By Maureen Cooper, Wooragee Landcare
On the 7th November at 2.30pm I was sitting in the shade at the dam closest to the house, hoping to see the Eastern Long-necked turtle that is now living in the dam. A flock of Superb Fairy-wrens was hopping around near my chair and I saw that one was probably only just out of the nest. It was certainly the youngest of the group.
Suddenly five White-browed Babblers flew down and attacked the wrens. The babblers usually nest in a nearby Callistemon so I suppose they were protecting their territory. All the wrens flew over to the other side of the dam but the youngest didn’t make it and fell into the water about a metre from the bank. This wonderful little bird then used its wings like oars and rowed itself to a clump of rushes at the water’s edge and climbed up the stems.
It stayed there for half an hour and the other wrens stayed close by and kept calling to it. Then I saw it flutter to a clump of grass on the bank and it did its begging act. It was immediately fed by one of the females and more food arrived five minutes after that. I watched for another hour and the amount of food that was transferred to that gaping beak was amazing.
The next day I was watching a pair of Striated Pardalotes carrying lerps to their young but I couldn’t see where the nest hole was. They kept vanishing beside the large pipes that form the basis of my bridge across the creek. I examined both sides of the bridge walls and couldn’t see anything so I sat on the opposite side from where I saw them vanish to see if they were flying through a pipe to a hole in the bank or among the large rocks that are on top of the pipes. I could see them reflected in the water in the pipe but they still vanished. Then the penny dropped. They were using an old Fairy Martin Nest that was clinging to the roof of the pipe. It only took me an hour to locate the nest!!!
Everyone should take time to just sit and see what Mother Nature will present to them. We would all have a much greater appreciation of how hard our birds work to raise their young.