The (Avian) Grapes of Wrath

To: Canberra Birds <>
Subject: The (Avian) Grapes of Wrath
From: John Layton <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2016 09:31:33 +0000

Yesterday evening some lazy little citizen threw a couple of handfuls of unwanted grapes onto short-mown sward near the back porch. I looked out at 06:00 today and saw seven or eight Silvereyes feasting on the serendipity. I can’t remember seeing Silvereyes ground-feeding before. Within minutes a Common Blackbird descended and scattered the Silvereyes.  The blackbird seemed to be pecking at ants attracted to the grapes rather than the grapes.

Suddenly he was surrounded by five Common Mynas, but sharing a repast with these urban bogans ran counter to the debonair thrush’s sense of decorum and he left the table.

Comeuppance  soon confronted the flying gamins in the form of a Pied Currawong that showed no interest in the grapes, but looked about malevolently. Then, satisfied it had spoiled everyone’s petit déjeuner, decamped.

I went off to fix coffee returning to the window 10 minutes later to see four green Satin Bowerbirds cleaning up skerricks of grapes. This is the second time I’ve noticed Satin Bowerbirds at our place. First was on a cold foggy morning two years back when we saw five hopping about in a winter-bare White Cedar. At the same time someone reported a bower on the verges of McGregor Oval not far from here.


John Layton



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