shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Belated compilations of some beasties/birdies events of Australia

This was triggered off by an email from my good friend Stuart Grant who wrote to me from Brisbane of " Forty Thieves of Kenmore (six at least)" describing the visitations of sulphur crested cockatoos making off with his passion fruits and other things. He was absolutely delighted with that being a new Aussie after a lifetime of wearing kilts and eating haggis.

His email brought back memories of my time in Brisbane from Nov 06 to Mar 08 and of the wild life that befriended me. At the beginning, I was so desperate that I even befriended the redback that lived in a corner of the steps leading to my little apartment.

So I searched into my livejournal to find those times I spend with wild life at and around home to send on to Stuart. I was aghast to find I hardly did any records of my time in Australia in Livejournal the way I am doing now in Oman.

I searched further and was happy I wrote of them in a few bird forums.

Such as

I decided I extract those sagas in my letters there into my livejournal here.
Some sagas might have been posted earlier in livejournal, but still added here for the continuity.

I will then invite Stuart to read of my experiences then.


Re: Hi from Tinkerbell & Shanlung
« Reply #21 on May 7, 2007, 1:01am »


I am sorry that I still cannot answer some specific questions you asked of me. I will try to address that in later letters.

I was too tied up with YS, my wife and old friends during this short trip back to Singapore.

Extract from livejournal entry

Friday, May 4th, 2007

YS farewell , 2nd day friday morning

The huge aviary of my friend BK. I wrote of my visit
to BK in

photos of BK aviary

Jurong Bird Park -Premier Bird Park in the world

Above give you better details


My wife will join me in Brisbane within a month from now.

This is why we need to part with YS. Can you imaginine YS to be in a tiny
22 inch diameter cage again ? That is the size of cage that others think are huge for shamas.

Its painful, very painful this leaving of YS even if not of that magnitude of Tinkerbell.

I do not think I dare to have another bird, soft or hook bill again.
What I do will be to try to make friends with birds in garden when I move to a new lease and I have a garden.

Will try to clicker train wild birds and see if bonding be made. Might be pied magpies, rainbow loris or 2s. Hopefully a black redtail 2s as they are huge and beautiful.

Then if I have to leave again, no worries of their future as we met as
friends and can part as friends. And in that case, I need not clean
their crap as they can jolly well crap in garden and play with me.

But back to YS.

He woke me with the belting of his songs. Ivan got locked up to let YS out.

YS got over his funk and forgave me. At first recall cue, he flew to me, hover
over my finger as if making his mind to land or not before touching down and singing
softly to me. He was allowed a few millis before flying back to the top of the table fan.

I gave him recall to shoulder cue that he did immediatly. Back and forth, from short to intermediate, he did all that while softly singing away.

I then opened the cricket box for him to go help himself shutting him up in his flight room.

Ivan was with me since Hongkong in 1995. Even if he aint got wings and bill, he is too much of us and deserve time with me too. He jumped on PC table and needed to be push aside so I can see the screen.

In a while, he will be back into his room for YS to be out with me.


« Reply #23 on May 10, 2007, 12:23pm »


Quote:I have been going though your photo's

You love taking photo's a food..

I love this one.. For all the ones that love chocolate..

Hope you don't mine Shanlung

Those fotos were taken by my wife with pen name of Shimmertje.

I am back in Briz again, since Tuesday morning.

Its still too painful for me to write that report on the handover of YS to Jurong Bird Park and to upload photos taken.

You understand if I delay some of the answers on birds that you are asking until I feel better.

But as this is on food that my wife love to photo, and to write about, you should go to her livejournal below. You find many more stuff on food there, and her records of Yingshiong and yes, her driving lessons.

Go check above as my wife blogs her driving lessons. If you think that is bad, you have not
read the earlier lessons a month/two months ago.

Are all women drivers like this in the beginning?

Or my wife is unique.

Should I buy her a small car or a Humvee?



« Reply #40 on Jul 20, 2007, 11:40pm »


Thank you for the sentiments. That helps me in this
difficult period

I do take much comfort that Tink and YS are in the best of hands. If not for that, the pain will be that much greater.

I have been cooking sweet potatoes and carrots for the brush tail possum with her baby who seems to like coming up to my veranda in the dead of night. I only knew them from the tracks they made in the dusting of flour I made around those dishes. I bought a cheap infra red motion detector and rewired it to trigger a light in my apartment and hopefully, might be able to shoot some photos of her and baby.

No cockatoos yet on the bird seeds tray I set out. Crows drove other birds away. Am starting to buy beans and peas and stuff ready to make Tinkerbell mash.

A bush turkey prowling the front drove other birds away.

Somehow, I do not really care to be friends with either crows or bush turkey much as I like feathered beasties.

Warmest regards


« Reply #44 on Oct 2, 2007, 1:44pm »

Hi folks,

I have been away too long from here. The intensity of work at times took away too much energy til I just zombie out in front of telly in the evening.

Then with a car bought that allows me and wife to expand our horizons outside Brisbane itself. Last few weekends had us checking out Bunya Mountains to Tambourine and staying there.

