BBQ and Birds

This week I’ve seen enough rainbows for a life time. Heywood is part of what is called the Green Triangle – the part of Victoria that didn’t suffer from the recent droughts.

It was another wet week and we carted boxes from the shed in between rain drops. I was worried we’d be trapped in the motel room again all week, but in fact this week flew by. This was helped by a number of factors:

For starters, I had a short week. It’s time for round one of fun-with-visas. First step: Find a lawyer.

Secondly, the archive work is progressing well and the shed is just about half cleared. Nothing raises the spirits like spring cleaning gone well.

And third and most tasty, the power went out on Monday. I missed this bit of excitement, but I was back to work in time to learn that the meat in the fridge had started to defrost. The field crew, it was explained, expects to be well fed during the firefighting season, and, that time of the year having just passed, there were about 50 choice cuts of beef in danger of ruin. We can’t let that go to waste can we? Wednesday we had lunch.

In a side note, it’s bird mating season. At home, this means waiting to see those cute little sparrows feeding their eager young. But folks, we are in Australia and there isn’t much cute around here. To compensate for the harsh environment certain birds nest in open fields so they can see predators coming. When agitated they swoop at the offender, targeting the eyes and using spurs on their wings to maim and send creators of all sizes running away whimpering.

One of these birds is nesting in the DSE office yard.

The first week we spend terrified that our eyes were going to get pecked out.

Last week we learned that this particular bird – the masked plover – doesn’t actually strike it’s targets; “its just trying to scare you” said the local newspaper article. I stopped fearing this species and became terrified of accidentally disturbing Magpie parents nesting on our route back to the hotel. Those guys are out to get you.

This week we were brave enough to take pictures. Well some of us – this is my colleague’s hand defending herself as she bravely makes a run for it (bird in background).

The poor birds spend so much time defending their young they are hardly on the nest. We don’t think the little ones will make it so we are just dealing with the swooping until they abandon it and try again at another spot. I feel badly that the parents are always so agitated, but the thought struck me at one point that this may be the only time that I can safely “we were here first. “

Comments are closed.