Moments: Rainy Days and Sundays

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.

Australasian Pipit.
They nest in the grass. Apparently they will nest anytime season is conducive.
Proud Dad, waiting, waiting, waiting.
Another male, hoping to lead me away from his brood
With plenty of time on his hands—paddles, he is practicing his one legged stand
Another ‘busy’ Dad
One of a pair that were eager to appear as if they were feeding off the fence, but most likely they were watching a pair of very nervous Red Wattlebirds.
A Black-shouldered Kite, contemplating taking up diving lessons to find mice.
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8 thoughts on “Moments: Rainy Days and Sundays

    1. Hello Eleanor, it is indeed most welcome rain, lovely sit in a nice warm room with a cuppa and hear the rain on the roof of the pergola. It will have affected quite a number of birds that started early I think.

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  1. Very pleasant photos in your diary, David. The subdued light goes well with your report from the cold morning walks but not to the detriment of the birds getting ready for their parental duties. The spring is just around the corner, despite the chilly winds and cloudy skies. The weather people forecast a sunny morning tomorrow so I’m wishing you both a good night.

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    1. Thanks Adam, it was great light today, and the only day this week when I had an early appointment elsewhere. Time I got home the cloud had settled in and the wind was cutting.
      But at least Spring is starting to look real.

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  2. How wonderful you have had good rain David, we are in deeper drought as Sydney’s overpopulation uses up our water here and the de-sal plant is in full operation. Our birds have given up hope of rain I think and many trees are stressed and dying. I even saw bees drinking from my bird baths yesterday. I don’t know what has become of the Red-capped family they seem to have disappeared also. Love all your beautiful captures and the Fan-tailed Cuckoo is a stunning capture also. I miss the waders, I hope they arrive back safely next month. Enjoy the rest of the week!

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    1. Welcome Ashley, yes similar here, there are many stressed tress, that I suspect will not recover, but the rain should bring on new growth for everyone’s advantage, then we’ll have to much understory, and a fire hazard for summer, and then…
      The Red-capped Robin situation is quite alarming. The Woodlands area where we used to work supported perhaps 30-40 pairs at its height. They regularly managed 2-3 nestings in a season, so there should have been quite a population, but its hard to even find one bird there at the moment. Surely they have moved, but, where?
      We are not doing anywhere near as much bush work as previous years, working more on open plains, and we are lucky to have several worthwhile areas.
      I’m also getting excited about Latham’s Snipe in our local flood pondage, as its got a good stand of water, and the surrouding low areas have a little cover as well Ideal for Snipe.

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  3. It has been the wind that has been insidious! And the rain has made a difference. I posted today a shot taken on this day last year of a very dry Sneydes Rd. Paddock. I haven’t managed to spot a Cuckoo yet this season.

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    1. Hi David, yep, agree. The wind is insidious. No point in rugging up go look for birds, they simply go for cover. I am going to start regular visits to Glen Orden for the Snipe. Reports say they are back in the country, so we should see them sometime soonish, if they grace us with their presence.

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