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December 14, 2015 / diannegray

Chicky babes

There’s been more chirping around the RUC in the past few weeks. I’ve got two Red Finch nests on the side of the house and those little cuties make a lot of noise demanding food. I haven’t climbed up the side of the house to take pictures of them for two reasons:

1. I don’t want to disturb the nests because the parent birds are very sensitive to interference and may not come back if they think I’ve had my big mug peeking into their nests

2. I’m too clumsy on a ladder and I don’t think you want me to break a limb trying to get a pic for you.

These are what the parents look like, so you will have to imagine how cute their offspring are. I’ll try and get a pic when the chicks are learning to fly.

I was very excited the other day because I found something extraordinary. Most people don’t get as excited as I do over birds, but this one is special. The Torresian Imperial Pigeon used to be prolific in this area, but were nearly pushed to extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were thought of as pests and were easy targets for recreational shooting. They also have a large breast (like a chicken) so were eaten regularly by early settlers.
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve seen one and here it is hiding in the tree outside the RUC.

Torresian Imperial Pigeon
After I spotted the pigeon and calmed myself, a family of plovers wandered into the yard. They have three chicks so I got a nice shot of one.

Plover chick

Then a fledgling of indeterminable species called out to me from a tree to my left. Its mouth was still open and screaming when I took the pic.

Sheesh – I feel like Dr Doolittle sometimes. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something!


Okay, as if my day wasn’t already full of excitement I saw this calf in the paddock of a property close by and wanted to take it home give it a cuddle.

During the afternoon dog walk I spotted these two very pretty butterflies mating (wow – life is SO full around here).


Now I’m off to have a pre-Christmas wine.

xxxHave a great week!xxx


Leave a Comment
  1. Theo Fenraven / Dec 14 2015 8:13 am

    I’m always tremendously excited when I capture something new with the camera. 🙂 The high is better than any drug.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 8:38 am

      You’re so right, Theo. I did a happy dance when I saw the bird – neighbours are saying, “I’ll have what she’s having” lol 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JackieP / Dec 14 2015 8:18 am

    How cute is that baby Plover? Aww and the calf….and…. 😉 I wish I could visit. The pigeon find is great!


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 8:40 am

      They are all SO cute. I had a few more pics to go in, but thought I’d save them for another post. There is just far too much ‘life’ going on around here at the moment, Jackie 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin / Dec 14 2015 8:38 am

    I love how the two birds in the top pic have their heads turned away from each other. Looks like they’re in the middle of a lovers’ quarrel!


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 8:41 am

      I’m sure they are, Carrie. I took this pic before they built the nest for the chicks – they must have made up in a big way LOL 😀


  4. tchistorygal / Dec 14 2015 8:56 am

    Adorable pictures Dianne. You have the the bird whisperer touch that Sylvia has. Good for you! Life is good, isn’t it?


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:48 am

      Life is wonderful when you see all these beautiful creatures every day, Marsha. Sylvia has her lovely bird life too (as well as the random alligator) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • tchistorygal / Dec 14 2015 1:11 pm

        Ah yes, Mr. Alligator always creeping up on folks, watching her every move. We have interesting wildlife here. Mostly raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and kit foxes, which are rare and almost extinct. Once in a while we get a mountain lion or a rattlesnake. The airborne critters are so hard to capture. I’m impressed that you caught yours with your camera. I must be too impatient, or have too short of a lens. Enjoyed yours, though. 🙂 Have a great holiday. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. danniehill / Dec 14 2015 9:05 am

    I always enjoy your photos and I love watching wildlife! And calves


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:52 am

      Thanks, Dannie! The wildlife keeps me pretty busy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way 😀


  6. T. W. Dittmer / Dec 14 2015 9:15 am

    Nice shots, Dianne.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:53 am

      Thank you, Tim. There is so much activity here, sometimes I’m not sure where to look next 😀


  7. agjorgenson / Dec 14 2015 9:27 am

    What great photos. Wow, a walk in your backyard must be an incredible journey.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:55 am

      It certainly is, Allen. There is sometimes an element of danger, but it really makes me feel like I’m living on this beautiful planet, instead of just existing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jill Weatherholt / Dec 14 2015 9:44 am

