Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lot of nothing 'hiding' near hide

'Not much to see here, is there?' visitor one said to visitor two after a minute or so in the Tyto hide today. The second agreed and they pushed off.

Scarcely a thing, I said at their retreating backs (since some people make it very clear they don't want help).

Scarcely a thing, except for:

Drawn-out gurgle from left-front 10 metres off in Scleria. Hello, Little Bittern, nice of you to announce your presence. Yes, I know, that's it for the day. Pity the impatient pair missed it. They wouldn't have appreciated the signal? You're right.

Scolding from two metres up and a metre out from left of hide. Gidday Mr Willie and Mrs Willie, how are the two wagtail youngsters? See for myself? Of course. They look bonny!

Tinkling from paperbark three metres out in front. Morning, Crimson Finches, how are you doing? Goodness only knows how many eggs or young you've got tucked in that nest hole. You'll know in good time, they said.

Churring from directly in front of hide. Hi, Brown-backed Honeyeaters, you're proving me wrong, aren't you? Going ahead with a nest I can touch? Too right, they said, you people can't see what's right in front of you.

Don't forget us, just because we're down here on the water, called three juvenile Comb-crested Jacanas. We don't like too much movement above us, but we'll be here for an hour or so.

So will we, came nervy voices from waters right and left of the hide. Hello, Green-pigmy Geese, starting to trust us, are you? Just a wee bit, they said. Did you know you go blue when backlit? I asked. Whatever, they said.

Hey what about us? chimed in the Australasian Reed Warbler, the Golden-headed Cisticola and some Red-backed Fairy-Wrens. We turn up here most days and you're leaving us till last.

No, I'm not, because here's a Yellow Honeyeater almost at touching distance and those White-breasted Woodswallows on the hand rail deserve a mention, and I'd almost forgotten the Buff-banded Rail darting for cover as I arrived and the Great Egret who stalked closer and closer to the hide before getting hungry for elsewhere and the Magpie Geese squadrons overhead and the Hardheads and Pacific Black Ducks and Wandering Whistling Ducks splashing close by and the squeaky-cushion noises from the unseen White-browed Crakes.

Besides, you birds are beautiful, but so too are the dragonfles, the damselflies, the butterflies, and that tree frog there right in front of the hide, sunning every day low on the Scleria.

But after all that there's scarcely anything here, right? Wrong, but that's another story.

6 comments:

Mosura said...

They have eyes but cannot see.

I remember going to a waterfall in Scotland that was a popular spot for watching the salmon leap. Time and again people would walk down to the falls, hang around a for couple of minutes talking and not even focusing on the falls, and then walk of grumbling that there was nothing to see. Meantime, there were dozens of huge salmon leaping and even landing on the rocks flailing about just metres away.

Tyto Tony said...

Seems it's often the tourists who are the fish out of water.

It no longer gets to me, but today's contrast between visitor comment and reality was too much!

Denis Wilson said...

Nicely expressed, Tony.
Somethings are just wasted on some people, anyway. If they were better informed, they might develop an interest. Might.
I have taken two groups of pensioners around our local Nature Reserve in the last few days, but decided there was little to be gained by trying to point out the finer details of the minute fungi, and mosses and lichens.
I tried a few times, and then just stopped.
Maybe that where blogging comes into its own.
Cheers
Denis

mick said...

Wish I could see all those birds you talk about! re the visitors - it seems to me that kind of lack of interest is why we have so many ecological disasters in the country right now.

Tyto Tony said...

Groups and talks. You're a braver man than me, Denis.

I've found - with a few standout exceptions - eco-tourism students are among the worst! Port Douglas backpacking is their idea of the wild!

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Mick,

Yes, the indifferent sadden me, but I see eco-woes as part of unthinking economic growth. We are our own worst enemies.