Monday, 3 December 2012

Dirrijirri nests

We have been at our new patch for two weeks now. Most days have been too full of activity to enable us to really settle, but we are getting there. There has been too much unpacking, sorting, re-arranging, buying things we need, but in amongst the activity there has been enough time to watch the dirrijirris.

Dirrijirri is the Wiradjuri name for willie wagtail -  a lovely bright and active black and white bird with a long tail.  In Hi from Highfield, I mentioned that a pair of dirrijirris were making a beautiful felty nest  in a hakea tree close to the house at the same time we were moving into our new abode. It felt somehow right that we were both homemaking at the same time.

A few days after that post, we noticed that the dirrijirris were strangely missing from their nest and the 4 eggs that they had laid were no longer there. Was it another bird who ate them or perhaps one of our reptilian neighbours? We felt sad for the dirrijirris -  all that work building a lovely nest and all the time nest sitting wasted. What would they do now? Lay again in the same spot? Build a nest elsewhere?

A few days later, we noticed that their abandoned nest was looking tatty.  Perhaps they were raiding the old nest for a new one? It got thinner,

  and thinner.

Then, yesterday we noticed a new nest under construction on the other side of the house in the dried and dead branches of a red box.

And higher in the same tree was another, more advanced nest (its a little hard to see but its the lovely round ball nearly at the centre of the photo). Perhaps this tree is a dirrijirri nursery! A parenting home for new parents?

We have also watched the dirrijirris hunting for insects while riding on the back of the sheep and chasing down butterflies.

Their first nest had pink galah feathers woven into the wall. I am hoping that they have plans for this one which is hanging close by their old home.


  1. What a lovely tale. Good to hear you're settling in too!

    1. It's very grounding, watching the local birds do their thing.

  2. Willie Wagtails are lovely aren't they. For some reason I always associate them with blue wrens and i love watching both bounce around.

    1. I love them. Perhaps enough to make up for the 'loss' of Half-tail the currawong. We have Blue wrens as well who delight in hoping thru a very very spikey wattle.

  3. That is great, having the WWs nesting so close to your home. It will give you lots of opportunities to observe them. I wonder what happened to their eggs? Poor things!

    It's gone a bit quiet around here on the bird scene. Only one (rather than three) butcher birds are visiting (maybe the others are nesting and he's feeding the young) and only one magpie (out of the five that used to visit) is still coming.

    The parrots are still prolific, though.

    1. I so love the bird life here. There is such incredible variety. We have lovely bee eaters lately.



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