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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A sticky situation

 I blogged recently about a pair of Willy Wagtails who built a sturdy little tea-cup nest from spiders' webs and fine grass on a branch hanging over the creek.  The chicks hatched about ten days ago.  I have enjoyed watching the parents flit to and fro, catching bugs for their brood.

But it poured for three days and the creek flooded.
This is what the nest looked like yesterday. The raging water was grabbing at the branch and providing an adrenaline pumping carnival ride for the chicks. Tree limbs and even whole trees were being driven along by the current.  I was waiting for one to hit the branch and rip it off.  I didn't hold out much hope for them.

Today, the nest is not quite as round as it was, but it is still there!  I could see two healthy and demanding chicks. Mum and Dad were busy fetching them snacks and trying to draw my attention in case I had predatory intentions.  You can see by the grass in the background how high the creek got in relation to the nest.  The water is still brown and fast but much lower.  The wet humid conditions are perfect for insects so there is no shortage of food.
One small positive story in a week of record floods in various parts of Australia.  
Let's hope there are more to report as the clean up begins.


  1. Hopefully one of the many happy stories to come out of the floods. What clever architects birds are!

  2. I think keeping the small signs of hope and future are so important at the moment...x
    What brave birdies...

  3. What a beautiful thing to witness- so great to see a positive outcome for animals.

  4. I'm glad this story has a happy ending. Mother Nature can be cruel.

  5. How lovely to watch. Such a positive outcome for the little babies. Its nice to here these sort of stories at the moment after the recent tragedy. x jeanette

  6. Hazel, do the Wagtails nest in the same place each year, do you think?. It will be interesting to see whether they learn from their experience and build a nest a bit higher up next year, based on the recent worrying episode!

  7. Thank you Hazel for your positive story in this week of many disasters.
    Mark, Willy Wagtails often re use their nests. It will be interesting to see if this pair re use theirs - there was successful outcome.
    For many years we had Willy Wagtails nesting in the crab apple tree just outside our back door but they never returned after cats raided their babies one year.
    We will await Hazels post next year!

  8. Nature certainly is a powerful thing. Don't know that us humans have much say in the matter. Wonderful photos.

  9. Oh Hazel, what an adrenalin pumping time watching that nest must have been, I think my heart rate went up just looking at the photos. Goodness me the water went close.

    Are you okay with flooding? Up here we are just talking about our situation, but I know it has started to flood in other areas too.

  10. Goodness, white water rafting bird glad the birds and nest survived.

  11. Poor little things must be scary for them. All the love from building that nest make it so sturdy. The grass at the creek is so pretty Hazel.

  12. My heart would have been in my mouth watching that event unfold!

  13. I was a little on the edge of my seat there. I am so glad they held out, thanks for sharing the experience.


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