Thursday, 1 July 2010

Garden drama

It is cold and wet outside today.  Yesterday afternoon I was out weeding and planting a few more seedlings... but I've described all of that before.
I've checked the jonquils and they aren't out yet,  but the watsonia is beginning to flower in the jungle in front of the house.

Most of it here is red,  though there are a few yellow flowered ones as well.

Then back and beyond the vegetables..... in the grass I noticed a few feathers....  these were obviously a magpie or a "Murray magpie" though I wasn't sure to begin with...  a black and white bird with some grey underneath,  by the look of it.
My first thought was the new neighbours.... do they have a cat?  It's not likely that a cat would have sat in my yard and eaten this....  I have two dogs and it would no doubt take the carcass home to eat in peace.    It wasn't a fox... they always leave most of the meaty part.
Then I found the rest....  nearby....
... there were bits of gut and meaty bits....
... and even some of the last meal...  wheat.
Then I remembered...
Yesterday afternoon as I was weeding, there were a lot of alarm calls from the birds in the gum tree near where I was working.  I remember thinking that it was unusual for them to be concerned about me being there... though I still assumed that I was the cause of the ruckus.  It even crossed my mind that it might be due to young birds,  less used to me being out there.

I have seen hawks in the area before....

.... these two pictures were taken just over a year ago, from my backyard.  No doubt,  the alarm calls that I'd heard were due to a hawk of some kind.  I didn't notice it,  but then, my  liffe doesn't depend upon such things!
The size of the prey might be relevant also... ordinary magpies are much bigger than the Murray magpie, and there were definitely alarm calls from the Murray magpies yesterday afternoon.  I am assuming then that this was the remains of a Murray magpie (Magpie-lark)  or Grallina cyanoleuca that is quite common around my yard.  I find their nests often enough too....  they include mud in their very well-formed constructions.

And there are people who say that gardening is peaceful....  quiet to the point of being boring!


Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

Fiona lectured a friend on the cat predation problem today. Glad the maggie went more naturally.

Jane said...

We need to protect the lizards also.