31 August 2010

wild life

Encounters with wildlife have been plentiful lately.

Yesterday there were three Tawny Frogmouths sitting as still as statues in the tree above the trampoline, upon which two boys were going ballistic with a soccer ball.

tawny frogmouth after the rain

I saw my first wombat around here! (I've seen them elsewhere, and in nature reserves before). I was driving Son #1 to soccer and it was noodling about by the side of the road - after we passed I saw it crossing the road behind us in a most leisurely fashion. I flashed my lights at an oncoming line of traffic and the guy in front waved and nodded. I watched in my rear vision mirror as he braked and held up the long line of traffic and Wombat Divine made it safely to the other side of the road.

Another day last week I pulled into our friend's driveway, reporting for carpool duty, and came to a stop beside a large kangaroo. It watched suspiciously as the little kids exited the car to get in the friend's car (for the ride to primary school) and the big kids all got in mine (for the ride to secondary school), then it casually loped off down the side of the house round toward the clothesline. If the other neighbours had looked out their bathroom window at that time they would have seen a big grey roo going past only a few centimetres away. (They're probably used to it, there are heaps of kangaroos around that particular group of houses).

That night, coming back from taking Son #2 to a party, I came *this* close to hitting a wallaby that leapt out from behind a tree and skidded across the road in front of me.

Son #2 has reported seeing the echidna again, who has been notably absent for a few months. I'm glad to hear he's alive and kicking. The mister said he saw one curled in a ball by the side of the road recently while walking the dog, but possibly the presence of a large greyhound was responsible for the just-pretend-I'm-a-spiky-soccerball act.

The mister also reports that a mob of about 20 kangaroos spend their days lazing about outside the loungeroom windows of the house he's working in at the moment. Rolling around on their backs and everything apparently.

The kookaburras are everywhere right now.

kookaburra by the swing

As are the usual Rosellas and Swift Parrots.

And my babies of course ...

distrustful glance

Oh! And most exciting - a pair of Gang-gang Cockatoos have been hanging about. I heard that familiar creaky door sound the other day and looked up to see the silhouettes of two cockies flying overhead, but couldn't make them out. Then that afternoon I heard them creak again and there they were, sitting in a tree near the front door. I've heard them a few times since, but not been able to get a good photo.

Our resident Welcome Swallows have returned to their little mud nest above the laundry door (a mud nest on a mudbrick house).

House Swallow

They arrive every August and in a few weeks we will be hearing the pitterpatter of tiny baby Swallow feet ...

baby swallow

There is a rooster in the garden at the bottom of our hill, and I swear, I'm going to be making chicken curry if it doesn't stop crowing at all hours of the day and night.

The Dalmatian next door is still as mad as a cut snake but lovably goofy.

The rabbits continue to eat everything I plant in the garden.

The other morning we were awoken in the pre-dawn gloom by the unearthly shrieks of a rabbit being taken by a fox. And so the cycle of life continues.

As for mine own wild life, I am off to craft camp this weekend with a bunch of wild wonderful women. Can't wait.

24 comments:

Apple Tree Dream said...

Sounds very magical. Enjoy the craft weekend.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow - what a beautifully animal-rich environment you live in -- I'd love it! I had to go look up the wombat because I couldn't remember what they look like. The description said they have an upside down pouch -- which is good 'cause they can't scoop dirt in over their babies, but it seem like the babies would fall out! Lovely post Suse!

Stomper Girl said...

Your photos are always lovely but the owl one is especially so. I'm rather partial to wols.

Lynn said...

You're really working overtime in the tantalization department, aren't you. Amazing wildlife, craft camps, the perfectly crafted cup of chai...

Okay, okay, I'm moving in.

BabelBabe said...

see, I could totally homeschool. i would just make them read your post for wildlife, Australian.

Mary said...

Aren't we so lucky to live where we live!

Thinking of you all this weekend.

bec said...

Dalmatians are always mad, aren’t they? But then border collies are supposedly always neurotic while ours is only mildly OCD.

Love the welcome swallow nest.

kim at allconsuming said...

OH how utterly divine.

Jo Windmill said...

oh oh oh the swallow babies1!

peppermintpatcher said...

I love a frogmouth and they way they assume that you just can't see them.

Moorecat said...

Sigh. Wombat Divine was my favourite book to read the kidlets at the Christmas end of the year.

I used to pretend that the emu pronounced it "Di-vaahn" :)

zephyr said...

i'm imagining that frogmouths are more than a bit miffed at the name humans have given them.
Love seeing your wildlife posts...and being reminded just how marvelous your side of the globe is.

eurolush said...

Brain cannot process kangaroo in driveway...might as well be an elephant...or a rhino. So foreign. (Tell me, was it wearing boxing gloves?)

Actually, I have trouble imagining the possibility of Cockatoos and parrots in the trees just outside. And walabis on the road! And wombats taking a stroll! Mind-blowing, really. Makes the deer, storks and foxes around here seem...lame.

Love your wildlife update. Of course, I am a bit partial to the magpies...your feathered, naughty children.

Will have to send a link to this post to my mom...who is your biggest fan in Atlanta...when I'm not home, that is.

XX E

Elaine said...

Love your wildlife and birdlife post. Here in Toronto we miss seeing all the Australian fauna and flora that we loved when we lived there. Thanks!!

sueeeus said...

Your pictures, as always, are so fantastic!

WV today is 'flies'. Appropos!

Isabelle said...

I want a wombat.

craftydabbler said...

What is that beautiful black and white bird called?

Suse said...

It's a magpie! They have the most beautiful birdsong in the world. (See my archives for some footage where you can listen to them)

Penni said...

Oh, yes, it's been a good year for birds. Do you think with all this rain everything's feeling romantic and fertile?

Echidnas hibernate, which is why he has been awol for a few months (I only found this out after I moved here). I think our echidna must have perished in the fires though (do they wander that far?), or been hit by a car because we didn't see him last spring).

Meggie said...

Enjoy your weekend!!

fiveandtwo said...

Love this post. Wombat Divine is a splendid book. Even though Clare and Al are on to chapter books and all there're a number of picture books that we love reading. Wombat Divine is one of them.

louise said...

We have kookas everywhere at the moment too

Di said...

We saw a tawny frogmouth last weekend.
At the Zoo.
Where we also saw tiger cubs, seals and the 9 month old baby elephant, amongst other things (but missed the 1 week old by a day!)

Susanne said...

How interesting to learn about the colorful wildlife around your area. Thanks for sharing with wonderful pictures.