Robins, Wagtails and Cuckoos: All make for a good day out

We had been planning a day at the Western Treatment Plant, but the temperatures, winds and general conditions resulted in the day being called “Total Fire Ban”. WTP management policy closes the farm on Total days, and just as well too. Who wants to drive around in a hot car in the hot sun and hot wind looking for hot birds sitting in the shade. So. We stayed home, and then thought. We’re up early, its still reasonably cool. Let’s go see Jack, Jill and Nevis, and take them a cool drink of water.
They were well into feeding by the time we got there, and the next thing surprised me completely. Dorothy had just finished topping up a water feature, when a shrill CHRIP, CHRIP came from one of the Robins and all three of them landed in the tree closet to the water. Then the young one dropped down and took a quick splash. Meanwhile the second water feature, – the one with the enclosed bathing area- was topped up, and they all went together to investigate.
Recognition? Sense of water? Relationships? To be honest, I really don’t know. All I know is they came for the water. And called to one another to all go to the one spot.
Just when it seems simple, it all gets more complicated.
One thing, they had a good bathe, a good drink, and a bit of a social gathering.Later in the morning, I went to look at a Wagtail event, and they were having trouble with a Shingle-backed lizard that had wandered by. It was really distressing the two birds, and they called in reinforcements from their neighbours and the shingle back was harassed by about 5 birds. As they don’t move very quickly it took the lizard 10 minutes or more to get out of range. Not that I think it took any notice. After all that feed the chicks was the next move.
And just as I was packing up, a young Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo popped by. It fed out in the open, so it was lovely to see the beautiful bronze, green gold feathers in the sunlight.
It picked up a small piece of plastic tubing and had several attempts at turning it into food. In the end it just spat it out.

So a day that started of with a no show no go, ended up quick instructive and probably asked more questions than it answered.

Nevis drops by at the call of water.
A quick tub in the water feature was appreciated
Shaken not stirred.
Jill in one of the nicer shots I’ve managed of her. The typical Eastern Yellow Robin pose is done to a treat
Now that big grub should stop you annoying the ugly Shingle back Lizard
Nevis taking a hunting break.
Horsfields Cuckoo hunting in the leaf litter
Iti looks like a nice grub, but tastes really horrible.
Think I’ll just spit it out.

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