Monday, September 17, 2018

Australian Magpie

Magpies are not uncommon in Aussies backyards but I have not had any in my yard since I moved up here nearly 15 years ago. However, not everyone likes these birds in their yard. They often become very aggressive during the breeding season and they are big birds with big strong beaks. This is the bird that has recently been visiting my yard - I think it is a male.

 More often it sees me coming with the camera and  takes off. I am hoping that it will get more used to me as time goes on.
 In my opinion these are some of the smartest birds around! I came to this opinion some years ago when living in New South Wales. My house was next door to my parent's house but about 300 meters down the hill. There were magpies nesting in a big tree behind their house. We found out later that some teens who lived close by had made a habit of throwing stones at the birds and their nest. I think this was what had initially made these birds so very aggressive. But not to Mum! She gardened close under their nest and when she saw the birds she talked softly to them.  They used to come to her back door and 'warble' to her until she came out with some crumbs. But not me!! I had only to open my door to walk up to her house and they would aggressively swoop down and threaten to  attack me. My solution was to borrow Mums floppy blue hat that she always wore out in the yard. It worked As long as I had her blue hat on my head those birds ignored me. Smart birds!!   Hopefully the one now visiting my yard will get as friendly as Mum's birds became.                             

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Australian Wood Ducks

The other day because I was expecting friends to visit, I opened the front gate and left it open. When they arrived they drove  straight around to the back.  Sarah jumped out of the car and asked me if I knew there were ducks and ducklings just outside.  I hurried inside and grabbed my camera then followed her quickly outside my yard. I wasn't  expecting anything to wait long so left the camera set on automatic. Big mistake!!  I needed to change both the speed and the depth of focus. By the time I realized that, it was too late to worry about it - so I just took multiple photos and  hoped some would be usable.
Both adult ducks were resting on the grass. The male had the ducklings around him but the female was by herself a few paces away and was stretched out with her head and neck  close to the ground,
Then they were off! The male is one the right and the female on the left.
 BTW I have done some checking now and reminded myself where to find the right buttons and dials!

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