Monday, November 26, 2012

Hidden Treasure

A couple of weeks ago while having a walk round the garden I spotted this lovely nest!  It's quite low down in a rose bush....

It belongs to Mrs Blackbird.....

"Here in the fork the brown nest is seated,
four little blue eggs the Mother keeps heated!'
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Can you see her?    she's a hidden treasure....

I love the birds that live in our garden, we have lots of resident Thrushes, Blackbirds, Red Polls, Greenlinnets, Goldfinches, Sparrrows, Hedgesparrows, Yellowhammers, sometimes Skylarks out in the paddock, the little owls in the big Macrocarpas, the Blue Herons which also reside in the Macrocarpas, Starlings (not a fav with me, although they do eat grass grubs ..which is good) but they are so messy and always trying to build nests in sheds etc, Swallows that flit about catching the summer we have Fantails, and Bellbirds. In the winter the little Waxeyes live here but they disappear in the spring..maybe they build their nests in native bush?  At the moment there are a lot of Chaffinches very busy popping about carefully choosing nesting materials, they seem to nest a little later than a lot of the other birds.  The husband brought this little nest he found blown out of a tree inside for me....

 I looked in a  book to try and identify the architect of this amazing wee eco structure and I think it belonged to a little chaffinch..they use moss, wool, hair (I see some donkey hair included), they bind it together with cobwebs (isn't that just magical!), this one is lined with thistledown all soft and clever doing all this with beaks and little feet!

 This little Mr Chaffinch was having a break away from building and maybe the wife and kids! 
He's so handsome!

I was reading the other day that a lot of these birds were introduced to NZ in Dunedin by a Mr Richard Bills in 1871, he made a living importing birds for acclimatisation societies, he arrived in Dunedin with a 1000 birds!

I sighed aloud when I read that he had brought over some Robins, but only brought males as he thought the females would be too drab and people wouldn't want to buy wonderful would it have been to have had Robins!!...very Secret Garden!

In the same book was part of a poem by John Clare, 

Five eggs, pen scribbled o'er with ink their shells,
Resembling writing scrolls, which Fancy reads
As Nature's poesy and pastoral spells-
They are the yellowhammer's and she dwells
Most poet like, 'mid brooks and flowery weeds.

Last week planted some Nasturtium seeds, A bit like Calendulas's most people get them to grow like weeds and I struggle to get them to grow at all...
anyway they were buried treasure and didn't take long to pop up,

they are doing well so far...

Old saying...If I keep a green bough in my heart,
the singing bird will come.....

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