Surprise Guests Drop In For A Spot of Lunch
A cloudy day and the rainbow lorikeets are flying over to the fruit trees in the neighbouring paddocks. Our mulberries have long been eaten and we haven't seen our old friends for some weeks now. The magpies and butcherbirds have been chatting. Wendy magpie is now two years old and almost fully adult colours. Except for her size which is slightly bigger than Sophie, she is really hard to distinguish from her older sister, especially from a distance. Kerry butcherbird too is two years old and almost adult colours and similarly difficult to tell apart from his older brother Dimpy (now three years old) , all except for their different signature songs by which they announce themselves. I wonder which one of our young adults is going to venture abroad first. I so hate having to say goodbye to any of them, and console myself with the knowledge that they are leading full bird lives and love their travels, adventures, lifestyle and freedom. March-April are the months when the older kids leave home and I hope like their siblings before them they are going to tell us when they are ready to leave and show us which direction they are headed.
A pair of rainbow lorikeets land on the washing line interrupting my musings much to my delight. These are the birds who would sit in the mulberry tree with Wendy and had let me sweet talk them into coming out hiding from behind the leaves to pose for some shots on more than one occasion. This time they sat in full view while their magpie and butcherbird friends were pottering on the grass below. I asked them to wait there while I went in to get the camera and let me take some more shots. They listened and were still swinging from the line when I returned, totally unperturbed by my movements or the sudden appearance of a big shiny eye on my face. But there were more surprises in store...
The bolder of the pair decided to hop down and join Wendy and gang on the grass. The magpies and butcherbirds didn't seem to mind at all and soon the shier lorikeet joined her mate. I kept thanking all of them as I zoomed the lens into focus and took as many shots as I could. The lorikeets sampled some bread and our regulars let them with no protest or attitude. The lorikeets were their guests and friends. Not only did they know each other from the mulberry tree, but they also shared the trees in the bush. When Wendy left decided to try a sip of the nectar as well. Chimpkin was a bit surprised as the lorikeets had never sat on the grevillea shrubs before. But the noisy-miner too treated them as guests and didn't put on their normal territorial 'this is my shrub' behaviour. The lorikeets had a really good drink to wash down their bread, while Chimpkin sat on the line. Sadly, I ran out of memory card at that point and put the camera down. The lorikeets seeing they had no 'big eye' to pose for, continued to other paddocks.
Vicky, Dimpy and Chimpkin looked at me with great pride - had they not done the right thing by making the lorikkets feel welcome and letting me photograph them all? I thanked all my birds. They never cease to amaze me.
Take a look at the slideshow below for a peek at the birds.
(click on the 'next' button to forward through the slides).
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