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I’m feeling rather chirpy this morning.  The reason is that I’ve just been sitting in my favorite chair, as I do most mornings, having my first cup of coffee while watching the goings-on in the courtyard.  My courtyard is a hive of activity these days.  “These days”  being spring.  The activity is of the old-fashioned tweeting and twittering kind.  The garden is a-flutter with birds.

Most of them are frenetically gathering supplies for their nests;  a few very early birds are already gathering food for their young.  Only the slugabeds are still trying to sort out a mate.  I guess it’s just as well that they aren’t all at the same stage at the same time.  Imagine a crowd of them fighting over the perfect strand of coconut grass from my hanging basket.

And for the predatory birds, it spreads the feast over a much longer period of time.  But let’s not talk about that.

Eastern Spinebill (He’s a bit stunned as he just smacked into my window, but he flew off soon thereafter.)

My courtyard birds consist mainly of the smallest species: the tiny pardalottes, gorgeous Superb Blue Wrens, surprised-looking silvereyes, eastern spinebills, Beautiful  Firetails (finches), Scarlet Robins, New Holland honeyeaters, and probably others I can’t remember right now.

Striated Pardalottes on the deck

The activity near the house, just beyond the courtyard, is just as hectic: grey fantails, satin flycatchers, various kinds of honeyeaters, and so on.  The larger birds are at it as well.  “At it” connoting all manner of birdly endeavors.  A pair of green rosellas (parrots) were contemplating taking up residence in one of the parrot boxes Nigel and I installed high up in a tree a number of years ago.  I think they encountered a sleeping possum as  there seemed to be a deal of confusion before they finally left in disgust.

Green Rosella outside my window (endemic to Tasmania)

Because the ‘bush’ is so full of blossoms at the moment, virtually anyone can find food to their liking.  It’s  banquet for seed-eaters, nectar eaters, bug-fanciers, everyone.  And there’s plenty of water available, as well as all manner of nesting sites.  No wonder they like to camp out here.  (I do too.)

An occasional visitor — at least when there were fish in the ponds — was the white-faced heron.  Here he is standing on my deck, preparing to swoop down on an unsuspecting fish in the pond below.  The kookaburras are even cheekier about doing the same thing.

A White-face Heron goes fishing in my pond

The little wife of the Superb Blue/Fairy Wren that lives here has become obsessed with getting into my living room.  She spends a painful amount of time pounding her tiny bill on my window. re-te-te-te-te-te-te-tet.   She must have a dreadful headache, if not damage to her sweet little brain.

Superb Fairy Wren

The beautiful blue Superb Fair Wren  (Photograph by Alex Dudley)

A pair of scarlet robins also does a lot of that, but not at the moment.  The robins here are tiny birds, about the size of a chickadee.  They are stunning–black and white with a bright scarlet breast. (or orange or pink, depending on the species)

    • Scarlet robin photo by Janne Curtis

I’m keeping my car in the garage at the moment.  Otherwise it gets coated with a thick white layer of wren-poo.  Like my window, the car is a magnet to the wrens.  No doubt because they can see themselves reflected.

I wish I had more photos to share, but a good place to see all the beautiful Tasmanian birds is at the Flickr Birds of Tasmania  website.  Another good place to look, if you want info as well as photos, is the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife website.

I apologise for the quality of some of my own photos (not the ones by Janne Curtis!).  Many of mine were taken through a window.  And of course I don’t clean my windows very often because if they are too clean, the birds fly into them.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!             MM

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