Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Home to roost

This is the Avery of our neighbour Joan (pronounced jshuan) his fine collection includes some rare examples and many birds that he has bred himself. He told us that he has been keeping birds for many years, at one time he had kept two emus which he had lost to the local foxes.

The birds were nervous, and even though he encouraged me to go into the cage the birds became unsettled by even the slightest movement, they had only ever had Joan enter their territory before. He invited us to return and become familiar with the birds and was quite keen to let me photograph his birds. On this day it was only possible to snatch a couple of shots.

A few days before Carol had arrived for her summer activity holiday; I was seated at a table in the garden drawing up plans for the next phase of planting. When suddenly, my concentration was broken by the arrival of two unexpected visitors. Particularly so as they had landed upon the table, albeit at the opposite end to me. And there they remained for several minutes each studying me as intently as I was them. The birds remained there on the table while I offered them seed and bread crumbs, and they departed only when I went off to get the camera. If I was any good at sketching I might have been able to draw them without putting them to flight.

Now, here in the Avery I recognised those birds. If you click on the top picture to enlarge it, you will see the first bird in the foreground and it's mate on the central nesting box. When I told Joan the story, he said that his two birds sometimes escaped but always came home to feed and roost.

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