Friday, May 28, 2010

Through the grill

We've had a couple of bird baths in the garden this summer and happy to say they've been a huge success. It has been murderously hot and wildlife of all sorts seem to appreciate the troughs. Needless to say, we appreciate the view and the constant stream of Discovery Channel outside our windows.
At first the troughs were greeted with some suspicion. But they stayed there doing nothing more drastic than acquiring patinas of moss and being magically refilled. When they had blended into the surroundings, looking as scruffy as everything else, they began to be accepted.

The smallest birds are the most wary and make a huge production of descending bough after bough before they sip very quickly and dart away. This sunbird was actually quite zen in her non-fluttering and allowed me one neat frame.

This is our resident Robin, and quite the only one who actually dives in without any compuction at all. Once he got into the trough briefly and flew to sit on a branch shaking and drying himself. Then clearly thinking that there was no need to be done quite so soon, he breezed down and stepped in again for this rather frolicky bath.

The babblers, when they come, are enormous fun. They don't actually bathe but they like to dip their tails in, chatter incessantly and make a huge communal thing of it. But then everything is a huge communal thing with these fellows.

We have a new litter of cats. This is a new family that's moved in - mother and four kittens, all striped and pointy-eared. They like the bigger trough and very much disconcerted the birds when they first came. We were afraid the birds would reject that one because cats had been sipping from it but realised that they weren't about to be so brahmanical about it - everyone will drink from the same pond... just not at the same time. Anyway, here are two of the kittens enjoying a snooze.

This kitten gave me the most attitude-y looks if only, alas, I had been able to quickly focus on him. But these twigs got in the way and my camera insisted it knew better. However, it has prodded me to finally learn these manual controls, so next time hopefully we'll focus on the cat.


footloose said...

that robin! look at him!

how is it that only humans can't shake the water off themselves with any style? we have to be the most uncool of species.

Sheetal said...

heh. yes, this fellow will do anything for maja.