“Visits always give pleasure–if not the arrival, the departure.”Portuguese Proverb
Sometimes it seems as if the drought, and Australia’s horrendous bushfire season happened years ago. A lifetime ago. So much has happened since then. So much continues to unfold.
But those years of drought and catastrophic fires have left their mark.
As I walk my farm I see old trees dying. Even after rain. Even after things have seemed more ‘normal’. The stress of year upon year of climate change has done irreparable damage.
And now these trees are filled with strange visitors.
First it was rainbow lorikeets. Hundreds of them descended upon our farm last month, stripping flowers from the gum trees and getting drunk and raucous on nectar. These are not our usual birds. They have been driven here by hunger after their own home territory was decimated by fire.
The lorikeets moved on, and now we have enormous flocks of native pigeons visiting here. So many birds that when they lift out of the trees en masse the sky darkens and the noise of their wings is deafening. They are stripping the figs and camphor laurels of fruit.
There are smaller flocks of rosellas and orioles and cuckooo-shrikes here too.
More than our fair share of kookaburras, finches and birds of prey.
Birds displaced by fire and drought. Hungry. Far from home.
I wonder if they will be able to return to the land that was once their own territory within this lifetime. Certainly there is so much habitat lost that will take generations to recover, if it ever does.
Our local birds call to the strangers. I wonder what they are saying. I hope they let them know that they are welcome.
We must all look after each other in these changing times.
Love, hugs and birdsong, Nicole xx