Canberra in winter: …silver linings

Kookaburras are tree kingfishers found in Australia and New Guinea

This young kookaburra is new to our garden this year. Looking through my photos, I realise that near the end of winter, almost every year, one or two juvenile Kookaburras arrive in our garden.

This young kookaburra is waiting patiently by the birdbath.

Kookaburras are often found in family groups around suburbs bordering Canberra’s nature reserves. In the evening and the morning, the kookaburras get together and give a loud cackle.

I can quite understand why early settlers were terrified by this cackle…it is a loud raucous sound. However, this call is enough to bring tears to my eyes when I’ve just returned home from overseas…nothing sings Australia like a Kookaburra call.

I have read that a Kookaburra in your garden is a good omen because they bring laughter to your home. Well, I’m not usually into omens, but this one sounds good doesn’t it?

All birds are welcome…and who would not be cheered by the colours of the King Parrot, another regular visitor in winter.

Resplendent in his plumage of scarlet, a shiny blue tail, and emerald green wings and back, the male King Parrot is the only parrot to have a red head..

King Parrots feed on fruits and seeds gathered from trees. They spend many happy hours eating seeds from our Japanese Maple. This tree is very close to the house, so we look out on these colourful birds almost every morning.

I’m enjoying the birds more than ever this winter, they are a constant in the garden, and full of life. On a very foggy morning, I noticed the buds are developing on the plum tree. …I’m looking forward to spring.

I have always enjoyed company, conversation and friendship, but it takes on a whole new meaning during a pandemic!

Canberra no longer has full lock down and we can have a gathering of six people, with social distancing of course.

Paul and I meet up with two other couples for soup on Friday, and we are lucky enough to be within walking distance to each other’s houses, so we can build in a walk before eating.

Our friend Maggie has a very cute cat who has slipped into her seat to join the party..

During the week two friends visited, each bringing some sweet smelling Daphne and spring flowers. A friendly gesture which means a great deal.

If Paul and I are in the front garden, nearby walkers will call out to greet us, and chat about flowers and gardens and weather. Did this always happen? Perhaps it is just more frequent since the pandemic. Friendly contact with friends and neighbours helps to lighten the never-ending stream of negative news broadcasts.

One of our daughters and family are living in Melbourne, and Victoria has gone back into Level 4 lock-down. Hopeful this will end before our daughter has baby number two in September.

Way back in January…remember those days? we took our granddaughter to a wildlife reserve. Here children can measure themselves against an Eastern Grey kangaroo, or a Wallaby, or the smallest, a Pademelon, and Joanie is measuring herself against the Pademelon…..she is probably a lot bigger now.

Pademelons are small marsupials of the genus Thulogale

In the meanwhile this is our view as we return from our walk….a far cry from those dreadful photos I posted in summer of the fires across the Brindabella Ranges. These mountains look their very best on a clear winter’s day.

I wish we were at the coast now.

I hope you are enjoying your season, where ever you are in the world. I’m taking the same attitude as the writer, Jane in her blog called https://theshadybaker.com/, where she says
”I am always looking for the joy in small things especially in winter.”

Many thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. I enjoy reading blog posts from around the world, another small but pleasurable part of the day.

Stay safe and sane!

Geraldine Mackey Copyright: All Rights Reserved.

26 Replies to “Canberra in winter: …silver linings”

  1. Isn’t it wonderful having the time to bond with our feathered garden friends. The more I watch and listen, the more human traits I see in them. New delights every day.

  2. I’m with Susan. This post sure made me smile. kookaburras are about as cute as it’s possible to be. And that parrot! Wonderful colors. So nice that you can get together with friends. And best, best, best to your daughter

  3. Love your kookaburras. It must be something about the shape of the beak.. they always look to me as though they are smiling. And I understand completely about them being the sound of Australia. Nothing else quite matches it.
    With best wishes to your daughter in Melbourne.

    1. Yes, I agree, they do look as if they are smiling, and as my daughters would say, they are pretty chilled! Thanks for the good wishes for Rebecca, she is doing well, and fortunately the maternity hospital is separate to the General hospital.

  4. Oh, those kookaburras melt my heart, I was so thrilled to see them when travelling and living in Oz! I love all your birds and totally get how they attract your attention, especially in winter. How wonderful that you are meeting with friends for soup each week, when all this is over we will remember such gatherings so fondly as they are so special in such uncertain times. Maggie looks a right character, I have everything crossed that you get to see your daughter and new grand! How lucky you are getting another one, they are such a gift aren’t they?xxx

    1. Yes you are right, we will remember these gatherings when all this is over…nice to have some good stories and memories! Yes, we hope things will have settled in Melbourne before Rebecca has the baby. We are very lucky to be getting another grandchild. Our younger daughter has now got a melt your heart puppy…so it is a baby kind of year!

  5. Perfect post to start this Friday. Your birds are always so welcome and make me smile, plus you added in Pademelons. Nothing shouts ‘beautiful Australia’ like these guys do. Then you topped it all off with your beautiful granddaughter and the anticipation of your new grandchild. I will be sincerely hoping, all is well so you can visit those special people in your life. Stay well.

    1. Thanks Judy, glad you enjoyed seeing the Kookaburras and also the Pademelons. I think the Pademelons are very very cute. Yes, we are looking forward to the September baby and hoping for good results coming from this lock-down.
      Enjoy your weekend!

  6. A delightful post, Gerrie. You have such pretty birds in your garden. How lovely that you can have a few friends over and soup sounds like the perfect way to entertain outside. Your photos look so delicious. What gorgeous views out towards the Brindabella Ranges. A heartening sight to see after those devastating fires. All good wishes to your daughter and family in Melbourne. I hope you’ll be able to travel to see the new baby in September.

    1. Thanks Sylvia, for the heads up, I did see your original comment, and replied to it, but it had disappeared! I’ll keep an eye out for that next time.

  7. What a wonderful post! The photos are lovely and your recounting of the pleasures to be found during this awful pandemic are so heart-warming! Best wishes to you and your family, Gerrie.

  8. As always, I love seeing your birds. We’ve also noticed our community becoming closer during this pandemic. We have a neighborhood email chain now and people are out much more walking, so we get to see them and chat regularly now. Small pleasures.

    1. Perhaps it is universal to just want some extra contact with people at times like this. Glad you liked the Kookaburra, he stayed for a couple of photo shots.

  9. Love the sweet Kookaburras, Gerrie.The redheaded parrot is so colourful. The mere sight of him would cheer up anyone’s day. Your soup and fruit get-togethers sound really wonderful. I hope you’ll be able to see the new baby in September. You must all be very excited at the prospect of a new family member.
    btw: I was sure that I’d already commented on this post, but don’t see my comment here.

  10. As always, you have the most wonderful birds in your part of the world. When I was a child we used to sing a song about a kookaburra sitting in a tree and laughing. It made me wonder what a kookaburra looked like, let alone a gum tree.

    1. Well, I always knew the song “”A Home Among the Gum trees” was a pretty catchy tune and I’m sure every child in Australia has sung that song at school, but who would have thought it was being sung in Chicago! Just goes to show, you can’t keep a Kookaburra and a catchy tune down!
      Best wishes….hope all goes well in the next few weeks.

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