    I’m a major birder, Dianne. I loved these photos! Your photography skills are amazing. How sad, the Torresian Imperial Pigeon is almost extinct…it’s beautiful.
    Without divulging exactly where you live, could you tell me a nearby city? Derek is huge into maps. After seeing your photos, he’s dying to pinpoint the location on his map of Australia. 🙂


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:57 am

      It’s near Cairns, QLD, Jill. Have a look on a map. Semi-tropical climate, huge tourist industry, magnificent wildlife, and me (lol) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 10:59 am

      And if Deriek askes – I love snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef!:D


  9. prior2001 / Dec 14 2015 9:59 am

    truly fun adventure – and i personally think it is so tough to chapter birds and so I think I extra appreciated each photo – and the calf too (awe) but the one of the parents was the best – could imagine some thoughts they might have shared –


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 11:01 am

      Those finches are such cute little birds and those two on the wire look like they were not on speaking terms before the chicks came along. I was hanging out the washing this morning and noticed two more building a nest. Population explosion! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pagadan / Dec 14 2015 10:45 am

    I enjoyed the photos, especially that pigeon. You did a good job of capturing it.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 11:03 am

      Thanks, Joy. I was stunned when I saw it and tried to get a few shots, but it kept hiding from me. I guess that’s what happens when they become suspicious of humans who just want to hunt them. They’re protected now which is great 🙂


  11. EllaDee / Dec 14 2015 11:43 am

    We love the birds too, it’s always a thrill to see them even the common maggies & kookas. It’s a privilege to share our surrounds with them. Your resident pigeon is marvelous. Hopefully there are two, and they’ll set up camp in your tree to breed. It’s amazing how once the birds are familiar with us, they get comfortable and relax around us, like we’re furniture… or staff 🙂


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 1:09 pm

      I love your “or staff” comment! So true. I haven’t got to the stage my brother is at (in Coffs Harbour) yet where the kookaburras sit with him while he’s having breakfast, but one day they might trust me enough to do that here. I’m thinking that because the RUC is so high, they just think it’s another tree 😉 It’s a wonderful life xxx


  12. avwalters / Dec 14 2015 11:55 am

    Great pics, and not a bad selection of wildlife–for a day!


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 1:10 pm

      They were everywhere, Alta. I didn’t know which direction to turn because they were all calling out (apart from the calf who, I’m sure, was begging me with it’s eyes to take it home) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • avwalters / Dec 14 2015 1:29 pm

        You’ll have to stick to the wild animals. We have a word for that other impulse, cattle rustling.


      • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 3:38 pm

        Oh yes – that was on my mind knowing where that little calf is going to end up in a few weeks. I’m a sucker for animals 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  13. anotherday2paradise / Dec 14 2015 1:04 pm

    You have lots of beautiful birds around the RUC, Dianne. The Red Finches are looking a bit glum, but I’m sure their babies soon cheered them up. That pigeon would make quite a good meal, I suppose 🙂 Lovely photo of the sweet little calf and the butterflies. Pre-Christmas wine sounds like a jolly good idea. xx


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 1:13 pm

      I saw another pair of red finches half an hour ago building yet another nest at the side of the house, Sylvia. I’m going to have to start charging rent 😉
      Cheers! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. the eternal traveller / Dec 14 2015 1:39 pm

    Do Mum and Dad Plover get a bit cranky when people come too close to their babies? Once, at a school I was working at, we had to close one of the ovals because the parent plovers were attacking the children as they played at lunch times.

    The red finches are so pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing the babies.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 3:42 pm

      Oh those plovers get very angry when anyone comes near their chicks. They will actually stand in the middle of the road and spread their wings trying to stop cars if their chicks are on the road. It doesn’t always end pleasantly. Also, they mate for life s0 if one them gets run over the other will stand at the side of the road and mourn for months (I have to close the windows because it’s so sad) 😦
      I can’t wait to see the baby red finches either, Jo. They will be SO cute! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Dec 14 2015 6:41 pm

        You’ve done it again lol. This is Carol, not Jo! The thought of those sad plovers must have got to you Dianne!


      • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:13 am

        Haaaaaa! Good grief, Carol – I’m such a bad friend! There’s you, Jo, Sylvia and Marsha that I think of a lot and often get you mixed up. I do the same with the family and go through all the kids names (and sometimes the dogs) before I get it right. The next time I do it, just say ‘thanks Denise’ to pay me back 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Dec 15 2015 12:56 pm

        Not to forget Jude, Elaine and Yvonne. We are quite a community.

        I’m the same. Do your children roll their eyes when you do that? Mine do.


      • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 6:31 am

        …and Nancy and Britt 😀

        Yes – my children roll their eyes, Carol. Luckily I only have three of them. My mother had six, so it would take quite some time to get through them all before she got to me 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Dec 16 2015 6:39 am

        I don’t know Nancy and Britt. I must look them up in your comments and pop over for a visit.

        Mr ET is one of nine and his mother used to do it all the time. It was so funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 1:50 pm

        Wow – that’s a lot of children’s names to remember 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Dec 16 2015 2:09 pm

        That’s a lot of children to give birth to, feed, dress etc!

        Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Dec 15 2015 3:07 pm

        Oh, and I’m thrilled to be in such illustrious company.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. nrhatch / Dec 14 2015 2:08 pm

    Fun share, Dr. Doolittle Deux. :mrgreen:


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 3:43 pm

      Thanks, Nancy. I’m so glad you liked it 😀


  16. Photos With Finesse / Dec 14 2015 2:48 pm

    I think I want to cuddle a Plover chick LOL. So nice to see your signs of summer. We’re full of magpies, and brown sparrows stocking up for winter with the occasional Northern Flicker for good measure. No chicks.


    • diannegray / Dec 14 2015 3:46 pm

      Your chicks will come in Spring, Suzan! That plover chick is so cute. Every time I try and get photos of them their legs are always in awkward positions because they’re always hopping about. I took about fifteen photos to get one where it didn’t look like it had a broken leg 😉


      • Photos With Finesse / Dec 15 2015 2:45 am

        I’ve taken a couple of wildlife photography seminars this year – 15 is nothing. These guys lay in mud swamps for 3 hours at at a time to get that ‘one’ shot of birds near the water, on the water etc. They’ll shoot 1000+ in a few hours. We talked to one who had spent 4 days in the bush scoping out a log that looked like an alligator. He got the ‘perfect’ shot of a little yellow bird sitting on the ‘snout’. So whilst my bird shots are ‘ok’, I don’t think they’ll ever be that good. I don’t have the desire or patience LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:20 am

        WOW – some people really put their entire lives into sharing those great moments with us 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. ChrissyDupe / Dec 14 2015 4:03 pm

    Love your feathered friends! Do they all land on your head and roost like in Ace Ventura, Pet Detective? So cute x


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:04 am

      Haaaaa! Chrissy! Great to see you here – it obviously worked for you this time. What a beautiful surprise! xxxxx


  18. davidprosser / Dec 14 2015 5:16 pm

    Brilliant pictures Dianne, you must have known I have a real soft spot for birds. But, I’m not sure my heart can stand the strain of sexual encounters so early in the day, you shouldn’t advertise what a voyeur you are either. The calf was a little beauty so I can understand your reasoning though I’m not sure the owner would have if he found you cuddling it in your kitchen.
    So glad you didn’t break your leg. Have a Fantastic week.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:10 am

      Awww – thanks, David. I also took photos of geckos and bugs mating, but didn’t put them in this post – I thought the butterflies were enough excitement for one day 😉
      The little calf was nearly saved by me – poor dear is now probably on his way to a not-nice-place 😦 But this is the way of life I guess. Have an awesome Christmas xxxx


  19. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Dec 14 2015 7:18 pm

    Love your bird photos, Dianne. Hard to get a good image of a critter flitting around, and you got great pics! You must be very patient as you build their trust in you. And the baby cow – so sweet. It looks like it’s contemplating going over to sit in your lap.


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:15 am

      I think the fact that my house is so high makes it a lot easier to capture the birds in the trees, Sharon (but don’t let my secret out) 😉

      I’m so glad you liked the pics xxxx


  20. mcwoman / Dec 15 2015 2:13 am

    I think you missed your calling, Dianne. National Geographic needs your talent! As always, enjoyed living in Australia vicariously.


