Anne LatreilleThere’s a competition in the birdbath

There’s a competition going on in my birdbath…. The early morning clouds are high and pink, the air is fresh and cold, and the big copper birdbath is brimming with the recent rain.

There’s a squawk, and a currawong glides down. Props on the edge, and dives in. Here comes another. And another. There’s room for three.

The water is roiling and the currawongs are cackling, cleaning up beneath their wings. Just like a boys night out.

But no, it’s four…and five! I haven’t seen anything like this before. There’s a sixth one hopping on the grass, maybe wishing it could get up there. And another on the fence above.

The water is roiling and the birds are cackling. Two on the edge and three in the water, cleaning up beneath their wings. What fun! It’s like boys’ night out (or are they girls?)

I don’t dare open the door. I race for my little camera and zoom up close through the window. Manage to get a few shots off. Whacko! (They turn out a bit blurry, but no matter).

Then a car sweeps into our driveway, and with a turn of heads and a glide of wings, they’re off in a black and white battalion.

A crow caws mournfully from the big gum tree. Maybe it wishes it had been in there too.

Fiona Brockhoff designs the most gorgeous birdbaths. But I wonder if she’s ever had five currawongs in there before?

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Anne Latreille

About Anne Latreille

Writer, editor and journalist. Author of 'Garden Voices' (about Australian garden designers past and present, September 2013), 'Garden of a Lifetime' (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm), 'Kindred Spirits' and 'The Natural Garden'. Melbourne, Victoria.

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