Wednesday 10 February 2010

Pathe-tic News

Brangelina may be claiming a united front, but sadly our free-range lovebirds seem no longer to be an item. We’ve only seen a single bird lately, so the inevitable conclusion has to be that the other has met an untimely end. I watched the survivor sitting on a branch today for more than 10 minutes, calling and calling and getting no answer, poor thing. Anthropomorphic it may be, but he seemed lonely.

Better news is that the bird table, in its summer incarnation of bird bath, is a popular innovation: so far anyway only with the sparrows and doves, but that’s ok. It’s nice to see them drinking deeply before plunging in for a quick splash and a flutter.

Worse news is that the tomatoes are full on at the moment and very popular with the birds, especially one busy but rather dim thrush, who repeatedly picks a cherry tomato off the vine and flies with it into the hen run to eat, whereupon he’s mugged by one of the hens, who instantly gobbles it down – so the thrush flies off to repeat the process, and then so does the hen.

The Baby reports from Brisbane that a cormorant sat on her back and kicked her in the face - a friendly cormorant, she insists. It hardly seems like cormorant behaviour, but better one of them than a pelican, which are also very common in Queensland, lumbering around like Catalinas (reference here to the Solent flying boat we went to see at MOTAT last weekend, the last one to fly the Coral Route through Aitutaki, where we're going next week).

And a report in the paper about moas and cassowaries, which are not apparently related, although I wouldn't want to meet either: not much chance of that with the moa, all eaten by the Maoris; but cassowaries aren't uncommon, frightening people who have heard how they can disembowel a kangaroo (or person) with one slash of their powerful claws. There was one at Adelaide Zoo - she had big eyes and pretty eyelashes, but also cankles.

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