The passing parade

5 January 2011
I'm always surprised by the number of animals and birds that wander into our backyard.  Some of them are having a stickybeak, some are just passing through, some are seeking refuge; all of them are welcome here. We live in a semi-rural area, at the end of a one lane street with a creek as our back border, so we'd have to expect some visitors, but we get so many!  I guess it's that we're organic here, no poisons around and while we do have Alice, she's well beyond chasing now, so whatever comes, feels safe.

The glorious goose above came visiting just before Christmas.  I noticed her when I was washing up and quickly went out to look at her.  She didn't like me much, she was protecting the chooks from me!  So I left her in peace and she wandered around with the chooks most of the afternoon.  Her gander was calling her from a few properties over and eventually she heard him and flew home.

This little bird is a Willy Wagtail.  There are a lot of them here at the moment.  They fly around like manic little things, fanning out their tails and making a lot of noise.  One of the female Willies is building a nest somewhere out the front and every so often I see her taking pieces of my hanging baskets to build her nest.  

I don't show you the front of our place much.  Here it is.  It feels very private here, there's not much noise and hardly any passing traffic and I guess there are a lot of hiding places for fragile and timid visitors.

These magpie ducks arrived when the creek flooded the first time.  They happily sailed around the base of that old mango tree, quacking and flapping and then left again, never to return.  Hanno walked down to the creek a couple of days ago and threw some sticks off the steps down to the creek.  As one of the sticks landed further over near the creek, he said a huge reptile of some sort started running off away from him.  He initially thought it was a six foot crocodile, but it was probably a very big goanna (lizard).  It's not as crazy as it sounds, we do have a lot of very big lizards around and as for the croc?  Well, we live very close to the Crocodile Hunter's Australian Zoo.  Maybe something escaped and is living along the creek bed.

Here are some of our girls taking shelter under part of a passionfruit vine.  The only thing that bothers them are the snakes and we haven't seen any so far this year.

This little fellow is a bearded dragon.  These lizards live along the creek and come up out of the rainforest to sun themselves.  This one is about 2 foot, from nose to tail.

Almost every day you can stand in the backyard, look skyward and see all sorts of birds such as black cockatoos, rosellas, king parrots, wild geese and ducks and lots of kookaburras, my favourites.  We have a family of kookaburras living here and close by.  I am amazed by the variety of birds, reptiles and animals we're surrounded by.  I hope they always come here because when they do, I am reminded that we're all part of the diversity of this planet.  There are some who would tell you that we're not, and those who choose to separate themselves from the natural world, but I find it reassuring that while species disappear from our world, here, there is still an abundance of life - both wild and tame.  And while we live here, I hope that will remain unchanged.

Trish just reminded me of this old Australian song that fits this post well:


I've been around the world
A couple of times or maybe more
I've seen the sights, I've had delights
On every foreign shore
But when my mates all ask me
The place that I adore
I tell them right away

Give me a home among the gumtrees
With lots of plum trees
A sheep or two, a k-kangaroo
A clothesline out the back
Verandah out the front
And an old rocking chair

You can see me in the kitchen
Cooking up a roast
Or Vegemite on toast
Just you and me, a cup of tea
And later on, we'll settle down
And go out on the porch
And watch the possums play


  1. Your bearded dragon is interesting - I don't think I'd be afraid of him despite being a UK resident (so not used to such creatures) and him so big! Jo

  2. Wow! My kids would never come indoors if there was that Animal Parade. We get excited when we see a pigeon in the garden :)

    Best Wishes,

  3. OH, Rhonda!!! What a beautiful place!!
    Is this the paradise?
    You are really a lucky person living in this place.
    Hugs from Brazil.

  4. Wow, I loved reading about your garden visitors. Such diversity! If we ever get round to replacing our camera, I'll take some pics of our visitors. :)

  5. What beautiful pictures and descriptions! Our "parade" in the Appalachian mountains here in the US are black bears, coyotes, raccoons, possums, bobcats, and deer. This has made raising chickens quite tricky and I get nervous during the spring when the bears wake up since we have four little children but I give thanks for the beautiful wilderness around us.

  6. John and I have commented that there seems to be a lot more wildlife lately - have you found that too? We're seeing bird species we haven't seen before.

