Australia · blessings · ducks · freedom · friends

It’s All a Matter of Trust

An adult “Honey Eater”

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.)

A young Honey Eater. The day will soon come when he can wear the “adult” eyeshadow!

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!

Sir Drake

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.

Mother Duck. Well, she will be a mother one day later this year, when the breeding season begins.

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!

Setting the ground rules!

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!

Rainbow 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.

Mother Maggie

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.

The three siblings, who have visited my garden since baby-bird-hood.

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. 🙂

One of the young magpies, coming just a little bit closer to the house.

18 thoughts on “It’s All a Matter of Trust

    1. Hello Rosie! Thank you for dropping by. I followed a link on Robin’s website, (which was left in a comment by Kathy,) to your website yesterday and really enjoyed the story of walking the Camino to Santiago. What an inspirational story!! 🙂

      I encourage the birds by leaving out bread and birdseed for them each day, and they thank me by posing for my photos! It’s actually raining here today, so it’s a bit of a soggy paradise, but it is very lovely here on a fine day. 🙂


  1. Joanne, your skills with the camera keep increasing with every visit. Beautiful birds…so colorful, especially the Rainbow Lorikeets. But I truly love your relationship with the wood ducks. They are so sweet.


    1. Thank you for such a wonderful compliment Kathy!

      When we first moved here, I had plans for digging out a small dam down the back of the garden, and keeping hens for their eggs, and a pair of ducks as pets. During the time spent raising four children and running three business, we ran out of time every day, the days turned into months, then years, and the dam, hens and ducks didn’t eventuate. When this pair began visiting my garden, my daughter said to me, “well, you finally got the ducks you wanted”…and she’s right! And this pair of ducks are free to come and go, which makes them even more special, as they have chosen my garden to visit. 🙂


      1. Just stopping by to see if you’d posted another blog, Joanne. I “trusted” that you would have! (little joke…I know you’re busy in many different places.)


        1. With your encouragement, I have started posting more blogs now Kathy! Life got just a tad hectic over the last couple of months, so I’m hoping there will be no more “surprises” in store for me for a while now. Thanks for stopping by and syaing hello, even when I havent added anything new. 🙂


  2. The duck you captured as she was “setting the ground rules” – what a personality! That’s a lovely combination of blues circling the eyes of the adult Honey Eater. You seem to have every color of the rainbow on the birds in your garden! Are lorikeets in the same family as parakeets? The ducks are very attractive, too, with their neutral color palette of unique patterns, making it easy to distinguish the male from the female. I wonder how you get anything done inside with so much to enjoy looking at outside? 🙂 Great pictures!


    1. I believe lorikeets and parakeets are all part of the parrot family Barbara. They are all about the same size, but have a huge variation in their differing colours. I usually manage to whip around and get the housework done when I know there are birds visiting the garden! Most days they come and go throughout the day, so I head indoors and back out again, depending on when they are all there. 🙂


  3. You get the most amazing pictures of the most amazing birds! When the neighborhood “girls” spent a few days in Portland (Oregon) last September, we visited the zoo – and the Lorikeet atrium was our favorite. We were allowed inside, given cups of nectar and left with giggles and nectar dripping off my head because I held the cup up to offer to some Lorikeets on a rafter above me, a fight over the little paper cup ensued and guess who ended up with most of the nectar – on my head.


    1. I’m sure the birds are getting used to seeing me wander around the garden with my camera now Carol, and they happily pose for me! I’m wondering if anyone managed to get a photo of you feeding the lorikeets?! That would be a sight to see! 🙂


  4. Judging from these photos, you must live in paradise. Such beautiful, colorful, exotic birds, and in your own backyard! I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve established a relationship with them, especially the pair of ducks. 🙂


    1. I really do love my pair of duck visitors and they have their own distinctive personalities, which is so cute. All of the birds are becoming so familiar now, and I recognise most of them when they make a return visit. 🙂


  5. Except for the ducks which are familiar, all of your birds are so different to me, so lovely. Funny how we get accustomed to what is ours, but we are so taken by what we see as unusual. Love all these shots — you are truly a friend to your birds.


    1. I have become accustomed to the individual birds who visit my garden now Bo, and when a different bird arrives, and becomes a regular, I find I have to get to know them too! 🙂


  6. Just checkin’ end to see if you’ve posted recently here, Joanne. I’ve read a few of your blipfoto posts and have enjoyed them, but don’t feel like getting involved in another on-line activity so probably won’t join. Hope you are enjoying your summer. Oh, wait a minute, I guess that would be “winter”, right?


    1. Winter will be over before too long Kathy, and the weather has started warming up already! Blipfoto is easy to keep up with when I’m on the run, as it’s only one single photo and a few quick words, so doesn’t take too much time at all, which is great. On the down side, there is only provision for one photo per day, so if you have more you wish to show, and also more to say, then a blog is the best option. I find the two work well for me, especially when I’m having a busy time and want to keep in touch with online friends. 🙂


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