Monday, December 9, 2013

Birds and Lizards

Living in the countryside of Western Australia [the bush to many] gives us a 'hands on' look at the wild life. 
Sadly the tawny frog mouth's that frequented our closer environs have disappeared.  They probably have more babies, but even though I have searched I can see no trace of where the nest was, nor do I hear them calling at dawn and dusk. 
I blame the willy wagtails!  These small black and white birds are cute, except when their young have hatched.  Then they become aggressive!  A pair had built a nest in the tree near to where the tawny frog mouth's spent their days sleeping.  The day the chicks hatched the owls disappeared.  Co-incidence?  I think not.  Not once, but several times these black and white aggressors with a fan-like tail have chosen to dive-bomb me as I walked past, so frequently in fact I stopped taking my regular route. 
Weeks after the babies hatched another wag tail nest appeared; this time within meters of the house.  All went well.  Until a week ago ... three babies hatched, and the aggression began.  Not only were the parent birds content with chasing away humans, but they tackled old man crow as well.  Swooping and circling Mr Crow's head was funny to watch; the first time.  The amusement wore off when it became obvious Mr Crow was doing nothing wrong ... Wagtail just didn't want him near his family.  [both photos were taken last year]

This morning the wagtail nest was no longer in the tree.  Parent birds circle anxiously, obviously annoyed at a close inspection of the site by Other Half and Me.  We became curious.  O.H. looked closer and found remnants of the nest on the ground near the shed, not far from the tree where it had nestled.  So what happened to the babies?  Yesterday they didn't look big enough to fledge, and how did the nest fall to the ground.  We will wonder, but the answer may not be forthcoming. 
On a lighter note ... a very juvenile Blue Tongue lizard appears in the kitchen daily.  We began feeding him a piece of a peach [canned] and a habit has formed. 
We have no need to visit the Zoo [though we will at Christmas] or a wild life reserve; we have them at our back/front door.