  7. Good morning Rhonda,
    Isn't it just wonderful to have such an abundance of life around us. Whilst we live very close to the highway and do have a bit of traffic noise at times, we can go outside at any time an just bask in the beauty and sounds of nature and I feel truely blessed. I'm not sure about the croc though, I think I could give him a miss. We have rolling hills and beautiful pasture surrounding our liitle bit of paradise and each morning as we sit with our early morning coffee on the verandah the young dairy heiffers come to the fence for a visit. Life is good.

    Blessings Gail

  8. What a Beautiful place to live,i really envy you,and the animal's and Bird's passing by!!you are so lucky!!!thank you for sharing that with us,i wish i could move there,xxx

  9. What a fun post!! Love the pictures. Could you please explain the saying "having a stickybeak"?? I have never heard that before!
    Erin in Canada

  10. It is such a blessing to have such a parade of wildlife in your own backyard isn't it? A visit to a wildlife park is a bit of an anti-climax for my children! I was speaking to a local girl yesterday who has never seen a koala in the wild. I've lost count now of the number of times we have spotted koalas in our trees and have had the privilege of rescuing a couple off the road - one stunned guy still sitting on the branch that snapped from a tree! There are quite a number out and about this season including mothers with babies but when visitors come to our place they never appear!
    Cicadas are deafening this year - drown out any conversations outside! Midgies are also driving us insane and seeing all kinds of snakes - not just the pythons!

  11. My family and I moved to a rural property 2 years ago. My husband always talks about keeping a wildlife album. 2 days ago it was a 6 foot goanna boldly walking in front of our house. I love that they walk like weightlifters, all shoulder muscles!! We see kangaroos and wallabies everyday, and lots of rabbits, hares, ducks and birds. The only bird I didn't like was the King Parrot, who ate all my tomatoes. Now we have bird netting up, so he's welcome again! Of course, the 2 6-7 foot red belly black snakes are definantly not welcome anytime, we have one up the back, one down at the front gate!!
    Love your photos Rhonda, looks like a beautiful part of the world :)

  12. Well, I live in state of Illinois in US, in the country, and I have animals wandering around, mostly by the creek, in back of my house. Last week a possum decided to explore the breezeway between the house and the garage, and now he moved in the little house, I put by the shed, for a wild cat. I do not think he is a mood to move. Whatever!

  13. Thanks for sharing your passing parade...

    At our home we have lots of lizards, cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras and bush turkeys.

    It always makes me happy to see the wildlife in our garden.

  14. Maybe Creekside Croc will be the Aussie version of the Loch Ness Monster? :)

  15. Good morning everyone!

    Sonya, I think there are more. We used to have a wonderful pond next door, just behind our chook yard, you might remember it, that migratory birds used to frequently visit. The person now living there filled it in!! and now the birds find their way here but quickly vanish. I wonder how long that pond had been there and how long it will take for the migrators to know it's gone now and never return. Sad.

    Erin, having a stickybeak is being nosey. Like a nosey parker. I forget that some people don't speak Australian. ;- )

  16. Good morning Rhonda,
    Isn't it just wonderful to have such an abundance of life around us. Whilst we live very close to the highway and do have a bit of traffic noise at times, we can go outside at any time an just bask in the beauty and sounds of nature and I feel truely blessed. I'm not sure about the croc though, I think I could give him a miss. We have rolling hills and beautiful pasture surrounding our liitle bit of paradise and each morning as we sit with our early morning coffee on the verandah the young dairy heiffers come to the fence for a visit. Life is good.

    Blessings Gail

  17. I spent 1982 in a suburb of Brisbane, as a high school exchange student. Your post reminds me of the magic of Queensland and all its inhabitants. Especially the glorious kookaburra! Give me a home amongst the gum trees...

  18. Trish, thanks for reminding me of that old song. Where do you live?

  19. Lovely post, Rhonda. Thank you. What is the name of the black chooks breed in your photo? Are they a 'heirloom' breed? Are they quite docile?
    I am planning to have chickens on my 800m2 suburban block for the first time this year.Can you recommend certain breeds over others?

