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August 1, 2016 / diannegray

Strange little friends


Since the guinea fowl suddenly turned up on my doorstep just over a month ago I seem to have attracted another type of bird. I’m sure they are some kind of finch, but I can’t identify their variety (and there are hundreds of them).

Brown finches The males appear to have a salmon coloured breast. They’re very cute little things and love to sit outside the Writer’s Nook and watch me write (oh yes, it can be a little off-putting at times because I want to photograph them!).

Maybe they’ve arrived en masse to protest because I’m writing a story about a cat (which I was inspired to do by some of you after I posted the photo of the cat moon. Thank you!)

Here’s another finch, You can’t see it’s colours, but I loved the fact that it was sitting on the sugar cane flower just before sunset. Now that’s what I call relaxation!

Brown finch

The finches I’m used to seeing are the crimson ones (like the one I took last year of ‘Elvis’ below).

Red Finch Elvis

Also, the Bee Eaters are back and I managed to capture this one gazing thoughtfully across the freshly cut sugar cane.

Bee eater

I don’t have a name for my ‘cat’ novel yet, but I can tell you one thing – I’m really enjoying writing it!

***Have a great week!***

P.S – the guinea fowl are settling in very well.


Leave a Comment
  1. Theo Fenraven / Aug 1 2016 7:12 am

    Nice photos! I love seeing pics of birds that live in other places, other countries.


    • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 9:29 am

      They’re quite different from the other birds I’ve seen here – and such little cuties! 😀


  2. Jill Weatherholt / Aug 1 2016 7:41 am

    Your photos are fantastic, Dianne! Our finches aren’t nearly as colorful as yours, except of course our American Goldfinch. I’m happy to hear you’re having fun with the cat story! 🙂


    • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 9:31 am

      Thanks so much, Jill. I’m glad this lot stayed still for the picture. At one stage there were about twenty on the branch! 😀


  3. JackieP / Aug 1 2016 7:48 am

    You are the bird whisperer, Dianne! haha! Beautiful little things though. xx


    • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 9:31 am

      Haaaa – Love it, Jackie. Hubby calls me Snow White (LOL) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • JackieP / Aug 1 2016 11:03 am

        You can be Snow White only if the birds help with your housework. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 11:38 am

        What a great idea!!! If the housework’s not done I’ll just blame them 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • JackieP / Aug 1 2016 12:07 pm

        Ha! There you go. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. nrhatch / Aug 1 2016 8:37 am

    I’m sure your book will be The Cat’s Meow!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy Reese / Aug 1 2016 9:23 am

    Oh, such beautiful, little creatures. I think they must be drawn to you, Dianne. I love the salmon-breasted ones. They seem so gentle. What a magical place you live in. Good luck on the cat novel.


    • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 9:33 am

      It is quite magical here, Amy. I don’t know where these little cuties have come from or how long they’ll stay, but they’re always welcome 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. donnajeanmcdunn / Aug 1 2016 11:36 am

    Love the pics. I like to watch birds too and it great to see the different kinds you you have there, compared to the ones I see here. I can’t wait to hear more about your cat novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Aug 1 2016 11:40 am

      Thanks Donna – great to see you here 😀 I’m working on the cover at the moment (even though the novel’s not finished) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sedge808 / Aug 1 2016 3:31 pm

    sweet tweeters


  8. Roy McCarthy / Aug 1 2016 5:14 pm

    Your part of the world seems to be a haven for wildlife Dianne. You capture it brilliantly. Happy that you’re writing well.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:08 am

      Thanks so much, Roy. I’m happy I’m writing as well (about time!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Aug 1 2016 7:03 pm

    You have the loveliest photos of these birds – such a pleasure to see, thank you.
    Very glad you’re working on your cat story.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:10 am

      Thank you for coming by to take a look, Sharon. I’m so glad you like them 🙂


  10. Gallivanta / Aug 1 2016 7:46 pm

    If you listen very carefully the little birds would probably have some very intriguing things to say about cats.


  11. ramblingsfromamum / Aug 1 2016 9:06 pm

    Very cute little ones and lovely photos. Hard to concentrate on writing with the scenery you have. 😊 Hope you and your family are well xx❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kate Johnston / Aug 1 2016 10:01 pm

    Cats are a great subject matter for novels, in my opinion. I can’t wait to hear more about it! Those birds are delightful. Finches are some of my favorite birds–we get goldfinches, purple finches (which is our state bird), and house finches. I would love to see that finch with the orangey-pinky breast in my yard–he’s a beaut!


