Friday, August 23, 2013

Nesting time

The days are warming; the birds are tweeting and if one looks carefully tiny bird's nests are visible hidden under the gum leaves. 
I know that the resident tawny frog-mouths have a nest some where, but so far I have been unable to locate it.  Father bird spends his day sleeping on a branch where he often is, but there is no sign of his mate.  This is nesting time for the tawny frog-mouth ... in years gone by I have managed to find the nest; there are at least three weeks for me to locate this one!
While scanning the branches, I noticed the extra activity of the little willy wagtails as they flit from branch to branch.  I was suspicious.  It looked as though they were trying to lead me a merry dance, away from a nest.  Then I became aware of a tiny nest.  Did it belong to the wagtails?  The nest was just above my head height.  I needed a taller spy.  Other Half is tall.  I requested assistance.  Sure enough, there were three eggs in the nest and all the time the wagtails kept vigilance, darting hither and thither in an effort to distract our attention.
We have not looked closely since.
The willy wagtail is a small bird, about the size of a sparrow, and is determined to keep sightseers at bay.  Once the eggs hatch it will not be safe to be nowhere near the nest as they dive bomb intruders.  The sharp beak is more than enough to deter any 'quick looks'.   Even now the birds work hard at chasing away kookaburras which like to steal eggs and baby birds.  I have watched with amusement the persistent harassing of the kookaburra and old lazy Mr Crow with the wagtail on the winning side.
I did manage to take a photo of the nest and one of the parent wagtails.