Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Neighbours

A piece of prime real estate has been vacant around here for a while now. It's located on top of the framework for the clothesline under the verandah. Over the past few weeks a number of couples have inspected it but so far, in spite of the lack of suitable nesting sites since our human back fence neighbours cleared their yard, none had thought it suitable. Things changed yesterday with a pair of turtle doves checking it out and returning for a second and then a third viewing.

They investigated the amenities, tried out a variety of landing approaches and finally, after much roo-coo-cooing, decided it would do. First thing this morning they arrived to start construction. This involved a lot of discussion and investigation before they worked out the ideal plan. She settled in arranging and rearranging the assortment of twigs her mate brought her. He had some trouble in meeting her exacting standards and a considerable number of unsuitable offerings ended up discarded to litter the floor under the building site.

By the time they stopped work for the day an untidy - and apparently unfinished - structure of twigs and small sticks rested precariously on the flat top of the clothesline frame. I can't remember how long it took the previous residents to complete their nest but at this rate I suspect it will be several more days. Still, anyone who has ever seen a dove's nest close up will have wondered at how they even manage to hold an egg let alone a chick so perhaps my assessment is way out.

I'll try for a photo tomorrow before they arrive.

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