PictureLily waiting for the birds to come (Oct, '13)
In my last post about bread, I failed to mention how quickly the bread molds here. Not too good for the couple that eats maybe four slices a week, but extremely fortunate for the pigeons, doves and sparrows!

Before my grandbabies flew the South African coop, Lily would come to my house and feed the birds. I tried to show her how to crumble it into beak-sized pieces, but sometimes she would just throw the whole slice on the lawn. Then she’d climb into a chair on the patio and wait for the birds to come.

I know how she feels. I’m hesitant to share just how much I enjoy watching the birds in my backyard, for fear of being branded an old lady. But I’m excited to share some of the pictures I’ve taken of my feathered friends. I’m especially excited today, because there’s a weaver bird constructing a nest in the corner!

When we moved in to this house, I noticed a birdfeeder situated right outside the lounge window, near a bird bath. I asked the gardener what the owner put in there and he told me pieces of fruit. Then the owner confirmed that she chopped overripe fruit and watched the white-eyes flock to it.

I learned through experience that you can’t just quarter the fruit and put it out. No, and they can’t even be hefty chunks. These birds are apparently accustomed to a fine dice, approximately ¼ inch square. And they’ve got me trained – every other morning I make a little fruit salad of four fruits from the following list: banana, orange, apple, pear, paw-paw (papaya), mango, and avo. I put half into a container to put out the following day. By throwing pomegranate avrils, quince, and guava onto the ground, the little darlings made it extremely obvious they would prefer I didn’t include those fruits in their daily diet.

At first, it was mainly white eyes coming to the feeder. The feeder hangs between two small trees and ten minutes after I put the fruit in there, those trees were loaded with white eyes. Lately, the fruit has also attracted bulbuls, mousebirds, cape sparrows and weavers. The bulbuls and mousebirds have crested heads, and the mousebird has a very long tail. They’re wary of my camera, but I keep trying to get the perfect shot.

There’s still moldy bread in the house, which I now throw out in the yard to the delight of the huge red-eyed pigeons and the lovely cooing soft grey doves. They’re also the most frequent visitors to the bird baths.

The garden itself attracts sunbirds, which enjoy the red hot poker nectar and the bugs that get caught in that flower. It also comes to the sugar water feeder, and hovers, so when I first saw it I thought it was a hummingbird, but they’re much bigger than a hummingbird, and not as colorful.

There’s a happy little bird I see every day, strutting around the lawn, pecking all over; I think it may be a wagtail. There’s a funny-looking bird called a hoopoe that digs insects from the lawn. The robin is smaller than the ones in the US, but even here they are harbingers of spring, and dig around the lawn in search of insects.

There is a huge bird that comes round in the morning and its raucous call brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it. In the ibis family, it’s named a hadeda because of its call: HAAAAA, HAA-DE-DAA. I can’t wait for my friend Sue to wake up to its song!

I wish you could hear the sound of my back yard. It’s lovely, with a variety of birds singing from every direction

Please don’t hesitate to correct the info I’m sharing. I’ve been looking in a book, trying to determine which is which. That’s also why I’ve not been specific in naming them.

I hope you enjoy the photos.