The birds in our yard

We have many birds in our yard but on Christmas day there were two special birds in the yard.  This feather tells all. Do you know what bird this feather comes from?


It’s not from these birds (Trichoglossus haematodus or Rainbow Lorikeet)

and it’s not from these birds either ( Cacatua roseicapilla or Galah)

nor is it from this bird (Egretta novaehollandiae or White-faced Heron)

It’s not from my magpies either (Gymnorhina tibicen), the magpies (and the butcher birds) are something I’m going to dearly miss with my upcoming move from the balcony suite to the master wing, no more will the magpies on the washing line be the first thing I see and hear in the morning.

It’s not from the crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) either


nor is it the Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) who sometimes comes to visit and it is most definitely not from the Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis), it is also most definitely not from the  Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) who think they rule the roost in the front yard.

The feather comes from the birds known as Podargus strigoides, which bird is that you ask? Why it is this delightful creature.

Yes, that is a Tawny Frogmouth, well not just one but two! The above photo was taken on Christmas Day, we were patching some holes in the tent before my departure for Woodford the following morning when I looked up and saw these fellas in the tree. The one at the front of the above photo is a juvenile whilst the mature one is in the background. Mother and I were quite tickled pink at seeing these birds in our yard, if Pabbi was still alive he would have been tickled pink to see these as well, he adored taking photos of the birds in the back yard. On that note I’m sure Grandad would have been chuffed as well knowing we had Tawny Frogmouths in the the yard as well.

The parent bird is watching us.


We weren’t sure how long they would stay in the yard so imagine my delight when I came home from Woodford and saw this face in the Silky Oak. It’s the juvenile! Hello you Tawny Frogmouth.

Oh hello Tawny Frogmouth!


Sadly though, I’ve not seen them in our yard in the last week, each day I scour the trees hoping that at least one of them has returned. I do so hope they make an appearance when my brother Karl and his partner Kata come to visit in February. I am so dearly looking forward to not only finally meeting Kata (she was unfortunately in Russia when we were in Iceland last year in 2010, we met one of her sisters though!) but also to having Karl “home” for a little while. Whilst Kata is going to see sooo many things on their seven week jaunt to Australia as Karl shows they lady who has his heart Australia the country in which he was raised it would just be quite something special if there was Tawny Frogmouths in the backyard when they arrived. I’ll just have to talk to the trees and see what they can arrange.

I remember the first time I saw a Tawny Frogmouth, were were on a pre-school excursion to Coochiemudlo Island and there was one perched in the rafters of one of the toilet blocks. We were ushered in ever so quietly by our teacher to look at it.

Well that is the story of some of the birds who like to hang out in the back yard. Their stories are not quite as adventuerous or humerous as the blue tounge lizard clan that resides over at MMMC but I wouldn’t trade my birds for all the world.

Three pictures, three parts of today.

Doing laps.
Spent some time with Grandad today – we did laps round the ward, practised his exercises and of course read the paper. Hopefully he won’t be at the hospital too much longer and respite care can be found which will make it a little easier in some ways.

Spring Flowers in waiting.
Spring Flowers in waiting
A sizeable number of Primulas have been planted in the front garden beds so there will be Spring flowers again (I said to Mum just after moving back in that I wished she would put plants in the front bed again – her answer to me of course was something along the lines of “you’re old enough to plant the bed yourself” so I did).

And then there is study.

Best done with a Kit-Kat of course. The flavour pictured is Shinshu Apple. It’s a sweet slightly fake apple taste.


There were flight delays out of Singapore and again out of Sydney but finally a plane landed in Brisbane carrying four special people. My brother, my sister-in-law and my two nieces. One of the first things they girls did when they arrived was hopped on the net, spoke to each other on MSN and played various Flash games. This photo is so much more than just a girl at a laptop, it is Birta, in the living room of my parent’s house in Australia playing on my laptop and that makes me smile.

so much joy

One of the things Karl did shortly after he arrived yesterday was to have a little look through the camera bag I had with me. Today, though he had more of a play with my lenses and I had a little play with his 24mm f/2.8, which let me take this image.


This afternoon after the girls had a little nap, all of us bar Mum and Pabbi went to the park and played French Cricket for a while which was a total ball and I am looking forward to quite a few more French Cricket games between now and Christmas Day. Oh I am so looking forward to the next few weeks! Tomorrow I am back at work though after taking the last two days off for the arrival of the Icelandic contingent.

baby birds

It is that time of year in Brisbane when the streets are filled with squawks and squeaks of baby Noisy Miners. One crazy couple decided that one of the palm trees on our driveway was the perfect place to put their nest, they “wove” together three fronds, two to form the base and one to cover the nest. It was just their luck that we didn’t have any big winds as the nest would have hit the ground pretty quickly.

We watched the birds, three or four of them fly into to feed the babies and if you stood in the right place in our garden you could sometimes see the little heads poke up out of the nest for a feed. We could hear them all the time though. Each baby had its own squawk and for the week or two when they were there we loved it. Every day as I walked up the street home from work, I would pause in the garden and go “hello birdies”.

Friday last week though, I came up the street and I could hear the squawks and the squeaks but now they were coming from a different place, no longer up in the palm tree. Where had the babies gone? Had they fallen out of the nest? Pabbi and Mum did not know where they had gone. 🙁

I went out to look at my herbs on the front verandah (something I do quite often and marvel at the size of the leaves on the lettuce leaf basil) and to listen to the squarks to see if I could find the baby birds. I sat on the steps and listened and listened. Then I saw one, a little downy fuzz ball on the ground beneath the mock orange. I rushed inside to tell Mum and Pabbi. Then sitting in the kitchen we saw the other one in a branch in the middle of the mock orange.
Oh it was quite an evening watching in particular the little fuzz ball as it tried to fly, he would get up somewhere to perch, then he would fall back down. The funniest thing then happened when Ma, Pa and big sibling bird all flew at the fuzz ball and he flew a good 8m to the tree where they were perched.

The next morning, the largest baby was perched high in a tree in our front garden but little fuzz ball was on the fence between our house and our next door neighbours on the topside. There it was perched on the cyclone wire fence. Oh the ache it caused though because they have a dog. In saying that though the kept the dog inside that Saturday whilst the little fuzz ball explored the area, demanded feeding and practised flying. The entire time there was an older Noisy Miner perched a little way away keeping guard, sometimes flying down with food or standing guard whilst the parents flew down with food.

Getting Fed
Getting Fed

Perched on the fence
little fuzz ball

The Guard
the guard aka older sibling

Little Fuzz Ball on the tree outside my window.
and again
little fuzz ball again

Come Sunday morning, they were gone 🙁 🙁 :(. We still hear the squawks and squeaks of baby nosiy miners in round the street but they are not the little babies who kept us delighted.

In the backyard

Clivia miniata

Two photos from last weekend when I was playing in the backyard with the camera and my 85mm 1.8 that came the other week. Dragged the extension tubes out for one of the flower, which is a Clivia. Then the wind picked up and made it hard to keep the macro shots in focus long enough to take a photo so I turned the camera on to me 😀

in the backyard