If you want to get to the end now check out the last image . . .
A week or so ago, the sun was shining, the day was warmish & there was no wind or rain, a kind of rarity in these left over days of a long cold & wet winter, a winter that was supposed to have gone well & truly by now. Yes, October is the second month of spring here & while it has dropped flowers from the various budding & flowering trees & bushes, you would hardly know it judging from the stubbornly low temperatures.
I strolled along the drive past the birdhouse, the day was silent except for a little birdsong & the muffled sound coming from those hard at work in the emerging vineyard nearby, a sign of the abundance, the terroir, that is the Barossa Valley. A blue tongue lizard slithered lazily past me into the rocks. I assume it had been asleep nearby, or sunning itself.
Something made me glance up at the birdhouse, up at the side opening in particular. I could see something inside. On closer inspection, I noticed a well ensconced birds nest. Because the birdhouse is kind of higher up, I couldn’t see inside the nest itself, even standing tiptoed.
I thought to myself I don’t recall seeing any signs of a bird nesting in there or seeing a bird gathering supplies from which to build a nest. I saw no obvious visiting by a mother bird. In the end I simply assumed the nest had been left there, abandoned, from a previous nesting. I kept on walking into the spring sun.
Of course, due to the long cold & wet winter, I hand’t walked past the birdhouse in quite a few months. The closest I got to it was when I drove past. It’s located down in front of the house along the track under a lemon scented gum tree. You pass it as you drive by. I realised, I hadn’t observed, or noticed, anything at the birdhouse because I hadn’t been near it,
It never occurred to me that it was in use.
The 4 shots above were taken on 29 Sep 2021.
A few days later, down near the birdhouse again, I became curious. While no bird was in sight signalling residence & I had no evidence the nest was in use, something told me to look more closely. Of course I was very careful not to touch or disturb anything.
Because the birdhouse is higher up I found a brick upon which to place my foot & lean up against the structure to stretch up & see into the nest. Alas, I still couldn’t see into the nest. Hmph.
I figured I would try to take a shot using my phone. I held it up against the opening while pointing it down at the nest to take the shot. As awkward as it was the process worked!
I quickly stepped back down & opened the image to find 4 eggs as captured above – 4 blue green speckled eggs, I was so surprised & so delighted.
I had no idea if a mother bird was incubating the eggs. I knew not to touch the nest or linger too long in case I spooked the mother bird.
The 2 shots above were taken on 3 Oct 2021.
All images in this post were taken via my phone held up high enough to view into the birdhouse.
In the following days I started watching, discreetly.
Sure enough, the little mother bird attended to her nest throughout the day sitting on it for periods of time. I could see she was never far away. She would flutter & glide around nearby, with her friends, lodging herself in the nearby bushes. She seem to sit on the nest during the day on & off. When I drove past I would glance up & see her well ensconced with her brood.
Again, a few days later, I decided to repeat the process using my phone to see what, if anything, was going on in the nest. Of course whenever I took photos, mother bird was not present.
And look what my phone revealed – quadruplets!
What a wonderful thing to observe so closely . . . spring in full session, mother nature at work, the cycle of life in progress.
Nestlings. No feathers. Baby birds like this won’t survive long outside the protection of the nest.
Now, as I drive or walk by, I glance across & up & see mother bird sitting on her nest nursing & mothering her babies.
I never imagined this old birdhouse would be made into a home for chicks to hatch & grow up in!
The 3 above shots were taken on 7 Oct 2021. The image above was taken from the side opening allowing me to see through to the front opening.
Upward pointed beaks of course.
The 2 images above were taken yesterday 12 Oct 2021.
Growing up fast.
The hungry babies with their mouths open wide waiting for Mum to drop in the food. What a bright yellow coloured gape surrounded by those bright yellow lips! The babies’ mother will place food into each nestling’s mouth.
3 images above taken today 13 Oct 2021.
And check out this one also taken today!