G’day www People,
The number of sightings reported this season of birds we don’t normally see too many of, is a good indicator of how different the weather has been for the last several months. Farmers dams are full, lagoons are brimming, even golf courses are green, yey!
I have quite regularly spotted White-necked and Nankeen Night Herons, Great Egrets and Buff-banded Rails around the dams and waterholes in the district but I was chuffed to have a rail run across the driveway at home here a few days back. We have a small garden dam in the front yard that catches water tank overflow and grey water from the house, and the Buff-banded Rail dashed from a garden on one side of the driveway into the dam paddock.
Over the ensuing days I ‘monitored’ things for a bit and discovered there was a pair. I’d seen a rail or two on the golf course next door and assumed ‘my’ pair were occasional visitors from the course.
The garden birds seemed to be present too consistently to be visitors and then I noticed they were getting grubs and insects from the mulch in the garden and returning to the dam paddock with beaks full. Could it be? Some more intensive monitoring was required.
Eventually I caught a glimpse of two small black balls of fluff dash across the driveway with dad ahead and mum behind. Too quick for my camera work – I have lots of close up shots of the gravel in my driveway if anyone would like to see?
Late one evening, I sprung the family a little further away from the dam than usual. Instead of dashing across, they ‘went to ground’ in the garden and it became a matter of waiting for them to break cover. As time passed, the light began to fade dramatically and I was struggling to get an image on the camera without using the flash. This was the best I could do and I’ve decided to leave them alone for a bit now.
Nice to have them so close to home, I’ve been entertained for hours without having to drive anywhere.