Monday 16 November 2020

Birds visiting my garden

  The white throater gerygone


I love being surrounded in nature, and living in Canberra is the best of both worlds. We are a country town and a capital city, with a difference. We have a wonderful abundance of nature all around us. Even in the average suburban garden if one has sufficient plants and trees to attract birds and wildlife there is a joy in seeing our nature up close. Canberrans are very proud of their bush capital, and rightly so. 

I love waking up each morning with the sound of birds singing. I am not able to name very many bird types, but that doesn’t matter to me. I just love them coming into my garden every day. Today was a warm and humid day, so I had the front door open all day. I heard an amazing bird song near the front door and went to investigate. The bird was hard to see at first, but as I  scanned the garden from my front fly-screen door I noticed a tiny yellow bird up in the ornamental plumb tree. I stood listening to him for a while enchanted by the sound. 

I scurried off to find my pocket book of Canberra birds to see what it was. This little book is like gold (Field guide to the birds of the ACT  by McComas Taylor and Nicholas Day) to bird lovers and very popular. I found out this lovely little bird was a White Throated Gerygone. I shall be on the lookout for him again. All day long there are so many different birds visiting either the back garden or my front garden. I have a lot of small trees in my front yard, and a huge box elder tree, a Crab apple tree and an ornamental flowering apricot tree in my back yard, so the birds just flock to my garden.

My favourite bird is the crimson rosella and I never tire of them, I only saw them on the rare occasion where I lived in Sydney even though it is a very common bird. We have an abundance of parrots  in Canberra  all year round, including Lorikeets, Cockatoos, Galahs Gangangs. Cockatoos are very destructive though as well as very intelligent. God knows how often I have to pick up tree branches they the Cockatoos rip off from my Box Elder. The Cockatoos make a terrible mess.  Magpies, Peewees, Wattle birds are quite common in Canberra gardens, we have a wonderful variety just in our area alone. The best public places to see a variety would be visiting both the national parks, Namadgi and Tidbinbilla or the Australian Botanical Gardens, all of which are not far from my house.
The Magpie has a nice song,  but many people don’t like them because they can attack humans in spring time, as they try to protect their babies. Thankfully I have never had a problem with them. I have one that visits every day and I talk to him when watering the garden. One of my cats had a Magpie friend in the weeks before my cat dies. The Magpie was very old too and each morning he came up to the back door and tapped on it, asking if Tolstoy was coming out. So I opened the door and Tolstoy would sit on the step with his friend each day until Tolstoy was too sick and had to be put to sleep. 
I guess having only three legs and being old , he was no threat to the Magpie. For a week or more after Tolstoy died this Magpie came to the door to see his friend. Then sadly one day younger birds attacked him as he flew over the fence into the neighbours yard. It was very distressing and sadly I never saw the Magpie ever again. But I feel there was a special bond between him and our Tolly. 

One night last summer I thought I was imagining things, lying in bed reading late at night, and suddenly hearing a Cuckoo call. I had no idea Canberra actually has Cuckoos. I got on to google and  discovered that there are actually five different types of Cuckoos in Canberra. 

The area where Canberra is built is old farming land so we are lucky to have birds that have remained in the region as housing has expanded over the decades. I am living in the Tuggeranong valley which is not far from two big national parks. So there is a lot of wildlife all around us such as Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats, Echidna, Possums and foxes.  I have Possums living in my garden and the surrounding area. We often have foxes in the neighbourhood too. So there is a lot right on our doorstep so to speak. 

But getting back  to birds, I often sit in a reading chair at the window in my Family Room and watch birds as they weave in and out the bushes outside the window. If I am lucky I get to see Willie Wagtails or a Superb Fairy Wren, they are a real treat to see as are the Double Barred Finch and I think I have only been lucky enough once to see that finch then  honey eaters on some occasion oh, and the Falcon that attacked my Canary on the back veranda, that I will never forget.  Tiny little Silver Eyes or nectar eaters are always lurking in the bushes, as I have Chinese Lantern or Abutilon and Choisya bush at my back window. I could sit all day and watch them if I could, lol. But as usual I have things to do every day. I just feel so content with nature and could quite easily live the rest of my life away from humans as long as I have animals and birds around me. A garden or a nature reserve is a must for me to touch base with nature. 

As I write this post the birds are still singing, it is just so nice and much better than the sound of the TV. We have a couple of resident Blackbirds that visit every day and tonight Mr Blackbird was perched on the rooftop next door singing his little heart out. It was Mrs Blackbird that had her babies on our back veranda two years ago. The family are still visiting our garden, but I have no idea who is who with them. I just enjoy seeing them in the garden. Nature is just an absolute joy to behold.

  The Crimson Rosella