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:15 am

      He certainly is a pretty one, Kate. I love that color as well 😀


  13. Charissa / Aug 1 2016 11:30 pm

    So fun! I love all your wildlife…but can see how they could be a bit distracting.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:16 am

      I need blinkers on when I write, Char! LOL – so much to see and so many birds singing. It’s actually quite wonderful (but very distracting) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacqui Murray / Aug 2 2016 3:28 am

    Darling li’l guys. Lined up, attentive, looking their best–proud even. Nicely done.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:18 am

      Thanks Jacqui. At one point there were about 20 of them all lined up there, but as soon as I moved they flew off, darnit 😉


  15. Susan A Eames / Aug 2 2016 4:22 am

    Oh, they’re beautiful, Dianne! If my Australian bird book was accessible I’d look them up – but unfortunately most of my books are still in storage. Good luck with your cat book. 🙂

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:19 am

      Thanks Susan. I’ve tried googling them but can’t seem to find this particular type. Maybe I’ve discovered something new (I wish!) 😀


  16. Clanmother / Aug 2 2016 4:29 am

    A lovely series of photos that remind me that we live in a beautiful world. Thank you! Glad you are enjoying writing!!!


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:20 am

      This is a beautiful world and it’s lovely to take a break from all the awful things that we read about. There should be more of it I say 😀 Thank you xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  17. the eternal traveller / Aug 2 2016 6:50 am

    Great photo of the Bee Eater, Dianne. We had never seen them until we went to WA last year. How exciting to have a new book to look forward too. I hope you let us know when it is published.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:22 am

      The Bee Eater is such a pretty bird – I just wish I could catch one in flight so I could show the world their magnificent colours (but they’re very fast indeed) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Minuscule Moments / Aug 2 2016 7:01 am

    Dianne being the nerdy birder that I am, I looked them up and I think they are the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin finch they do love canefields and swampy environments. Must be awesome to watch them they stick together in a flock. I had the pleasure of seeing their brightly coloured cousins The Gouldian finch at the local bird aviary on the weekend. Thanks for sharing your visitors simply beautiful. Can’t wait to hear more about your cat book.


    • diannegray / Aug 2 2016 7:23 am

      Kath, you’re a star!!! I just googled it and that is certainly what they are. Thank you so much my friend xxxx


  19. Letizia / Aug 3 2016 10:10 pm

    It’s so lovely to see birds from another garden and another country. In my garden we have the most charming bright yellow finches (only in the summer, our winters are too harsh).


    • diannegray / Aug 4 2016 2:21 pm

      I think it’s wonderful as well, Letizia 😀 Maybe those yellow finches might make it onto your blog one day!;)


  20. Britt Skrabanek / Aug 4 2016 1:33 pm

    Lovely photos, darling! I just want to cup all of those birds into my hands and give them tiny kisses on their tiny faces. Okay, I’ll stop now! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Prior-2001 / Aug 5 2016 7:38 am

    The cat novel sounds fun- 😉
    And th salmon colored breasted male bird was my fav of the post – even though each bird was nice – and how fun that birds come near you and like you – that says much about the essence of the author – oh yes!

    And my quick bird story for the summer was an unusual one that was squalling at me pretty good one day early July!
    Annoying –
    And even tho I was back to appreciating the birds and the trees we planted in 2008 that became a nesting zone – and after some aggravation with them taking over my small rock water fountain – (um, mess mess mess) – we cleaned things up – gave away the fountain and let the birds have the back space – last year it was actually delightful again to hear them as spring moved in – and all summer (2015) it was nice set up back there. Ahhhh
    So few weeks ago – sitting at m journaling station – not quite the nook in your paradise – ha! But comfy and has some green grass all around –
    So this squawking bird – loud and scratch my squawk – is rudely tacking at me –
    A few days in a row – morning noon and night –
    I finally realized he obviously juts has some best nearby – and it led to a nice couple journal entries
    – you know / about protecting things we love –
    About being diligent and mindful of what we have been entrusted to care for!

