Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 3, 2017

Suburban birds

My mother has a wonderful back yard about 30 minutes from the centre of Brisbane.

The shallow pool attracts water birds and right now magpie geese are there, along with wild ducks, ibis, water hens, a single spoonbill and a heron.

The birds gather in the morning and stay most of the day enjoying the sun. There are dozens of magpie geese. They are striking birds with black necks and heads. The distinctive knob on top of the head grows in size with age.

The birds don’t seem to be bothered by lawn mowers.

By late afternoon they are all a bit sleepy.

There are only a few ibis. These birds are becoming pests in cities where they scavenge for scraps.

The spoonbill is fascinating to watch. The bird feeds by walking through the water sweeping its beak from side to side looking for water insects, fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

It seemed happy to hang around with the magpie geese.

There are a few wild ducks. When my Dad was alive there were lots more. He used to feed them. He said it helped to make up for the duck shooting days in his youth.

The water hens are more difficult to spot. They keep to the edges under the trees.

I saw a single heron, remarkably similar to the ones that feed on the river in front of our apartment in Bagni di Lucca.

My father loved his backyard. It was quite swampy when he moved to the house. Over the years he made waterways, built bridges and with his neighbours mowed a 3 hole golf course beside the waterhole.

The house will be sold soon. It will be difficult to say goodbye to Dad’s favourite place. I hope the new owners like birds.


  1. I hope the new owners like Birds too as your Dad used to cultivate and make it lovely for them . Who keeps that lawn so good for the birds to did up worms and things?

    • My brother mows my mother’s yard and the neighbours take care of theirs.

  2. It looks wonderful, like a wildlife sanctuary. Hope the new owners will keep it that way…

    • I think they will. The land can’t be built on and the neighbours will want it kept that way.

  3. Thoe photos are enough to make me want to take the next flight there!

    • It is a pretty good back yard.

  4. Sad to see it go, let’s hope that a new owner will love and care for them like your father did.

  5. […] via Suburban birds — Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

  6. I didn’t know about Magpie Geese <3

    • They are great looking birds.

  7. I didn’t realise it was so big – how lovely growing up there

    • I didn’t grow up there. We grew up on a tiny block of land at Main Beach. The beach and the Pacific Ocean were our playgrounds.

  8. I know that Dad was happy to have breathed his last breath at home with his beloved garden and gaggle of geese just outside the window.

    • He loved his garden. I think it extended his life by years.

  9. What suburb is this Debra? My Mum has a remarkably similar place in Chambers Flat! The water hens and ducks congregate at her 3 little dams and are very comical when we mow nearby. The ducks have some very cute antics when they have ducklings in tow but sadly most of the ducklings disappear one by one. We think there may be a resident fox or two living nearby. If you miss your birds too much when the property is sold you are most welcome to come and sit by Mum’s dams to catch a glimpse of some 🙂

    • The house is in Loganholme, not far from the highway. Ducklings don’t last there either. Eels eat them. Nature can be cruel. Thank you for the offer of a visit.

  10. That’s such a moving post, Deb. The garden must have been a wonderful place for your Dad and I like his rationale for feeding the ducks.

    • Dad absolutely loved his backyard. The ducks would run towards him when they saw him and he was always out there, either mowing or playing golf.

  11. That would be hard to leave. I noticed more birds on my recent visit. I think with more native trees being planted, it’s helped bring them back

    • It is great to see them in such numbers.

  12. It looks like a gorgeous property. I can see why you’re so sad about it being sold.

  13. Wow!!! It looks great!

Leave a Reply