Who would have thought than an eggshell could provide such joy and excitement during one of the worst weather events in living memory?
As readers of my bird blogs know, I have been photographing and writing about our resident Wonga pigeons for a number of years. Over the last couple of seasons this couple have defied all logic, producing chicks continuously and disregarding any notion of a specific breeding season.
Here at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains it has been raining almost constantly since Christmas, but has that deterred them? Not at all!
March 21 – The rain this week has intensified and there is a growing flood crisis throughout New South Wales. The Wonga nest is just visible, about 30 metres from our deck in a conifer. I pop out now and again to see how the sitting bird is coping. It had been very restless all morning. Could a chick be about to emerge? Dear me, if so I hope it doesn’t drown! 😨
A familiar, insistent call signalled ‘change of shift’ time. As the arriving bird approached, the sitting one hopped up. What on earth? My tiny, point and shoot camera was at the limit of its range, but there was definitely something in its beak.
I zero in as best I can….oh for a ‘proper’ telescopic lens. Wow, it’s an empty eggshell! My hatching hunch was correct. The bird then took off with it. You can just see it’s extended wing on the right, through the gloom. Apparently the parents drop the eggshells a fair distance from the nest. It’s a clever trick of nature, preventing predators knowing where the babies are located. Welcome to the world little Wonga. I think we will have to name you Raindrop! 😁💧
Sometime your worst photos are the most special. I doubt I will ever be lucky enough to see this again.
Finally, the rain stops and there’s a patch of blue beyond the nest. 🌞
Thanks for brightening up a dark old day Mother Nature…and good luck chickie. 💚
NOTE – I took this photo of the couple’s last chick this morning. Little Solo was hatched a couple of months ago. He/she is still a juvenile, but no longer the apple of its parents’ eyes.