|These photos were taken in January|
They flushed out again in April following the rain but the first heatwave in late April left them looking sad and May's follow-up made things worse.
|They were sticking out like sore thumbs against rest of the greenery here|
I decided I couldn't stand looking at them like that and started cutting the prickly foliage back on Monday. I noticed that a couple of birds seemed especially agitated by my presence. I guessed they might have a nest nearby but I hadn't expected to find it buried in the interior of the dense, needle-like foliage of the Leptospermum, until I came close to cutting into it.
|This is the best photo I was able to manage. The nest is crammed in among the dried foliage and dead flowers and I had difficulty getting the camera to focus. I also didn't want to disturb any inhabitants by moving branches that might dislodge it.|
|Here are the worried parents, California Towhees I think|
I believe there's at least one nestling in it as I'm sure I saw an open beak. Much as I'd have liked to confirm that with a closer look, I gave up the effort to get a better shot as my presence so distressed the adult birds. At least California Towhees aren't as fierce as the local mockingbirds. The mockingbirds don't hesitate to attack intruders threatening their nests; I see them go after both hawks and crows daily and I've no doubt they'd swoop at a human intruder as well. Needless to say, I decided the task of trimming the Leptospermum could wait a few weeks.
I may have a hard time photographing the birds in my garden but lizards are much easier. I can't walk a foot without a lizard zipping across my path. And, when they're happily baking on a warm rock, they don't hustle to seek cover either.
|This is a western fence lizard, aka the blue-belly. That blue glow you see here on the lizard's stomach and neck isn't an optical illusion.|
That's my Wednesday Vignette this week. For more, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party