    Then days last – few major heat waves came and went – by end of month – I only heard this squawking bird in the far back fence area – I assumed the fledglings were there – and well I smiled to hear this bird still on duty and was glad I did not use a bb- gun that first and second day when he was on my last nerve (kidding on that – I would never do it and we tossed all bbguns )
    But it was also a small lesson for me on how we share our world with birds – bugs – and bees ((and bloggers – you know – virtually – ha!))
    Anyhow – enjoyed your bird photos very much today – xxoo


  22. Prior-2001 / Aug 5 2016 7:42 am

    Darn typos – hate auto correct –
    So he was not “tacking me” – and chirping at me from the lower roof”
    And likely had a “nest” and m was supposed to be “my” journal station –


  23. roughwighting / Aug 5 2016 8:59 pm

    Writing a story and enjoying it – THE BEST NEWS EVER! Writing is hard, writing is part of us, can’t be stopped. But writing a story and enjoying the process? Priceless. ❤
    I'm envious of your birds. The photos are beautiful. Yes, they're carefully what you're writing about…"the cat." 🙂


    • diannegray / Aug 6 2016 7:12 am

      You’re so right about writing being hard, Pam – so enjoyment is a rarity!
      I’m so glad you like the birds, maybe they’re telling me I should add a bird to the cat story! 😀


  24. cocoaupnorth / Aug 7 2016 1:23 am

    Wow, successful shots! Shooting birds is not always easy. But what lovely inspiration from your writer’s nook. 🙂


    • diannegray / Aug 15 2016 5:46 am

      Thanks so much! I love it when my birds shots come out nicely 🙂


  25. ParentingIsFunny / Aug 7 2016 4:32 am

    How lovely your little bird paradise is! Protesting you writing about a cat–ha! Thanks, as always, for the fun pictures. Glad the guinea fowl are settling in well. And happy that you’re enjoying your cat story. I love cats. Would love to read it!


    • diannegray / Aug 15 2016 5:47 am

      I’ve been offline for over a week working on it – I think you’d like it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Cynthia Reyes / Aug 10 2016 2:24 am

    That first photo is so interesting!


  27. EllaDee / Aug 13 2016 6:12 pm

    During our travels we have seen bee eaters… thanks to you I know what they are, finches with binocular adorned twitchers seeking them here, seeking them there… And at Crab Claw Island a whole posse of guinea fowl… noisy, comical, hanging out with a peacock and trio of hens, quite at home amongst, people, cars, boats and caravans.
    A story about a cat… you know I’ll be wanting to read that 🐱


    • diannegray / Aug 15 2016 5:49 am

      It’s so good to hear from you! I’m so glad your travels are going well xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Rustic Recluse / Aug 15 2016 1:45 am

    Oh a whole line of them! How adorable! 🙂


  29. agjorgenson / Aug 15 2016 9:29 am

    My! I can see that you are happily distracted! Best wishes as you work on your cat piece!\!


  30. Luanne / Aug 17 2016 5:03 am

    Sign me up for a cat novel!!! You are so blessed to have these adorable little birds traveling to visit you! I love finches (I know, I love a lot of types of birds haha) and these are very unique to me. Did you search online for their name?


    • diannegray / Aug 17 2016 6:18 am

      One of my followers (Kath from Minuscule Moments) did the searching for me and came up with the name “Chestnut-breasted Mannikin finch” – I was SO happy when I found out what they really are 😀 I love this blogging life! Too bad I’ve been so busy lately and haven’t had much time to do it. But the cat novel is coming along very well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne / Aug 17 2016 6:20 am

        I can’t wait for the book! and what a cute but big mouthful for those sweet little birds.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Sheila Morris / Aug 29 2016 7:45 am

    Dianne, these pictures are beyond gorgeous, and I have to say they are some of your best. One of the Little Women of Worsham Street could take amazing pictures of birds, so I gave it a real try when I lived in Texas. But to no avail. I could never capture them like she did, but I have a real appreciation for anyone who can make them come alive.
    These are truly awesome – my friend made cards out of her pictures and sold them in her antique booth (and to me!). Hint, hint.


    • diannegray / Aug 29 2016 7:49 am

      What a great idea to make cards out of them, Sheila – I might just do that!
      It’s great to see you here, I’ve been so busy lately (I’m going through all my novels so I can publish them on Create Space – what a job!) and my son and his partner are here to visit. These are lovely times 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  32. beeblu / Sep 18 2016 8:14 am

    You’re so lucky to get the beautiful bee-eaters. Your photos are ace.


    • diannegray / Sep 19 2016 9:23 am

      Those bee-eaters are so hard to capture. I was jumping for joy when this one was still for a few seconds 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  33. helpwithyourlife / Sep 24 2016 2:55 pm

    It appears like you have a whole cast of characters to keep you company while you write your cat novel! Thanks for photographing all your writing companions! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 26 2016 6:25 am

      Thank you for coming by and enjoying them 😀


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