Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birds and Chainsaws

You know you should NEVER leave a guy with a chainsaw in charge..... I had the arborist come in today to clean up some of the trees in the yard. We had hoped to take down the big euc., that is riddled with borer, but the permit hasn't come through from the council, yet. David started cleaning up various other trees, and removing the cypress out the front and the sick lophostemon out the back. I needed to go out for ten minutes to the shops, and when I came back he had almost removed the lovely bottlebrush on the side fence. I nearly died! It's a favourite tree of all the little birds that enjoy my yard in the morning. I made him stop, but now I have a very sad looking bare branched callistemon, with just a few scrappy bunches of leaf here and there. Luckily I know that they re-shoot as soon as they get some rain, but the poor little finches and honey-eaters will have to find somewhere else to shelter for a while.
Mum sent me off on a wild chase this week, to find a Gould bird book for her friend who is ill and can only sit and watch the birds out of the window. She doesn't have the strength to do anything else. Mum searched for the book online and found her way to a publishers page, then suddenly found herself hyperlinked to eBay where the book she wanted was for sale. I got roped in to doing the eBay purchase, and then found I could get another copy of the book, so I bought one for myself. Now I know I have Starlings, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Greenfinches, Silver eye finches, Grey Butcher birds, Pallid cuckoos, Little Wattlebirds, Magpie larks, Magpies and possibly White Plumed Honeyeaters. (I'v seen something with a white band at it's throat). Amazing, and I probably wouldn't have seen any of this if I had had to go straight back to work after moving in.
I'm aching to get started on re-planting. The little birds especially love pecking around in my yard and I watched fascinated one day as one bird kept making short dives off my clothes line, then would appear to stall & flutter mid-air then go back to sitting on the clothes line. It took me a little while to work out that it was catching flying insects. The position on the clothesline, with it's back to the early morning sun, allowed it to see the tiny air borne insects and it would make its short foray into mid-air, catch the insect, stall the flight & return to it's watch post.

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