Sunday, 15 May 2011

Willy Wagtail/Scissors Grinder.

I am not one to believe the spirit of a long lost relative can enter the body of an animal. But this little fellow comes to visit so often, seemingly to deliver a message, I began to wonder.

He/she flies in through an open hatch, sits on my indoor clothes line and scolds me for one long lungful then flits off happily, usually repeating the same message once from the rail then leaves, returning for a repeat performance in a few days or weeks.

When I was a kid, Dad identified the Willy Wagtail and the Scissors Grinder as two species but they are one. We often heard the scissors and Mum would mimic the ‘pretty little creature’ call but I can’t remember hearing the ‘scolding’ calls until now. If you would like to hear Willy scolding and testing his freshly ground scissors, go here and click on the MP3 link.

Of course I have had the camera handy for months but I was never quick enough until a few days ago. Presuming movement would frighten him off, I attempted several times to get a shot from the galley where I sit to write but never quite made it. But when I stood and came closer he seemed to enjoy my proximity and stayed much longer than usual. IXL says he comes for a handout.

Mystery Mendicant Mozzie Muncher.

Rhipidura leucophrys
What delightful bird is this?
Scolding me with tail a-swish
Waiting for a tasty dish?
Sorry Willy; ship’s supplies
Don’t run to grubs and gnats and flies!

(The black wriggly thing hanging down is not a worm or snake, but is my makeshift radio aerial).


  1. Me Tinks It's ' Marjorie ' or ' Stafford '
    'Perchin For A Visit '
    How 'Wonderful' For You 'Stafford'
    Doesn't Matter Which ' One' Tisit.

    Tweetin and Whistlin ,
    A ' Birdsong Loud and Clear '
    * A Sweet Sound Straight From Heaven *
    From 'Mum and Dad '
    With * LOVE *
    **SO NEAR **

  2. Well, sitting on a radio antenna no less; sure sounds like a communication from afar. Kidding aside, I have had these notions in a couple of experiences with birds and animals. I chalked it up to an overwrought imagination. Great picture but your link to sound did not work for me.

  3. what a delight!
    i love wagtails

  4. lovely! cheeky! i have seen one here. not as interested as yours. =) i wonder about the swallows/martins, they used to be in huge flocks when i was a child. i have seen two in Strathalbyn but that is all! We are planting natives, eremophila, ground covers, correas, a wattle, some grevillea, and I have planted a pair of sheoaks in the park near the creek.
    nearby they are paving the farmland with houses.

  5. lucychili, Martens are a pest on a boat, not that I don't like them, I do. But they nest in the folds of the sails so once the eggs are there, I can't go anywhere until they are all growed up!

  6. is it a type of Magpie? (no joke) Fun read Stafford! We have band tailed pigeons,bush tits, chickadees,robins,crows, mourning doves, all sorts of finches, even an occasional turkey vulture,some Cooper hawks and hummingbirds- but none pop in to say "howdy"
    So lucky you!

  7. A bird able to wag its tail? Tall tale?

  8. Kathe, a few years ago I was booked in a band to play some jazz at the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of a nudist colony in bushland at Freemans Waterholes near Newcastle (Australia).
    More twisted minds than mine might make something of the name Freemans Waterholes, and one day I might post a story about the embarrassment suffered by our young and devout catholic drummer, but for now let me assure you I observed flocks of bush tits and even observed one pair, energetically bouncing on a trampoline!

  9. Now you've done it .. can't shake the image of tits bouncing on a tramp. (thanks for the loverly comment) (love it when I can use tons of puns)

  10. Wonderful little poem for a cutey of a birdie :)

  11. ok- I've got that image stuck in my brain- trampolines, gravity and tits! hahah

  12. You are so lucky. I would be beside myself if one of those guys came to visit me. You know that he is a little spirit-catcher, don't you? Don't deny it - you believe. He came all the way from the land of faery just for you!!


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