  20. Isn't it funny what we get used to? Your lizards and crocs would give me terrrible frights, but my grizzlies are just nuisances to be aware of, lol. Love your pictures!

  21. Veronika, I don't know where you live - hot or cold? Go to this site:

    They have a very good chart of heritage chicken types, including hot and cold tolerance and egg laying.

    One of those chooks is an Australorp, the other two are crosses.

    Kayli, give me a 20 foot long python any day over a grizzly. I'd run a mile if I saw one.

  22. Dear Rhonda... You sure do get lots of visitors to your place. I think that's lovely and a blessing from nature...except maybe for the crocodile? not sure about that one. I have a dear friend who lives in Florida. She has an actual recipe for alligator nuggets.. although she recommends going to the store for alligator meat rather than catching it fresh :) Your front yard is lovely. It looks very peaceful and lush with all the greenery!!! i haven't been around the blog world much lately because of work. I was layed off from my job last Thursday, so the side-blessing is I'll have time to catch up on blogging :) :) I'm guessing from this post you are okay...and haven't been affected by the floods!!! Have a lovely week and a Happy New Yaer to you and your family!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  23. Thanks for the loofah info Rhonda.

    Blessings Gail

  24. Hi Rhonda

    Seeing the wildlife in ones backyard is the greatest experience one can have. Like some your North American readers, I have had coyotes, wolves, deer, elk, moose, black bears, wild boars (which are not wild here, but were let loose by a very disgruntled farmer about 5 years ago) and even the pleasure of the odd snowy owl visiting us.

    I would not trade, but I would share.

    I love being on the land. And to have the critters for a visit is always a welcome diversion from the everyday hum drum.

  25. Australia is just so beautiful and unique! What wonderful diversity of wildlife. When we visited relatives there, a few years back, we were completely enchanted. Now we will always long to go back.

  26. Oh god... Rhonda you make me want to move to Australia :)
    What a lovely dream place...
    It pleases me to know that you enjoy it rather than trying to get rid of those animals that visit you. Thanks for sharing!
    Love from Greece

  27. I love all sorts of animals and how cool that they come and visit you at home!

  28. What a delightful place! Looks so peaceful.


  29. Wow.. what a wonderfull animal- and flowerparadise you have in your backyard! I think I would only been seen outside my home! ;o)

    Especially the bearded dragon. We can only see these animals over here in the zoo... How special to see them in there real invironment.

    And oww.. lovely songtext!

    Love from Holland.

  30. Thanks for sharing that Rhonda! I love all of nature's critters. The closest I've come to living in a place that resembles tropical is in Texas, but its no match for the lushness of your yard!

  31. Hello Rhonda Nature never fails to remind us of her beauty. I love the different birds you have and I have never seen a lizard in these parts. Thank you for sharing. You have a beautiful spot. Peace.

  32. When I go home to the UK one of the things I miss is the sound of the wildlife. Birds and insects and frogs, they are all so loud but I do love them. Our wildlife is so quite and elusive.

  33. Wow. Love the different kinds of critters you get in your back yard.

    As I add more gardens and such to my yard I have also begun to notice the rise of wildlife coming to my back yard. Hopefully I can keep them. I so enjoy seeing the menagarie converging on my yard every morning and late afternoon. The rabits, squirrels, chipmunks and the variety of birds gives me loads of joy. It's winter here right now so I enjoy the site from the warm side of the window but enjoy I do.

  34. Our farm is about 25km, in a direct line, from the coast but we are often visited by a pelican when the coastal waters are rough. There's also the odd jabiru, little cormorant, and occasionally a group of strawnecked ibises. I had a banded monitor pinching eggs a few weeks ago till I met it a couple of times armed with a broom and stamping my feet. I'm lucky it preferred eggs to hens though!
    I've started keeping a photo record of our bird/animal locals and visitors as I scrapbook and want to leave a record of what native friends live here for future generations.

  35. the picture of your chooks looks like our breed (only 8wk old though) the pivc looks like they have '2 dangles' under their heads
    One of ours has this (not the others though)
    DH was concerned it meant rooster.
    Wait and see I suppose

  36. What an amazing paradise and right out your back door! Thank you for sharing.

    Hugs from NY,

  37. you really have such different wildlife from my neck of the woods.


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