Been about a week since we’d seen the Darters on the Barwon River, and decided on an early morning run.
The Shannon Avenue bridge is busy at any time it seems, and again we met with much pedestrian and bike traffic and the usual, “Oh, I’ve passed here for years and never seen them before, did they just come in?” and other questions.
The nest we’d been watching previously now had two quite large young in it. Well formed and with some pins of real feathers just starting to emerge. The male was on the nest, and the young were relentless in their waving at him for food. They continued full speed for over twenty minutes and he moved about the nest trying to avoid the tiny waving heads. He seemed so patience at their insistence and finally tucked his head under his wing to avoid them. Not being able to see his head stopped the begging, and in the end it was obvious he didn’t have any more food to give, and they settled down for a sleep. He stood over them and tucked his head. one more time, and lifted out his wings to give them some protection.
The two other eggs that had been there the previous week were obviously infertile, and they had been removed from the nest. Perhaps its too late in the season to try and feed four hungry mouths.
We waited an hour or so hoping that the female would return from her hunting expedition, but no such luck. The female in the apartment above had settled down on her eggs and only an occasional head lift to check things out was her response.
We figured that our luck was out on the female returning so we did the right thing and headed off with ‘coffee’ as the next challenge.