Friday, November 27, 2015

Restaurant for flying visitors

Recently, last week in fact, I shared an experience with just 20 million other people on the planet that day. It was my birthday. (Do the maths ... 7.3 billion on Earth, 365 days a year, average of 20 million people have a birthday each day. Don't worry, you're still special!) 

My Pammy is an all-time champion gift buyer, present wrapper, card sender and general rememberer of everyone's birthday, and so this year she found this nice garden gnome bird feeder for me, along with some other lovely thoughtful gifts. All I had to do was add some seed.

It just so happens that I always have a little bag of birdseed on hand, and my best customers for free bird seed are a two very gentle turtle-doves who have just successfully raised a chick over the recent late winter/early spring period. Though I try not to make them dependent on me for seed, whenever the mood takes me to put some out, they're there in a flash.

So it didn't take long for them to discover their new bird feeding guy. (In case you're wondering who the white-streaked green gnome is, he's a plastic money-box gnome who I keep under shelter, just beside my shed door. He's filled with sand so he doesn't blow over, and he does door-stop duty when needed.) The doves patiently take turn to feed. Soon after I took this photo, the one feeding stopped, hopped off, and the other hopped up for some seed.

In case you're wondering "are turtle-doves native to Australia?" my bird reference book says "no". They are native to South-East Asia and southern China, and were introduced to Australia from the 1860s onwards (like a great many Australian residents, come to think of it).

They're the gentlest, most docile birds I know. These two have been an item for a few years now, and I hope that I'm not spoiling them with the occasional extra feeds. They do look a bit porky, though, don't they?

So "thank you" Pammy for the lovely gnome bird-feeder, it's a classy addition to our gnome-friendly, bird-friendly garden.