As we move through our second week of Covid contact isolation (which means no leaving home or making personal contact) and the extended Sydney lock-down, as Delta continues its rapid spread here in many places close to home, my wife and I have been enjoying our time together, as she continues to work from home and I continue writing my 3rd book. During our coffee and lunch breaks in our courtyard while enjoying the warm winter sun, the Primulas and Pansies are flowering in all their glory.
When we enjoy our breaks together in the courtyard, my wife checks the Crested Pigeon nest which is well hidden deep within the tree branches, with her binoculars. The Crested Pigeon is one of our many native pigeons found all over Australia. We discovered several days ago, in extreme gale forced winds, 2 fluffy additional bodies perched huddled together, away from the nest, with both parents deep inside the tree as the tree swayed with the icy cold winter wind gusting and howling up to 95 km/hr (59 m/h). Occasionally a parent would stand guard across the road and watch the nest in the wind. Notice the crest bent over and feathers blown.
We checked them the next day, they survived, and watched the parents do a tag team feeding tour, back and forth, also collecting an occasional throat full of water from our birdbaths below the tree to take to the thirsty fledglings.
The next day in the warm sun the weather had settled and we got some glimpses of the babies catching some Vitamin D.
I had been vigilant listening from my office for any alarm calls from the pigeons and Miners who now also oversee the welfare of the pigeon family, occasionally sending a scout to check they are alright. On several occasions now I have come to the assistance of the pigeon family when under attack by the local Currawong pair who you see hear enjoying the facilities, but the one in the tree is also covertly checking noticing the nest, and hearing hoot of the adult pigeon warning.
as well a Australian Ravens which have also taken a recent interest. You may remember this clip from last week:
Thankfully the sound of a dozen Noisy Miners mobbing the Raven and Currawong, brought me to the pigeons assistance, as I call out the Miners chase off the intruders. I have come to respect my resident miner coalition and they have, like the pigeons, and several other birds, come to trust us and allow us to watch them bathe and drink from our birdbaths.
On several occasions the parent Crested has come and landed right next to me while sitting or standing in the courtyard, as if to say “How are things going ?” On two occasions it flew and landed right next to me for protection, being pursued by predator birds, which I chased off. Yesterday one of the new juvenile pigeons lost its way and ended up at the back door, looking a little scared, yet not terrified.
We were at a loss as to what to do as we did not want the bird rejected by the parent so we left it alone and brought water, but it just sat and waited, allowing me to get close. While I hung out the washing I heard the parent calling it in, and in seconds it flew up into the tree and made its way back to the nest, calling back to the parent.
These generally quiet, soft voiced, placid birds have an additional way of communicating danger and their intentions, by using the sound generated by their wing beats. They can signal their partner and young by the intensity and tone.
After lunch in the sun yesterday, we left some crumbs on the table for the Pigeons, which we do not normally do for wild birds, but these have almost become wild pets to us, and any food at this time will only help their busy cause. This morning I saw a parent pecking up the crumbs. Their normal diet is native grass seeds and plant seeds as well as insects and some leaves.
It was quiet near the nest today as the cold winds return. Not many birds attended the bath today,just the wing sounds of the parents running the food tag-team, as one comes in the other leaves, and so their day is spend feeding their young.
Despite our lock-down and forced isolation we were lovingly provided for as we enjoyed our resident bird family, bringing another live pair of replacements into the world. How wonderful is that, and we can see most of it from our sun room windows !
Have a wonderful week and stay safe and warm. To my friends also in lock-down, hoping that this wave resolves soon. It now appears our holiday is postponed again, and only God knows when I will have time with my grandchildren again after 2 years of disappointing cancellations.
I received another encouraging comment this week on how my books have blessed a family, which I will briefly share: The parent, a nurse, shared how grateful she was for my book “What Birds Teach Us” and how her husband and herself have been reading the book to their Kindergarten child each night. She shared how he is excited to learn the names and identify the many birds in the book, and that he is really enjoying it. She also shared how she wants to purchase several more copies for gifts to her extended family. Click here to purchase your copy safely online, it could also be a book to help young ones through the Covid lock-down and keep them busy.
If you are a birder and have grandchildren or nieces and nephews, why not introduce them to our Aussie birds and at the same time assist them to navigate their formative years with positive, helpful life skills that will help develop their character to make wise life choices for a happy and healthy life.
Looking through old holiday pics I found the New Zealand thermal pools and geysers. These reminded me of the current tensions, pressures and anxieties bubbling up beneath the surface in our country at the moment as many of us are in forced lock-down in an attempt to quell the incredibly infectious Delta strain of Covid recently introduced by overseas travelers. Grief and disappointment run high. Our holiday is cancelled, but that is miner to the many who have lost livelihoods and even members of their family because of this virus. It is a time to refocus on what is important to our lives, God is trying to get the world’s attention.
Human effort alone will not quell the virus, especially while there are people who believe it is a hoax or they have authority issues about obeying the health orders. As we sit at home deep in thought reflecting, we realize that we can’t plan tomorrow any more, and we need to live a day at a time and be thankful for each moment and breath we breathe.
That we have enough food for today, somewhere to live and some one who loves us and cares for us. These reflections of our Creator connecting with each of us, making us aware that he provides everything we need and have, it is ours but only on lone. We are each deeply loved and each of us unique and individual, created to enjoy loving relationship with those we share this space with and with our Creator, who reflects his love in his generosity in allowing us to enjoy and share in it in this our life. We enter this world with nothing but our lives and leave it the same. The words of the world’s wisest man Solomon, who also was the world’s most wealthy and powerful man in his time:“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the disobedient he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 2:22-25
“The Lord will keep you in perfect peace, as you long as you keep your mind and thoughts directed to him, as you trust in him.” – Isaiah 26:3
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‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,
So we can learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’
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