This morning I had the closest encounter with my favourite little Tailorbirds. They fly by on several occasions during the day searching for insects for their food requirement. I started to sip hot coffee sitting on the stone bench beneath the Papaya Tree. I noticed there were 4 or 5 birds tweeting and hopping from branch to branch of the Mexican Hat shrub.
They were catching something and flying to the nearby Almond tree and returning to the shrub. It was an indication that there could be its nest and some chicks there. The leaves are huge which make it difficult to spot the nest.
The speed with which they were catching some insect on the branch was too quick for my eye to follow. All of a sudden, there would be something in its beak, much the same way magicians produce something out of nowhere with their sleight of hand. They were tweeting even while holding it there for adjusting its angle for swallowing. It is interesting to watch them rub-clean their beaks against the branch after they swallow.
I was sitting perfectly still, coffee glass in one hand. For once, they could not identify my presence under the papaya tree! The nearest two birds came was about 3 feet, on the papaya leaf above my head. I could not tilt my head up to see because this little movement could scare them. I moved only my eyeballs to see it up close, its pink legs and lovely eyes as it chirped happily. Today they were chirping more. I wondered why. After they flew to another shrub next to the papaya tree, I noticed two little chicks there. The chicks are smaller, have short tails and beaks and tweet with a low 'voice'. They seemed to be learning their early lessons from their parents. They may have been hatched recently in a nest on our Almond tree itself, like they did before and probably doing every nesting season. Now the parents would have been looking to feed them while teaching lessons.
My ears were filled with their delightful music - tuvvytuvvee...... Shrill but thrill it was, coming from as close as just 3 feet. And what a great way to start the day. Here is an old video I had shot where you can listen to its song clearly:
The entertainment made me forget for once, that my coffee was getting cold in my own hand. When they flew away, I had to drink the the now cold beverage. And for once, I had to stay still without even having the time to think of rushing in to bring the camera. I had to content with what I was seeing. It was absolutely delightful anyhow.
Some old pictures:
Its nest with the Almond leaf
Food in beak for feeding chicks.