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:16 am

      Thanks, Barb 😀 I love National Geographic – maybe one day 😉


  21. Jacqui Murray / Dec 15 2015 2:25 am

    What a wonderful world you live in, Dianne. I would be totally distracted from my writing. Like a horse, I require blinders!


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:17 am

      I’m constantly distracted, Jacqui. I might look into getting some of those blinders 😀


  22. Charissa / Dec 15 2015 2:40 am

    Wow! Those birds are so beautiful. I thought we had some pretty ones here in Idaho after only seeing boring sparrows and pigeons in Nevada…but we have nothing like those cuties you ‘shot.’ You have a fun place full of lots of cool fauna and flora. I’m glad you share all your discoveries with us. It’s better than going to a zoo.


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:19 am

      Thanks, Char! I’m so glad you like and appreciate the pictures because I love sharing them with you! 😀


  23. Lynda / Dec 15 2015 3:24 am

    Dianne, what fun you’ve been having! I really enjoyed your photos of what is happening around your home this time of year. So glad you caught them and shared them.


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:21 am

      Thanks so much, Lynda! It’s lovely here when the birds start nesting – living in the country is just beautiful! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Minuscule Moments / Dec 15 2015 5:44 am

    Dianne must be so cool to have the finch nesting near your home, I only get to see them in an aviary down here. I would have been hyperventilating too over the rare pigeon species. Love all these wonderful nature shots. I hope you enjoyed the wine, so close now two more days and my kids are done for another year.


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:25 am

      I used to call this time of year the “school horrodays” 😉 Luckily my kids understood my wicked sense of humour! I really hope you and the family have a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas, Kath! xxxxx


  25. roughwighting / Dec 15 2015 7:58 am

    Life IS very full where you live. And beautiful and amazing. Love the photos. Amazing birds. The calf looks like he wanted a cuddle – did you give him one?


    • diannegray / Dec 15 2015 10:27 am

      I would have loved to have given that calf a cuddle, Pam but he probably would have run away from me (or his mother may have charged me!) lol 😉

      I’m so glad you like the photos xxxx


  26. Cynthia Reyes / Dec 15 2015 2:19 pm

    Great pictures of the birds. I don’t think I have ever seen such birds – or maybe just not this close. that pair at the top is pretty.


    • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 6:32 am

      That is one of the joys of blogging, Cynthia. We get to see so many things that we wouldn’t normally see 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  27. jannatwrites / Dec 15 2015 5:09 pm

    Birds aren’t easy to photograph, and you got so many of them here! Life is full around there- mating butterflies and all, hahaha 🙂


    • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 6:35 am

      I left out the mating beetles and mating geckos, Janna (LOL). I thought that might just be a little too much 😉


      • jannatwrites / Dec 16 2015 6:37 am

        Haha, good move…. you might risk your blog being mistaken for the wrong kind of place 🙂


      • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 1:49 pm

        Haaaa – so true! 😀


  28. donnajeanmcdunn / Dec 16 2015 3:44 am

    I love your pictures, especially of the babies. I’m also very jealous! You have spring and we have at the least another three months before it gets to Iowa USA!


    • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 1:47 pm

      Spring will come to you, Donna and then you’ll see all those little chicky babes flying around 😉 I’m so glad you like the pics, I love taking them xxx


  29. Sheila / Dec 16 2015 3:48 am

    They must be trying to tell you something – they want to be included in your next book! I hope they all find a way in there somehow. And I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season filled with all kinds of celebrations of life and love!


    • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much Sheila! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season as well xxx

      Not a bad idea putting those babes in my next book. Something to ponder over Christmas 😉


  30. pommepal / Dec 16 2015 1:31 pm

    Such lovely bird photos. Hope Mamma plover didn’t see you sneeking up for a photo of her baby. Jack had a very unfortunate run in with an angry plover mother. She chased him and he ran….
    So pleased to hear about the pigeon making a come back.


    • diannegray / Dec 16 2015 1:51 pm

      Those plover mothers are very protective indeed, Pauline! I was standing on my veranda and zooming in at a safe distance (LOL). Poor Jack!


      • pommepal / Dec 16 2015 9:29 pm

        They have very nasty spurs that they attack with…


      • diannegray / Dec 17 2015 2:45 pm

        Yikes! I’ve never seen the spurs. I’m going to take a closer look (with my zoom lens) 😉


      • pommepal / Dec 18 2015 7:15 am

        When they attack they angle down with the spurs on the end of their wings pointing at you, so take care. That is why Jack ran….

