Life – and death?

swallowI was delighted to see my Welcome Swallow couple back, swinging on my verandah fairy lights and re-occupying their nest on the rafter. I meant to do a post for you when the eggs hatched, as she seemed to be sitting most of the time now.

However after a few days away, no sign of either of them, on the nest or on the light strings or in the sky. All I found were small feathers in the base of the shower and what could have been dried blood – or was it dampened remnants of the red dust storm of that week?

Whatever happened — they’re both gone.

Saddened by this, I was doubly delighted to see the male Maned Wood Duck in the yard, but wondered where the female was. I hoped she hadn’t been taken too!
wood-ducks-1Next day my concern was erased.

Outside the yard fence, poking about along the edge of the mown grass, there they were — a whole family. The pair were leading five little ducklings, which I couldn’t see clearly as they must have been admonished to stick close to cover.

8 thoughts on “Life – and death?”

  1. Hi Sandi. How kind of them to sit in such a spot for you to watch! Yes last year I did a series of posts on their progress (in the Archives somewhere here!) and the babies almost all made it. I wonder if the parents here are alive and trying again?

  2. Hi Sharyn!
    We had a family of Swallows here last year and were privileged to be able to watch the babies learn to fly! They used to sun themselves on top of the hot water service (which we could see from the kitchen window and flying lessons took place from the low mesh fence on that side of the house) It was such a delight! There are more around this year but I don’t know where they are nesting! I believe they are a good omen in China….

  3. Hi Gaye,
    And aren’t Willy Wagtails a delight to have about to watch? I think they were the first bird I could put a name to, as my Dad loved them.

  4. Hello Sharyn,

    Like you, I am also always saddened by empty nests, despite it often being a natural occurrence. It is fabulous to know that native creatures choose to make their homes close by, though, and that you have a hand in providing some suitable habitat.

    Early this morning while at my computer, a Willie Wagtail was kicking up a fuss when a raven showed up, so I must scan the large deciduous tree (still without a name) out the front to see if the Willies have chosen to nest in my front yard. I have found all sorts of delightful surprises in my garden since returning home.


  5. Yes, too bad about the Swallow family. Even though it is a part of nature, it always bothers me. I do hope the ducklings survive.
    Nothing so cute as they are when they or young.
    And yes, I too love the change in your site. A surprise picture
    appearing each time is so typical of what your post is like!!
    Thanks for making my days brighter!! DWG

  6. Hi Denis,
    I didn’t think the swallow babies had even hatched yet; not fair! Haven’t seen the ducklings again. Hope they are well hidden.
    And Fred my webmaster has the Top RH pic as an auto rolling show! So I get a surprise too.

  7. Hi Sharyn.
    Sad news, but it happens. Currawongs and even Owls make a practice of raiding Swallow nests, apparently.
    Nice to see the Wood Duck(lings).
    I see you have changed your featured format/photos.
    I like the misty valley shot. Greedy Possum is up there at the moment.

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