The Carpenters may have sung about Rainy days and Sundays, all those years ago, but the past couple of days have made a tremendous change on the countryside around us.
Many paddocks that were dry and barren, or had a blush of winter grass on them, are now shiny, polished lakes, with several cms of water covering the lower surrounding areas.
Not much fun for our favourite pastime, so EE and I have been a bit housebound of late.
It’s not so much the rain. I’ve been wet before and understand the process, in much the same way birds do. You get wet, and then you dry out. No point in arguing with the obvious. As my long ago bushwalking leader used to say, “If you want to stay dry, STAY home.”
It’s the wind. Hurts the eyes, makes the cold colder, drives the rain through the best wet weather gear and is just plain uncomfortable to stand around in peering through a wobbling viewfinder. Not to mention the(lack of) wisdom of taking expensive camera gear out in those conditions.
And don’t even think of hiding under trees in such weather. The news has had to cover several unfortunate incidents regarding uprooted trees.
So better to stay at home, drink warm cacao in hot almond milk, and dream of better days.
But you can, as EE says, Only take so much indoors. We looked at the weather, and as she has an arrangement with several pairs of birds at the moment, it was time to go see if the rain had washed out their hopes of an early clutch.
First casualty we found was a pair of Masked Lapwings that had taken up a nesting site on the lawn of a nearby shopping centre. The sheen of water across the nest site, and lack of parents anywhere pretty much confirmed the worst for that pair. Not that they’ll be setback. She’ll be back as soon as the water recedes.
But all the birds with tree based nests were ok it seemed. One small area of trees, that used to surround a small wetland is quite the maternity centre at the moment, and there are lots of anxious males sitting around wondering what to do.
Ravens, magpies, Pacific Black Ducks and Chestnut Teals, Black-shouldered Kites. A pair of White-faced Herons, although to give full disclosure, its hard to say they are actually sitting at this stage.
One of the more interesting sightings was a Fan-tailed Cuckoo pair. They are giving a pair of Red Wattlebirds shivers. Lucked out trying to find the nest, (if its there yet), but the Cuckoos seemed to be relentless in the area, and the Wattlebirds were seriously aggressive, but really couldn’t see off the determined Cuckoos. Be interesting to see what happens.
Here is a visual diary of the morning out.