I just have to tell you about what’s going on around our pretty little rural acreage. The place is jumping! It’s spring for real. There are races going on for best soil real estate as weeds and immature vegetables vie for space. Trees we planted last autumn are raising their small arms and flexing tiny leaves as sap is rising. I’m sure if I listen very carefully, I can hear growth spurts. The established gardens are behaving in a bolshy manner, strutting their prolific blossoms unashamedly, like China Pink here:

China Pink

But all this brouhaha is a side show to the main attraction: the birds. We’ve had this property for 8 years and there’s never been a show like this season’s. We get eastern rosellas, galahs, king parrots, and white-headed pigeons in rotation coming to our bird feeder. Sometimes they come at the same time, and I’m surprised by their politesse, given the size and number of birds compared with the table that’s laid for them. There’s even a female king parrot who will eat out of my hand.

King

  Walking through the garden, there will be a sudden swoop of a kookaburra as it leaves its sentry position on the hills hoist or gate post. In the forest behind our house, in the shrubs and thickets perch brown cuckoo doves, pheasant coucals, tiny wrens, pied butcher birds, and wattle birds. Lately a duck family has moved onto our land, even though there’s not a pond in sight for them to paddle in.

Galah

Last week, for the first time and several times since, we’ve had a goshawk hovering around the house, looking for prey. The bird’s flight pattern lets it stop dead-set in the air to get a good look at what’s below it, hopefully a well-fed reptile. There are more: the maggies and native mynahs, not showy but they have their place. Then, there are the seasonal visitors: black yellow-tail cockatoos most noticeably. An Australian friend living in the U.S. says he is awestruck by the big, colourful birds of the eastern seaboard when he visits. Me, I feel like I’m in the movie Avatar at times: awake to visual and auditory delight and totally in the moment.