Posts Tagged ‘birds’
Monday, July 19, 2004
Here at Playa Vista we try to welcome all our visitors with a pleasant disposition and a smile, and those of you who read our missives regularly will know that even extends to our visitors of the feathered variety (see the archived blogs Narcissism and Original Woody Woodpecker).
So… this week it is with mixed feelings that we report on the complete absence of the normal daily visits of our eccentric mirror battling woodpecker. Mixed because we have become so used to having him around almost like a member of the family, but on the other hand our sleep is no longer punctuated at the crack of dawn because of his frantic and resonant attacks on the kitchen window and window frame. We are left merely to conjecture on the reason for his sudden non-showing in exactly the same way as we sometimes wonder whatever happened to “so and so” who might have become a regular bar visitor and then suddenly disappears into thin air. Our immediate reaction is to fear for our Woody’s well-being, something tragic perhaps has befallen him. Or is it just a casual matter, as with so many of our visitors, he simply packed his bags and flew on. However, our best theory is that he has finally, and quite smartly, thrown in the white towel and given up after trying to out-peck, nay fiercely destroy, his reflective adversary and constant threat to his territory for so long. We think he took the sensible course and finally decided that the stubborn challenger was just too tough!
However we do take this opportunity to make a pleasing report on behalf of Woody’s many cousins. The welcome news is that the trend with regard to bird life at least in our immediate vicinity is very definitely on the up. Waking early in the morning – not any longer because of errant old Woody though – one can now hear quite a cacophony of bird sound which certainly was not the case just a few years ago. This is confirmed by one of our most regular of regulars who, ironically with his one good eye, has been carefully observing all the changes for many years in Boca Chica and he too is surprised at how much the bird population has expanded because some years ago he says the locals used to chase them all away with sling shots.
The familiar sparrow is as common here as in other parts of the world (although the wannabe woodpecker sparrow appearing in the May 8th blog has also given up whatever was his quest in pecking the upstairs windows), frigate birds elegantly glide in the air currents on high, weaver birds flit through on a regular basis and even nested last year next to our washing line. You might see an occasional pelican diving for fish in the lagoon and we have had reports of humming bird sightings. In addition there are numerous types unfamiliar to our European eyes, all adding to the tremendous dawn chorus and this summer, for the first time, we notice a very sizeable flock of martins diving and climbing above the Playa Vista terazza at supper time to be followed almost in the blink of an eye by bats circling in exactly the same territory under and alongside the trees searching for their daily intake of insects. The only thing missing in the picture is our good old friend Woody! But, who knows… like most of those other flyaway visitors of ours, he might just turn up again some fine day along the way!
Meanwhile seven years later:
As you now know Woody and his friends cannot return to the trees on the west side of Playa Vista because those trees have been removed to make way for the neighbor’s parking lot. However, the very large almond tree to our east has been attracting a large number of delightfully noisy birds to feed because of an extensive mistletoe-like growth all over the tree. The growth is so extensive one fears for the very survival of the tree but the birds love it!