To share this story I first need to re-wind a year. We had just moved into a new house across the road. It was a suburban area that had a natural creek-line and sustainable waterway. In this area I had seen so much diverse wildlife, from the majestic Kookaburra to a Brown Snake and all types of native flora.
When we moved into our new residence I went to hang out our washing on the small clothesline, only to notice a tiny and perfectly shaped nest perched in its top right corner. I peaked inside, no eggs, no babies, no birds around. I checked back each time and after a month of no inhabitants I removed the nest.
Now let’s skip forward a year. Each weekend I would do the laundry but in October 2018 I noticed another nest in the same corner as the old one! A few weeks passed and all of a sudden I had visitors great me with cranky eyebrows and defensive tactics when I would hang my washing out…..Willy Wag-tail parents.
This continued for a couple of weeks until one day I woke up in the morning and heard a new sound, chirping. I took the washing out that day and found the parents had hopped off the nest and hatchlings were there. Each day I would check on them, even with the disapproval of Mum and Dad.
One evening we had a fierce storm. I decided to check on the babies before bed. The nest had been blown off the clothesline and the babies were cold and soaked. I scooped them up into a cloth and avoided touching them with my hands. My Mother is a wildlife carer and had taught me not to interfere as much as possible so these babies could survive.
I called Mum to check on what I could do and she said it was best to keep them with their parents if possible and she suggested the peg basket on our line. I carefully placed a towel and then the nest and babies on top and hung the peg basket on the line. In the morning I lay in bed to hear the sounds of the babies chirping.
Somehow the babies went from 3 to 2 even though Mum, Dad and adoptive Mum (me) were vigilant. Finally the day came when they were ready to leave the nest. Annoyed with me hanging the washing they decided to fly to the fence. Each day I would search for them. As having rescued and invested my time with these birds I came to realise how important their welfare was. We often raze bushland to the ground without any thought to the habitat of native wildlife. It just so happens that we co-habitated with some Willy Wag- Tails. Last known sighting, they were hopping along fencelines and retainer walls. My only hope is they were able to continue the generation of clothesline nesting with understanding humans.
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