Friday, March 5, 2010

waters of contentment

I'll start this irregular blog of musings and ramblings and dribblings with The Birdbath. We moved into a crappy rental property in late 2005, only to find the backyard a scene of sandy desolation. This was from the neglect of a poorly designed, Cabana-style 1970's garden - with oddly planted bromeliads and monsteras and an abandoned, gaping mine pit that was formerly a swimming pool.

The only sign of gardening attempts by the previous tenants had tried to grow the obligatory dope plant in the [swimming] 'pool room' - as evidenced by some pots stacked in the mine pit. So - thinking that our occupancy was a short-term venture, I set about getting some cheap and nasty vegetation into the yard to encourage visits from the local birds. I grabbed seedlings from local vacant blocks, germinated seed collected from gardens and bought cheap plants - because we never know when the backyard will be cleared and sold. The best purchase was a $60 cement birdbath from some Italian guy who moulds cement garden ornaments. He chucked a life-size cement rabbit into the bargain.

Thankfully - the plantings have been more or less successful and we don't have such a barren wasteland to gaze at each day.

Here is the bath during the early days, when the Paraserianthes lophantha wasn't so tall and Casuarina still somewhat alive and verdant. Here a red wattlebird takes an afternoon dip, snapping his beak to let us know his approval.

Here is Russell - our local thug. Angry, aggressive, full of angst. Named after Russell Crow during his heady years of being tired and emotional, our Russell rules the yard with wings of fury. Never get close to his compost bin when the pickings are good. Note how he fluffs up his eyebrows when he's angry.

All the birds around are pretty bog standard urban residents for our locale - little brown honeyeaters, singing (whinging) honeyeaters, New Hollands, the odd whitecheek group.

And loads of friggin' spotted doves - but also a resident pair of Australian hobbies and a resident brown goshawk/collared sparrow hawk have thankfully positioned themselves around our house to pluck off the doves - literally. Oh the days when it is raining pigeon feathers down from the blue sky.

And we get interesting birds - like our lovely migratory rainbow bee eaters with their awesome purring, whistling call. Here is one on our neighbour's tree, eating *surprisingly* - a bee.

So that's about it for now..


  1. Welcome to the world of Nature Blogging, Neomyrtus.
    Denis Wilson

  2. Why thankyou, Denis. I'll try and make this a weekly exercise and get through the backlog of fieldtrips and holidays.