A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.
I’ve been busy with non-blogging tasks lately, so haven’t had a chance to upload a post.
Birds still feature in my day and I’ve been lucky enough to catch a few of the recent Spring (and Summer) bird chicks on my balcony and at the back door of my apartment building.
I’ve shared the image of a New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) below, sitting on the Tree Lucerne or Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus) behind my building before. I’ll share it again so you can have a better look at the pattern and colours of its feathers.
This past weekend as the sun was going down and my side of the river valley fell into shadow, the native Tree Lucerne bush appears with a bright sunny background and it may, (or may not), be easy to photograph the honeyeaters that visit the bush in the late afternoon.
I’ve never seen more than 2 honeyeaters in this bush at one time so maybe there are not enough flowers at the moment to attract them.
The honeyeater below has a cricket or grasshopper (?) in its mouth, but I didn’t notice at the time of photographing the bird, only after I’d downloaded it onto my 27″ screen.
This bush is usually photographed at the end of a walk, so my long heavy telephoto lens tends to feel heavier as I tire and I wobble a bit trying to hold it steady. My tripod would be no use in this situation as the bird(s) move so quickly and I can only step back so far before treading on the actual road shown in the lower right of the image (left).
I have more luck photographing the many House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) whilst sitting at my desk these days. I’ve been indoors so much waiting for my double vaccinations to take effect before I could go to the city for a much-needed haircut, dental visit and other city errands. Even so, I rarely go out in crowded areas as my health is too fragile to withstand virus attack and/or infection.
It wasn’t until I downloaded these images (below) that I saw the soft downy feathers denoting very young House Sparrows. I couldn’t understand why a couple of Sparrows were sitting, seemingly asleep, on the extremely hot fence rail 2 days ago when it was 33C.
When I downloaded the images I could see 2 of them huddled together and wondered if they were newly out of their nest and seeking the warmth of the metal?
Other than that, I’ve had as many as 5 sparrows drinking and/or splashing water over themselves in my makeshift large birdbath. A couple of the birds would jump into the water, find it a bit too deep, but splash water over themselves in the hot humid afternoon and jump out within seconds. I had filled the birdbath up to the rim knowing the evaporation in the sun would dry it up quite quickly.
When it’s very hot in late January early February I put iceblocks in the water to cool birdbath visitors down.
Other sparrows were not so brave and stood on the rim drinking and surveying the surroundings.
NOTE: I’ve since put in a small metal water bowl and some pebbles to build a sort of island the birds can stand on to make some of the water more shallow.
Whatever the bird’s age, it’s always enjoyable watching their antics.
Missed the sharp focus on this shot when one of the Sparrows suddenly took flight.
When the sun is out, birdsong fills the air around my apartment block. All our lockdowns in Melbourne have ended (supposedly never to return), and we just have to live with this virus, so hope to get over to the nearby nature reserves after Christmas when the traffic is much lighter.
It’s funny to see empty streets for so many months and then after the lockdown ended, very busy traffic just like pre-2020. Of course, school holidays and Christmas shoppers do make a difference.
The crowds and traffic in Melbourne’s city centre last Thursday and Monday (of this week) were much like pre-covid days. I really noticed the pungent smell of cigarette smoke and strong perfumes in the crowded streets. Ugh…!!!!!
Even though traffic has returned a wee bit in my steep road since the 6th lockdown ended, most of the day is quiet except for the bird calls (and today, the occasional distant sound of construction workers with some sort of jackhammer).
I have to go everywhere via taxi these days and taxis have been few and far between in this area. A lot of taxi drivers have switched to other jobs during Melbourne’s 6th lockdown & curfew as there was no (or minimal) work.
I came across this YouTube https://youtu.be/m6STVZeOpg0 in my browsing time and thought to share the sound of the Australian bush for the overseas folk new to my blog. Hope you take the time to click on the link and enjoy the sounds.
Close your eyes and turn up the sound on your computer to get the full effect.
I don’t receive quite the same degree of bird sounds in the nature reserve/parkland behind my apartment building, but sometimes, on a late Summer afternoon, the sound is pretty close (except I get Frogs croaking too). After all, the nature reserve is called Frogs Hollow Wetlands. In the high heat of Summer, I get deafened by the sound of cicadas also.
On the map, you can see I have a great walking path going down the centre of the islands in the river/lake to the Maribyrnong Wetlands, which is a small reed and high grass-covered area around a large pond. I haven’t got any new photos this year, so I’ll repeat what I’ve shared before.
If I had less hip & lower back pain I could keep walking along the river path for another kilometre or so to get to Newells’ Paddock Nature reserve (below). There’s a signpost where Newells Paddock backs onto the Maribyrnong river which says 3.9km to the nearby shopping centre, so I figure it’s about3.7kms from Newells Paddock to my home (which is a bit closer). I did walk home once 3-4 years ago, but I can’t do this amount of walking anymore and, as regular followers will know, I don’t have a car.
NEWELLS PADDOCK NATURE RESERVE main pond. Melbourne city in the far right background.
One of the good things about the COVID pandemic and fewer car sounds is the rise in bird calls.
A bird is safe in its nest
but that is not what
its wings are made for.