Meeting Ginger

With the evening sun rapidly taking away the glorious light from the forest, I wandered over to see what was happening with Karen and Jimmy and their offspring.
With some help of general arm waving from EE, I soon located first one of the parents, and then where the little dude was holed up.

Trying ever so hard not to get to close, and yet at the same time get a reasonable view, I sat behind some small trees and waited.

And suddenly things took a turn.  Both Karen and Jimmy came down to the small bird and called in a most anxious and scolding call.  Highly vocal and active they were both trying to get the young one on the move.   I’d not seen them react like with me before, and wondered what I’d done that had bought on such nervous activity.

Casting around, I found the cause, as not only were the Robins in full cry, but so was every Wagtail, Woodswallow and Grey Shrike-thrush.
Like all good dramas, there was indeed a culprit.   A fox had wandered along the kangaroo tracks seeking no doubt an evening meal.  The birds were in full cry against it, the wagtails making a rush, and the Robins trying to get their young one to higher ground. No mean feat when it doesn’t have any flight capability, and no sense of direction and no understanding of navigation.

In the end they moved it in my direction!  So I had a few grams of brown and gold feathers jumping along sticks, bark and leaves in my general area.  Which, above  all things gave me some lovely views of the little bird in the rapidly diminishing sunlight.  And I pondered later that perhaps they saw me as a protection from said sly fox. (well its nice to dream dreams ah?)

I stood up in the end, which gave the fox a start, and then I moved toward it, and soon it was a brown blur in the distance, by the time I’d returned the young one was being encouraged to find its way up some low branches for the evening.

Now the fox would have made such short work of the little brown and gold feathers that it reminded me of the story of the Gingerbread man, and the fox tossing him in the air and “Snip Snap, went the old fox and he ate the Gingerbread Man all up”.

So I decided that “Ginger” was a good name for the little dude and that  it can indeed  grow up to fly away as fast as it can.

Plenty of feeding going on.
Plenty of feeding going on.
The late evening sunshine was just about all gone
The late evening sunshine was just about all gone
More food.
More food.
The culprit
The culprit
Moving closer
Moving closer
Portrait time.  Good luck Ginger.
Portrait time. Good luck Ginger.
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2013 in review Ah, the wonders of Blogography and statistics.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013, there were 69 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 201 posts. There were 379pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 53 MB. That’s about a picture per day.

I also finally passed 200 blogs.  Just got to get better organised in 2014

 

Click here to see the complete report.

Woodswallows on the wing

We were pondering what to do for new years eve.  Not being the standing around with glass in hand yelling at someone over loud music sort of folk, nor having the need to declare some new resolution, such as “Take more photos in 2014” or drunkenly exclaim, “I’ll photograph every species in Australia, in 2014”, we decided on a quiet evening.  Besides, I’ve seen a few new years come and go now, and apart from ripping down the old ‘last year’ calendar and gleefully putting up the new one, not much changes.

We in the end picked on a picnic in the forest with Karen, Jimmy and Ginger (recently named as the story will show).

There is also the family of Dusky Woodswallows, and while EE settled in with the Robins, I went a looking for the Woodswallows.  To be honest, I thought they’d be on the wing by now, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that the three chicks were still in the nest, or should that be very over crowded nest. Much preening wing polishing and down removal was going on.  The parents kept up a steady supply of food, and in the end I thought it was just another day in Woodswallow land.

Till one of the parents dropped in on the top of the post, and the largest of the chicks proceeded to climb up the shard of wood to meet it.  After much begging and wing fluttering, the adult flew away, calling softly as it went.  The young one attained the top of the stump, and did a couple of quick wing flaps, and a few more straighten up those feathers, flapped once, and … was gone!

So much so that I’d taken the shot of it wings extended, and when the mirror on the camera came down, there was not bird to see!

The other two looked on in amazement, then decided there was so much more room in the nest and settled down to have a nap.   The parents had other ideas and more food arrived, more cleaning and flapping and eventually the second one flapped to the top of the stump, and simply jumped.  Oh, flap, flap, flap, and it sort of sailed down to the ground, then hopped from branch to branch on the ground trying to figure out what to do.  More food was the parental response.

Meanwhile back at the nest.  No way was the third one moving. Much discussion ensued with the parents, and they got a lot of cheek for their trouble. Mostly I suspect in Woodswallow for “You don’ t image for one moment that I’m going to leave the security of this nest!”.

Try as they might it remained stubbornly in the nest. But in the end, of course, the need for food became greater and it reluctantly took its place on the top of the stump.  And waited.   So did I. And after what seemed hours, (it was probably only 5 minutes), it too made its first journey on the wing.  To the delight no doubt of the parents.

They of course had now created a new problem for themselves.  Three young birds with no navigation skills spread out over 100m of the forest and they still needed constant attention and food.  When I left, they were doing the rounds with supplies.

Not that they were hard to find, the young put up quite a wail when they were on their own.

Another day in Woodswallow Land.  Three sitting pretty at the nest
Another day in Woodswallow Land. Three sitting pretty at the nest
Climbing up to sit with the parent.
Climbing up to sit with the parent.
One wing flap away from freedom
One wing flap away from freedom
Where'd he go. Magic.
Where’d he go. Magic.
Now we've got plenty of room again let's settle down for a nice nap.
Now we’ve got plenty of room again let’s settle down for a nice nap.
More food, that should get you going.
More food, that should get you going.
Let's discuss this mum!  I stay here you bring the food ok?
Let’s discuss this mum! I stay here you bring the food ok?
On the cusp of adventure, but just not ready to make that leap of faith.
On the cusp of adventure, but just not ready to make that leap of faith.
Out of the nest and ready to explore the world
Out of the nest and ready to explore the world

Better than fireworks, and we watched the evening sunset and finished of the picnic (which really means a couple of nice cups of Earl of Grey.)