Friday, October 16, 2009


Of late, I have taken to watching the birds which land in our garden. There are pidgeons, parrots, magpies, sparrows, mynas, wattlejacks and ravens, all mingling in the grass and staking out their spot either on the ground (if there's food to be had) or in the nearby trees. There are turf wars, of course. The wattlejacks tend to move in swiftly and aggressively, taking what food they like the look of and moving off again. The mynas, all in a line, watch the action from the side fence and then move in for their bit of bread/oatmeal/birdseed. The pidgeons quietly plot their course, weaving in and out amongst the other birds, circling the perimeter, avoiding the fights. The parrots sit in the soon-to-be-flowering gum tree, chirping out a commentary and delighting in the knowledge that they have the brightest plummage around. The ravens and the magpies? They do just as they please. No one challenges them. I know I shouldn't put human food out for them, but I figure at least I am not throwing the food out - something is eating it - and at least too these urban birds aren't getting their fill out of the bins at the nearby hamburger place. Of course, when I ventured out to photograph my feathered friends for you, there was a mass evacuation and I managed to snap only a lone, hungry magpie who similarly took flight to a nearby tree once he'd finished off his morning snack.

Since developing this new awareness of the microcosmos around me, I have found two lovely books to stoke my interest (a few images from which there are above). First, the Butterflies and Feathers Painting Book, published in about 1917, with lovely illustrations originally designed for children to copy but just so pretty, and also Frances Pitt's Meet us in the Garden from 1946, with beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Stanley Herbert. Meet us in the Garden? I can think of no better place to meet!

Before I go for the week, I'd like to nominate my next candidate for Kreativ Blogger (see Monday and Tuesday's blogs)...the wonderful Wurst Semmel at Recycled Rex ( The detail with which WS approaches each episode of Kommissar Rex makes this site the only one on the Web worth looking at for all things about our favourite Austrian police hund.

Enjoy your weekend :)


Stardust said...

Aww, that's so sweet to the birds. I'm hoping to get a bird-waterer soon for the garden soon, though I'm not offering food...

Love your writting. =)

And yes, I hope to acknowledge the prize on blog next week!

Feronia said...

Thanks Stardust :)

Look forward to reading your blog!

DILLY said...

Dilly LUV watch wagonberds in garden!

Dilly see-

collared doves
chaffinches (lots this year)
robin (one- be very territorial)
blue tits
great tits
long tailed tits (be very cute)

Sumtime see sparrowhawk- be very hunty. Swerve down an sumtime tayke uther berd.

Dilly hav lots food in garden for berds an hav 2 berd baths. Be very funny watch berds in barth! Mayke Dilly larf! FNARR!

DILLY said...


wen Mummy be in Ostraylia, see red berds. Think be calld red rozillas? But not be shor.

Dilly think must be fun see parrots in garden!

Feronia said...

Luvley to hear from you, Dilly! You're lucky to have lots of berds visting your garden. Yes, we have red rozillas and also gween ones!

Pina said...

Magpies and ravens have become big problem in my country, and people still don't understand that it is their fault too that they breed so fast.

I have a big plan for this winter (until next spring) - to learn to distinguish most of the birds by singing, so that I will be able to count them by myself by 2011. Well, I know, it is a big project! :)

Feronia said...

What a beautiful idea, Pina. I can recognise a few birds by their song, but not many yet.

Wurst Semmel said...

Ah, that's very kind to nominate Recycled Rex for an award (the first ever! - in fact, I think you may be the only regular reader!)

I'm blushing but thank you!

Feronia said...

You are very deserving of it, WS!