Oh my goodness!
I was beside myself with excitement.
(I was just about to step into the shower when I heard furious tiny tweeting….over and over again. It sounded frantic).
I went out to the lounge and looked out of the window to see one tiny chick on my balcony rail and another clinging for dear life on the young eucalyptus sapling at the other end of my balcony. I’d been watching the gusty wind blow all the nearby young trees and hedges almost double for some time, earlier in the morning, (i.e. late in the morning as I get up late).
I filled the small plastic watering can full of water to fill up the nearly empty bird bath, which had dried up in today’s heat and slowly stepped over the door rail and up to the bird bath, (just below the tiny bird standing on the rail).
It didn’t move and had its eyes tightly shut, but was tweeting its little heart out.
Then after filling the shallow dish, I went and retrieved my DLSR & long lens to get some photos. I’d put it away last night after leaving it out all week, primed and ready for bird balcony shots.
Then I realised the tiny chicks had the markings of New Holland Honeyeaters on their wings and with their eyes tightly shut hadn’t even seen me, but I wondered if they’d fallen out of a nest on the building somewhere? Nope. These birds probably had a nest on the other side of the road in those tightly leafed Cypress(?) trees.
MAYBE, IT WAS THEIR FIRST FLIGHT AWAY FROM THEIR NEST? (and they were frantically called for their Mama to come and get them as they’d lost their way home).
I slowly put my hand up to about 3″ away from the feet of the one on my balcony rail and whispered softly “are you awake?”
It opened its eyes and looked straight at me.
There was no fear, just curiosity. My head was about a foot away from the tiny bird.
I slowly turned walked down 5-6 feet and tried to get some shots of the bird in the tree, but the wind gusts were too vigorous, so I went back inside to get my Sony a6000 with its 11 fps (frames per second) and tried again. Of course I had both cameras on continuous shooting (so I’ve got a zillion shots) and the ISO on Auto, but for the life of me couldn’t remember what else I should do to capture the wildly waving branch in the frame.
I started to get nervous that the tiny bird would fall off the Eucalyptus sapling, but its tiny claws were obviously very strong. Eventually it opened its eyes and stared at me (trying to reach the branch to still the movement). I actually thought if I could reach it and coax it on to my hand I could gently put it down next to the other chick on the balcony.
They might have been siblings, or twins, or cousins, or…….even, potential lovers one day (yes, I have vivid imagination).
But no, ‘the bird in the bush‘ actually flew off down to the road about 2 ” away from the front tyre of a smoke alarm service vehicle with its engine running.
Oh no. The car was probably going to pull out and squash the chick.
They may not look it by my photos, but these birds were TINY!
I dashed back into the lounge to get my mobile phone and I managed to see enough of the Company’s phone number on the side of the vehicle and phoned them. After the usual “press 1 for service”, “press 2 for ………., “press 3 for ……” and so on up to “6 for reception”.
A cool middle-aged female voice answered and I explained I was standing on my balcony on the first floor at xyz address and could see a baby honeyeater 2″ away from the left front wheel of one of their Company’s service vehicles and could they patch me through to the driver OR, could they phone him and tell him not to move his vehicle or drive off. Next minute the passenger got slowly out of the vehicle and I called out an explanation and that the chick had just gone under their vehicle where it was shady. Driver & passenger, both in Company Uniform, got down on their hands and knees to look, but the bird then flew off.
They said they’d double-check after they’d been inside to service a fire alarm.
I’ll bet that was the weirdest phone call that receptionist had ever received in her entire life 😀