        Liked by 1 person

  31. restlessjo / Dec 17 2015 5:32 am

    The baby plover is so cute!!! No- no falling off ladders, especially this close to Christmas! Somebody’s got to cook the dinner. 🙂 Have a totally fabulous time!


    • diannegray / Dec 17 2015 2:49 pm

      It’s so exciting, Jo! The red finch chicks fledged today (is that what it’s called when they take their first flight?) There are four of them (three females and one male) and I managed to get a couple of great shots! 😀

      Happy dancing now 😀


  32. jmmcdowell / Dec 17 2015 9:36 am

    With all the amazing wildlife in your backyard, I’d have a hard time getting anything done! I love these glimpses into your amazing part of the world. 🙂

    Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!


    • diannegray / Dec 17 2015 2:52 pm

      I got a shot of the baby finches today – they’re SO CUTE, Jacqueline! Of course this made me late for an appointment, but hey – the animals, birds and insects always come first 😉

      And a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!!! xxxx


  33. Luanne / Dec 18 2015 10:14 am

    I hope the wine was good. I might have some post-Hanukkah, pre-Christmas wine, too ;). Photos are fabulous! I am partial to the finches because I LOVE the little guys. I bought a pair of finches when I was 15 and kept finches for several years.


    • diannegray / Dec 19 2015 8:14 am

      They are just SO cute, Luanne. I just had a big screaming fit because a tractor went past and ran over the beautiful male chick. He must have only been stunned because when I raced over to see if he was okay, he flew away. I’m keeping a close eye on him now and he seems fine. My hubby thought I must have been bitten by a snake with all the noise I was making (LOL) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne / Dec 19 2015 9:04 am

        OH, you are like me! I would have done the same thing. Cool and calm until a sweet baby is threatened and then mama grizzly bear!!! I’m so glad he’s ok!

        Liked by 1 person

  34. ParentingIsFunny / Dec 20 2015 4:33 am

    They’re all so wonderful. I think the third one is my favorite, but then the calf is so cute, and the butterfly so pretty…. So hard to decide. Enjoy your Christmas wine!


    • diannegray / Dec 20 2015 12:57 pm

      They’re all so cute, it’s hard for me to decide as well. mmmmm – Christmas wine, yum, yum, cheers:D


  35. Britt Skrabanek / Dec 20 2015 8:19 am

    Forget the birds, I want the calf! So darling.


  36. Roy McCarthy / Dec 21 2015 2:32 am

    Nice to see summer shots as an antidote to our (admittedly mild) winter. Your surroundings are full of life and colour Dianne. Happy Christmas to you and the family from Jersey.


    • diannegray / Dec 21 2015 7:59 am

      Thanks so much, Roy. You have a wonderful, safe and happy Jersey Christmas! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Sheila Morris / Dec 21 2015 11:01 am

    What a joy to share these awesome examples of the truly important beauties of our world wherever we live…and you are a philosopher for sure. You feel, you participate in life – but mostly you observe and reflect on what you see, and that is what a philosopher does.
    As Granny Selma used to say when she had her right mind, it takes one to know one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. beeblu / Jan 12 2016 10:50 pm

    Lovely photos of life abounding. Lots of baby critters around, which is one of the many benefits of living in the country.

    Please don’t climb up that ladder. A friend of ours just had a very nasty accident doing just that, and a nurse friend of mine said more people were injured in Sydney over the Christmas period from falling off ladders/roofs than in any other type of incident. We’re not as invincible as we hope we are.


    • diannegray / Jan 13 2016 7:02 am

      That is SO true. I remember one year when we had fires in Canberra and apparently more people were injured falling off ladders trying to get leaves out of their gutters than were actually injured from the fires. I really hope your friend is okay now xxx


  39. Amy Reese / Jan 17 2016 2:26 pm

    What gorgeous photos, Dianne. So much fun to look at. It’s a regular zoo where you live, in a good way! How amazing you saw the pigeon. I’m looking forward to the photos of the chicks, Dr. Doolittle!


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2016 2:50 pm

      I could (and do sometimes) spend all day watching the critters around this place, Amy 😀


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