Monday, 27 August 2012

Birdwatching for Dummies

Since John is home more often he has set up a bird feeder on a bamboo tripod  near the garden shed. He puts a small amount of parrot seed mix in it every afternoon to tempt some of the local birds and has been telling me how successful he's been. Apparently we are visited by 3 or 4 separate groups each afternoon in separate dining sessions. First come the blue faced honeyeaters, then the top-notch pigeons then the lorikeets . Sometimes there are also some rosellas. Even our chickens have a feast from the seed that the other birds drop so he told me.

We decided to set ourselves up a discreet distance away for some afternoon entertainment with chairs, cameras and refreshments to watch our backyard bird restaurant.

Just as John said, it wasn't long before the first bird appeared - a blue faced honeyeater. We took some photos, congratulated ourselves and settled in for the rest of the show.

While the birds had their feast so did we. Our table was an old bucket turned upsidedown.

Everyone was enjoying themselves.

The ladies were busy foraging in the garden for insects and worms.

Once the honey eaters left, the ladies went to investigate what was left behind.

We settled in and waited for the next lot of visitors,
 had some more cheese and another glass of wine,
and waited,
and had another glass of wine,
and waited.

Meanwhile, the ladies had been sneaking around to the vegie patch and were having their own feast.
By the time I realised what they were up to they'd demolished a lettuce and quite a bit of silverbeet.
They were most indignant when they were asked to leave.

No Miss Chookie. This is not an all you can eat buffet.

Probably because of the ruckus I caused evicting the ladies from the vegie patch, or maybe they were eating elsewhere, but no other birds appeared at the feeder. We finished our bottle of wine, packed up and went inside.
John: "But they've been here every afternoon." 
Ros: "They're camera shy. They always disappear when they see a camera."

I love my chooks but they are definitely no parrot substitute.

Then the next afternoon, as we were packing up the tools after working in the garden, two lorikeets appeared. They even stayed while I went inside to get the camera and line up the shot.

They saw us but it didn't seem to worry them.

Then this morning as I was getting ready for work I looked out and a couple of Rosellas were having breakfast. I was too slow with the camera that time though.

We have quite a few birds visit the garden but most seem to disappear whenever they see a camera. (or maybe it's me) We don't want to give the birds enough food that they become reliant on our handouts but I do hope that they feel they can come and have a treat if they want to and become regular visitors.


  1. I have just got back from visiting my Mom in South Africa, and she puts out a tray every morning with her pawpaw peels, apple cores and a slice of bread broken into crumbs. I so enjoyed watching their antics and wondered whether I should start the same thing. You might have convinced me! I love those blue faced honey-eaters - never seen them before. My moms birds were also camera shy!

  2. Nice shots of the birds, they are always so interesting to watch, and so pretty too.

  3. I love this fun post, i was thinking that maybe the watchers engulfed more food than the birds, haha! But that was an elegant birdwatching moment, wine and pastries. It is enough for me to have coffee!

  4. Wow, I love those lorikeets, they're so pretty. The blue faced honey eaters are intriguing too.
    I'm a bit worried that I was not invited to the bird watching party, but thanks for the coverage, enjoyed it.

  5. Wow, those birds looks so cute (and that includes the Chooks!). The timing and setting was right, glad you had the camera!

  6. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I love the blue-faced honey eaters. They occasionally make an appearance at my place, but the noisy mynahs chase most of my more interesting visitors away fairly quickly.

  7. What beauties! The only way I'd have a bird as colorful as the lorikeets come to my feeder is if someone's pet bird had escaped. Love the idea of having great snacks and wine while bird watching.

  8. Your birds are out of this world!!! That's my idea of birdwatching:) Chris from Las Aventuras

  9. What a fun birdwatching party y'all had! Australia has the coolest birds! You're lucky to have those in your garden. We have to visit an aviary to see those.


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