Sunday, 27 November 2011

Turdus Merula

The Latin name for this years main garden pest.

It's the blackbird. Last year we had one and it ate every last raspberry, seemingly on it's own. We killed it. It took several weeks with a small mesh box propped up on a stick with a string trailing through the shed window before I was able to pull it in time and catch the wee bugger. It felt terrible to kill him. He was just doing his thing. Not his fault that some dick-(ybird) decided he missed the sound of a blackbird in his English garden and voluntarily introduced them, all for the sound of it's cheerful note a couple of hundred years ago.

This year the garden is full of the sound of 'tok, tok.'
No doubt counting down their last seconds as we work out ways to stop their clocks - permanently. Gone were the cherries of last year, the strawberries too. This year forewarned is fore-armed. Though arming oneself against a sea of troublesome birds is illegal. It's not the culling of birds that's an issue but the owning of a firearm without appropriate cause and license. We don't live on the prerequisite number of acres and while there have been times I would gladly have bought a slug gun (and shot slugs with it too) it's simply not going to happen.

Instead we invested in six posts, heavy duty wire, star pickets, 100 metres of bird netting and a whole day digging holes, sewing netting and generally getting sun burnt. The raspberry cage looks great. It creates a kind of outdoor indoors that excludes birds of all sorts, hopefully any probing possums and the odd opportunistic Caleb-has-left-the-gate-open-again-Goat. It's been an expensive exercise. Onto strawberry saving measures next week.

Oh, the linocut was inspired by my garden 'friends'. I decided to have a go at lino-cutting and had thought to be inspired by native Tasmanian flora and fauna. Yet somehow this dark feathered, yellow beaked fiend eventuated. Insidious beast.

Who or what would you like to permanently eradicate from your garden?


Shelley said...

If I could stop the Indian Mynas from pulling out my seedlings and the sparrows from stealing my mulch I would be a very happy woman!

Frogdancer said...

Snails. They drive me incoherent with rage.
(Btw, read your book last week. Made me very glad I don't live in a fruit fly zone.)

Linda Woodrow said...

I have a fortress fenced garden these days. Bandicoots, wallabies, padi melons, bower birds, possums, king parrots, cockatoos, bush turkeys. It's a bit ironic for me to complain - I spent years creating habitat for the wildlife, and I do treasure their right to exist. But these days I feel like a Greek fisherman, constantly mending the nets.

knutty knitter said...

That wood pigeon that ate all my plums! And it is an endangered species which I do like but not in my only plum tree!!

Earwigs are the other real problem - they get into all my green veg and nibble!

viv in nz

ps. can we repatriate about 10 million possums?

BeRRYBaLLiSTiC said...

I second the vote for Indian Mynas. Similarly I'd be more than happy to see the last of the pigeons that bully our docile chooks away from their scraps and feeder. In fact, I was delighted a few months ago to see goshawk take up afternoon residence in our backyard and pick off the pigeons that were watching the chooks. All that was left was the pigeons feet on the kids trampoline - but I can live with that, much easier to clean up that kilos of pigeon poo.

Darren (Green Change) said...

Two things: foxes and bower birds.

The foxes I hate. They have no redeeming qualities. They destroy. And all because some English dick(-ybird) thought it'd be fun to chase one on his horse like they did back home.

The bower birds are beautiful, and I love having them around our property. But I hate their voracious appetites! Plus they're smart little buggers, and can get in under bird nets to eat all our fruit.

Pam Woodgate said...

Bloody rabbits!!!

I live in country victoria and we seem to have hoards of the little buggers hopping around our property and digging in our veggie patch.
On the bright side, it is nice when our old Kelpie helps to cull the numbers!

(Sorry to all the animal lovers out there. I used to think they were cute too until I moved out here)

Barb. said...

Fox! One took another chook a few days ago. Left 7x2 week old chickens. We have the gun but it's hard to know when these *blighters* are around.