Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Foggy Christmas Eve

This photo was taken on Tuesday evening, but it could equally well have been taken on Wednesday evening, Christmas Eve - for the fog has not lifted in Robertson all day. Even now, at 2:00am Christmas morning, it is still foggy outside. after 36 hours of fog. Everything is wet and soggy outside.
I went to visit my friend George on Christmas Eve morning, and straight away I realised the local birds were active (despite the fog). I went back to the car to get the camera, and managed to take the following images.

Unusually, the first bird to come in was the "Blue Bird", the male Satin Bowerbird. I say unusually, because these guys are usually very secretive - hanging out behind the dense bushes, or high in the trees - as in this image.
These birds are permanent residents in George's front yard, indeed there is a bower in there, behind the Azaleas. However, one seldom gets a good view of them, or if you do, it will usually be a very quick glance. On the bird's back, the sheen of the feathers is visible.
Even today, each visit by the male Bowerbird was a "snatch and grab affair" - very quick. Indeed the bird managed to steal the "Savoiardi biscuits" we offered them, and then it would hide behind a pot or a rock, to eat the crumbs in private, then jump out in the open for just a brief moment, to grab another crumb.

These birds are so dark blue, they are almost "beyond black" their feathers seem to be a "black hole" of colour.
The female Bowerbirds, (and the young males), are less secretive, presumably because of their camouflaged plumage, which makes them blend in with the mossy rocks of George's garden. And today, this female was quite co-operative. The dark beak indicates it is a female, not an immature male, which would have a bone-coloured beak (as in the male above). I love the magenta flashes within the otherwise blue eye. Wonderful.
The Brown Pigeon (OK, Brown Cuckoo-Dove) was hanging around on George's roof, prior to visiting his bird feeder. A lovely bird, with delicate grey and cinnamon colours.One surprise was to see this Lewin's Honeyeater come in close to the open kitchen door, to pick a few crumbs of the sweet biscuits. These birds are also regulars around Robertson gardens, but one seldom gets as good a look as this.Eventually, the elusive Wonga Pigeon even overcame its urge for secrecy to openly come in and grab some biscuit crumbs. Normally, even if I am sitting inside George's family room, behind the glass, if I reach for the camera, the Wonga is "off'. Even though these birds are big and fat, they walk very quickly around George's paving, and usually keep their distance. Even when this bird did eventually come in closely, it was a snatch and grab affair, before it scurried off to a more private corner of the yard. Finally, here is a "faked up" image from two years ago, also taken at George's place. A Wonga Pigeon, seemingly wearing a Santa Hat - which is my way of wishing you all my readers a very Happy Christmas.Thanks to George for his friendship, his coffee, over the last year, and the chance to enjoy the birds which visit his yard.


mick said...

Great birds and photos - and an imaginative mind to dress the bird up in the last photo. Hope your fog lifts to give you a great Christmas day!

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
What a lovely collection of birds to a backyard. No Noisy Miners then? A very enjoyable Christmas morning read, thank you.
Regards and compliments of the season to you,

Jarrett said...

Nice. I love the idea that the bowerbird's colour is "beyond black".