Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Mystery Guest in my Garden

Thanks so much for your lovely responses to the post I almost didn't write on Monday, feeling a bit discouraged about blogging as I was. Or perhaps not so much discouraged as protective of my energies. I'm committed to writing at least 500 words daily on that personal project, so I'm becoming more considered in what I do/want to do here.

But your comments have really energized me, and, coincidentally, the number of visitors is up. I'm working to answer comments and then to finish the post I'd originally intended, the one about what I did on our anniversary, the grappling with what felt a bit selfish (my partly solo cycle), and I even have another outfit post for you.

Meanwhile, though, I'm sitting on the deck, the horrendous concrete-drilling noise and dust subsiding as the workers begin to pack up. It's 28 degrees Celsius, our (non-air-conditioned) condo faces West, through an expanse of windows, and we've had to keep the doors and windows closed most of the day to keep the dirt and high-decibel cacophony at bay. That doesn't please me at all! Downright cranky, Pater might tell you I've been . . .

But the other morning, before the power tools started up at 7, I caught a flicker of movement, noticed a bouncing branch on the Japanese maple, and spotted this little fellow tucking himself into the interstices of several twigs. That brilliant red -- was it a berry? No, a beak! And then the white-speckled russet patches bordering his creamy chest, the orange, white, and black adornment on his face. . . No small bird I'd ever seen here in the Pacific Northwest before.

I stayed as still as I could,  just observing for the first ten minutes we spent together; then, seeing no objections made, I crept closer for a few photos of this rare spotting. After all, what if I, a not-even-neophyte birder had just sighted a rare visitor that would draw binoculared keeners from all over to add this one to their Life Lists. . . .

Yes, it's quite true. I may have read one too many of Steve Burrows' "Birder Murder" mysteries.  Not long after I sent off an email (with accompanying photo) to an experienced birder friend, my little buddy flew off into the urban wild, and I did some quick online research. Turns out that entering "small bird red beak" quickly reveals my morning guest as a Zebra Finch, native to Australia. Which might have been an exciting find -- wow! little guy flew such a long way!! -- if not for the accompanying revelation that these birds are commonly sold here as pets. Someone flew the coop! Poor little escapee -- I hope whatever freedom you're able to enjoy is (was? I wonder how long he could last on his own) worth it. . .


14 comments:

  1. We all want to escape now and again, don't we:).

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  2. Lisa is right, as always :-),I agree (and I miss so much such a brisk and clever exchange-always in a fear what could it mean-see Rhiannon's Roman adventures :-))
    I do hope that this little fellow/damsel will be safe
    Dottoressa

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    1. You do pretty well, and at least when we multi-linguals make errors (and you have so many languages, make so few errors), weget an amusing story out of it (as with Rhiannon in Rome).
      I don't hold out much hope for my finch-y friend, but I hope so too...

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  3. Ah yes, we all wish to escape on occasion. I do hope they will be safe.

    I've been watching a pair of bobwhites that come out from under some hedges occasionally, mostly in the early morning or late evening. Alas they are not near the chairs in the back, but are closer to the road. We try to be very quiet in the mornings just so I can get a glimpse.

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    1. Sweet! We used to have quails visit our yard, their little ones scurrying, the adults shepherding. . . generations ago, they'd been introduced to the island, presumably as game birds. . .

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  4. There are wild, lime green parakeets all over London. At first thought they had escaped their cage, then read, oddly, many of them had migrated here in the last several years. Never fast enough to catch a photo. So beautiful,though.
    Like your bird friend. At first I thought it was a fake bird like the ones you can buy at Christmas to clip on tree branches.
    Great photo on Instagram of the flower shadow on the canvas. I could happily gaze at that all day.
    Fingers crossed that dreadful noise and dust from the construction stops soon. A. in London

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    1. There are so many of those green parakeets in Rome as well. . . I love to see them!
      Glad you enjoyed that little IG video. . . .it makes me happy to sit within that little cabana with my book or knitting.

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  5. There's something very lovely about a bird or small animal allowing us a close up insight into their lives. What a treat. I'd like to think that this one has flown all the way from Australia too...

    Hope the construction workers will be done soon. Or at least that the ones they gave the drills to will

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    1. We're crossing our fingers they might finish the outside envelope in the next two months, and then the noise will be contained considerably. . . Nearly a year of noise and dust so far. . .

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  6. Ooooh, the construction - it's here too, all summer long. I'd put tons of exclamation marks but my wits are at their end, as I'm sure yours are too. Windows shut, fan on.
    But thank you for the bird distraction. Such a lovely bird. Of course it wanted to fly - it was made for that. I hope, though, that it will find shelter and food in the wild. And companionship maybe?

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    1. Yep, exclamation marks required. So odd to have workers only 50 feet away at precisely the height of our bedroom window, nothing between us but air and a sheet of glass. . .

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  7. Having seen photos of the construction that you are living next to (in?!), I can say it's hard core. I fancy myself an urban construction-experience expert and I do not know that I'd have the equanimity to manage it - even if I could spend most of the day away and go on vacation sometimes! And, given the batshit, unusually gorgeous weather you've been having week after week after week, the lack of AC/open window scene must be making noise intolerable. This birdie is a beacon of solitude on the horizon. Prob not soon enough but the chaos will end. Giving you my best noise fortitude vibes.

    PS: In the greatest irony of this (somewhat stressful) time of my life re: reno, I've not lived in such a quiet space in 30 years as my rental (just a smidge out of the urban fray). So now, having experienced the flip side, I empathize more than I would have been able to a year ago.

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    1. It's really, really, tough. I don't want to go on and on, but it's not on the same level as I think most people think of. I'm trying to be flexible and resilient and all, but it's definitely burrowing into my neurology, endocrinology, whatever (my startle reflex is crazy right now!) Thanks for getting it.
      We have a few getaways planned for respite in the next while, and I do think that once the envelope is finished, it should be quieter.
      Your reno is really stressful as well, I know. We did a crazy reno twenty years ago, lifted the Lindal cedar cottage on the island property we'd bought, and then had a proper foundation built under it and a two-storey addition on the side. Went WAY over schedule and then it snowed, heavily, while the roof was open. Yeah, it did. And so then we had to rent equipment to dry it out, and so on and so on. But we forgot that, with time, and enjoyed many happy years there. I'm sure you will in yours as well. But meanwhile, Fortitude, Baby, Fortitude!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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