Monday, March 24, 2014

The Grey Shrike Thrush is Back

I can hear one just outside the kitchen window, but not see it.
I took this photo seven years ago at my previous home and am longing to get a clear shot at one here.

Grey Shrike-thrush (cropped)
The call is a delight ... and can be heard at the Australian Birds in Backyards, here.

Along with the thrush, the blue wrens are hopping about on the ground and the thornbills are racketing around in the Eucalypts' foliage.

Or it would be but for the sun directly behind them  :)

*puts the camera away and "just" enjoys watching*

At least if they build a nest here they will be safer than in Stirling, in suburbia and only 6k away.
The previous owners there had hand fed birds, including kookaburras.
If we had a BBQ on our deck outside as many as five Kookaburras would arrive and sit on the handrail, waiting to be fed.
They would fly up into the trees and eat and then return for seconds.

Not only that; if we cooked meat in the kitchen, the exhaust fan over the grill would release enough of that smell to call them!.

As a consequence, the population of Kookaburras (which predate on other birds' young) had exploded.
Our next door neighbours who ran a marvelous (and highly recommended)  B&B really appreciated the many birds close by, but the costs to the environment are high..

This little thrush in the picture made its nest in the crown of a large tree fern.
Each time it raised a baby it was picked out and eaten by the Kookaburras.

(Had we stayed we'd have rigged chicken wire over the top of the fern, of a size the thrush could get through, but not the Kookaburras, but didn't think of that until too late.)
Way too much of our general "good will" has had catastrophic results :(

And the B&B?