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My Blog for Killabakh - By Maureen Larter

My Blog for Killabakh.

By Maureen Larter

One of the disappointments I discovered when I first moved to my small property was the lack of bird life. To be honest, I guess I didn’t really notice the natural life around me. I’d come from the city, where sparrows were everywhere, and the bane of my existence were ants and cockroaches.

Funnily enough, these latter pests didn’t seem to be so much of a problem out in the country. That made me start to look around and see if I could find out why.

Gradually, as my garden grew, and I became more observant, I noticed a variety of birds that appeared.

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There, in the large gum tree, lived a family of kookaburras. Over on the driveway side, lived several friendly magpies. In the front garden, fairy wrens danced upon the branches. King parrots, rainbow lorikeets, noisy mynahs and what I called leatherheads (friar birds) visited me.

One night while going to my car, I even saw a large owl, and marveled at the silence as it flew off, no whirring of air through its feathers, no flap of sound from its wings. A mouse wouldn’t have a chance when that swooped out of the darkness.

Several months into my new awareness, I found a family of Tawny Frogmouth on a low branch of a tree on the ridge.

It made my day.

Every year, the family returned. A new baby goggled at me from the branches each Spring. Then one morning – heartbreak.

As I drove out my carport – a dead Frogmouth lay on the road. I stopped and gently moved it to the side – I didn’t like the idea of a splattered bird to bury, which I did later.

The family that evening was only two. The father had gone. We all mourned together.

The family has not been back again.

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