Winter is well underway in my part of the world. The European trees have lost their bright autumn leaves, the local bird population is earnestly seeking out morsels of food and the wood pile is diminishing before my very eyes.
The garden is by no means drab, however. I have the best crop of pyracantha and cotoneaster berries ever this year and, flitting about in my untidy shrubbery are a rose robin and a grey shrike thrush, both competing with mobs of marauding bowerbirds for space and food, while being menaced by currawongs and ravens.
In the past a pair of shrike thrushes built a nest on a sensor light beneath the eaves. The security system had to be switched off for the duration, since the heat generated by those lights is considerable and we feared for the nestlings in the event of the system being activated.
Other rare visitors have visited my garden recently. A kingfisher sat for a while in the eucalypt beside my balcony and studied me while I studied her and a frogmouth sat on the railing just after dark, faintly discernable in the pale light of the street light. When it rains pink galahs dangle upside down from the phone line while they wash their armpits. They are such acrobats.