squawking at their parents, as the pieces of bread were passed from parent beak to baby beak.
If you compare the black of the adult magpies to the black areas of the babies feathers, you will see that the babies feathers are mottled black. The mottling will eventually become full glossy black, but even then, I will recognise “my” babies. They are the birds who know me, trust me, and walk straight up to me when I’m in the garden.
As much as I enjoy using words as a means of communication, and writing words in my blog posts, birds and animals bring something extremely meaningful to my life. It’s a form of communication where no words are needed, yet friendship and trust are developed over time.
All that is needed is a feeling, and a heart. 🙂