Tag Archives: birds

Birds? I’m driving . . .

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Australian Wood Duck

Australian Wood Duck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, I’ve learned three things:
1. Don’t let the bird-watcher drive the car;
2. If the track looks like no-one uses it, there’s probably a reason; and
3. You’re never too old to be car sick.

I’m writing this now, so you can rest assured, it didn’t end too badly. But there was a moment I thought we were coming unstuck.

It was meant to be a pleasant country drive. A few hours out in the bush looking for birds and finding that perfect picnic spot. The reality became a mixture of terror, frustration and shallow breathing.

The so-called ‘track’ provided a perfect view over the nearby river. All good. Unfortunately, my husband was busy looking at the treetops and not overly concerned with the direction we were taking. Not so good.

Then the single-vehicle ‘track’ started getting thinner and the only way out took us down a 45 degree slope toward a watery canal. Again, not so good.

“We’ll have to go back,” I said.

“Not likely,” was the reply.

And looking back along the ‘track’, I could see the sense in that statement. Sadly, the alternative was no more enticing.

I braced myself for the worst as we made the death-defying descent.

I think I heard my husband laughing, but I can’t be sure. I couldn’t look at him. We got to the bottom and suddenly another track materialised. “Oh, there it is,” was all he said.

An hour of winding bush tracks followed. Around this time, lesson three made itself known.

All I know is this – birds may be beautiful. The bush may be too. But bitumen, sweet bitumen, is my best friend.

Imagination takes flight

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Cockatoo with character

Cockatoo with character (Photo credit: ash-s)

There are days when I can’t get my kids out the door fast enough. They’ve argued since dawn, treated the kitchen like a café and the lounge room like a three ring circus.

We hear the school bell from our house and still my kids move at a snail’s pace. On a typical day, the clock is counting down and I’m on edge.

But today was NOT one of those days.

Our youngest decided to fill a few spare moments (when he probably should have been packing his bag) climbing on the backyard swing-set.

The next thing I heard was screeching. And it wasn’t him. A collection of pink cockatoos had gathered on the TV aerial atop our house.

My husband, who is something of a twitcher, has taught our kids how to make a particular sound that attracts the attention of birds. It’s a bit like the whistle you do before you learn how to whistle.

Sure enough, the little man was perched on the swing-set doing his best bird whistle. And the birds were responding. Every now and then they would all look his way and listen intently. It was a sight to behold.

When the birds eventually flew away, he raced inside and grabbed the big book of birds, tracked down the page he needed and stared in awe and wonder.

A little bit of nature had just visited his backyard.

And yep, we were late to school. Notes had to be signed, explanations given. But our youngest had a fabulous story to tell.