Thursday, December 6, 2012

Western Thrush meets Eastern Brown in Northern pump Shed

It’s amazing how trusting animals become if they determine that you are not a threat to them.

I have documented on the Bloodoow Facebook page the progress of a pair of Eastern Rosellas successfully raising a brood of four chicks on the kitchen verandah last year. This year I was delighted to document a successful brood of three Western Thrush chicks being raised in our pump shed. For years they’ve bred under the winery awning or on the cellar door deck, but I think the increasing pressure from aggressive starlings and house sparrows has meant they needed to look for alternative digs. They chose the pump shed and made their basic nest amongst a box of irrigation fittings. Now this all seems fairly cozy at first glance. A relatively remote pump shed fully sheltered from the elements, close to dam water and plenty of insect foods from the nearby vineyard and dam surrounds. However, a pump shed is a noisy environment when it is working...and as this year started off so hot and dry, we’ve been repairing the irrigation and irrigating through the fertigation pump (sometimes for 24hours at a time) since the middle of October. The fertigator runs through a centripetal force injected plunger pump which thumps noisily away above the three phase pump itself. Add to that the constant round of early season canopy spraying with tractors and spray cart filling and you can appreciate the trust our Western Thrush hen has in us after all these years. The fact that there is a rather sprightly Eastern Brown snake living on mice in the shed makes her effort even more astounding.

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