Here are some updates , including photos of the beasties that started to befriend us here.

Sadly, so far only crows and bush turkeys came regularly for the food I set for birds.
The pied magpies drop by in at first, but the crows then took over.
A couple of grey currawong birds accepted us and they
were tough enough to stand up to crows provided either of us were on the
balcony. I leave for office too early in the morning,
and got back too late in evening to interact much with the birds.

Photos of birds coming to my feeders

Bush tail possums came for their nightly feedings, a
one eyed possum and what I call 'mother and child'. I
was pleased that the possums will spook and scampered
away when other people walked on the foot path 30-40
feet away. Yet the possums accepted us sitting a foot
away from them. And just a few nights ago, the child
allowed me to stroke his back as well. His mom got
used to me a while back already.

Photos of bushtail possums at my veranda and allowing
me stroking them

Warmest regards



« Reply #50 on Oct 4, 2007, 10:34pm »


Thank you. At times I agonised over my impact on the creatures around us. Even the beneficial impact to those feeding off my largess might lead to their swamping over other creatures. Very true if we have a lot of time ahead of all of us. But then again, how much time do we all have? North Western Passage is now ice clear and a yacht sailed through that a month ago.

And after we cleared the land for our houses and our roads (taking away food sources from beasties), we are told not to feed them.

And take away interactions isolating us even further from those around us.

Child accepted my gentle massaging about his shoulder blades the same way I used to do to Ivan my cat. And Sarah, their fur is thick and soft.


The best food by far for your birds will be Mike Manna Mash. Tinkerbell Mash is based on MMM as you can see in

I never used vitamin additives either for Tinkerbell or Yingshiong. I rather believe food that is good and balanced. The best part is that Tinkerbell Mash will be much cheaper than even the cheapest pet food you can buy and yet is more nutritious than the most expensive pet food on the market.

Photos of beans soaking in that process was captured by my wife in

Yingshing is an insectivore. Yingshiong mash was formulated with Tink Mash as a major component in

Warmest regards



« Reply #53 on Dec 17, 2007, 12:40pm »

An update.

Come 20 December 07, me and my wife will fly off to Taiwan
to be with sweet Tinkerbell again to mid January.

I will blog that daily into my Livejournal.

With the last farewell to Yingshiong, me and my wife
decided its just too
agonising to have to say goodbyes to creatures.

No birds will get inside house unless it is fried,
curried or roasted. Only when we are certain we
stay on for a few years (no such thing as forever in
our planet as of now), will we get a furry or
feathered companion to live with.

But wild beasties do befriend us.

At first, only crows and bush turkey came regularly
for the food I set for birds. The earlier flock of
crows that I disliked swarming about the food dishes
resolved itself to a single crow that condescend to
patronising us. I do like this particular crow that
you can see in video later.

We called the crow Princess Mononoke

And if you have not seen above, do yourself a BIG
favour and see that movie.

PM was given that name because she did this sound of
one of the Kodamas (forest spirits) in that movie. We
hung stuff in boxes that needed to be pull up feet
over beak like Tinkerbell pulling up target stick on
chain. PM did that after a few minutes and was the
only crow here that did that. PM is still painfully
shy and extremely wary, but less so of my wife. But
then, I had to leave for office too early in morning.
Placing food for PM to pull up (video above) became
a ritual for us.

If I have more time later on, I will go into formal
clicker training with wild creatures and see if that
will be the bridge into deeper relationships with them
to go beyond a bribe provider.

Rainbow Lorikeets still fly about the trees across the

road. I have yet to prepare the special food required
for them to try to entice them to us.

Two butcher birds that I mistakenly called currawongs
are regular friends. One friendly and the other still
very shy. The friendly one will fly through the open
door to sing to me to announce his presence and will
take mince from my hand. The shy one refused to take
from my hand.

A pied magpie is another regular caller on my
verandah, a most beautiful and elegant creature. He
apparently talk as captured by my wife in her videos

Photos of birds coming to my feeders

Photos of bushtail possums at my veranda and allowing
me stroking them

Video of me stroking the possums are also in above.

My wife keep a blog and update that a lot more
regularly than I ever did that perhaps you might like
to read as well. If you think you are a bad learner
driver, you have not known my wife yet. I think
driving instructors might even pay my wife not to
engage them as driving instructor. After all, I am
willing to continue to pay them to minimise stress on
myself in teaching her how to drive. She is a lot
better with birds and creatures than she is behind the


That finished with my Australian episode.

Then another letter from Smileybird with some interesting photos that I will include here. I was replying to a query from the livejournal saga I had with rescueing the IRN a couple months ago here.


« Reply #129 on Jun 3, 2009, 10:41pm »

The IRN are native to Oman and Muscat.

Flocks of hundreds can be seen in the grounds of Hotel Intercontinental.

Here is one in my garden on a sunflower head eating the unripe sunflower seeds


This was posted in livejournal

Here is me taken outside the screen window with me arranging sunflower heads I had grown for the IRN. If the IRN was to eat, they should eat close up to my wife.


I tested Riam with those seeds but she did not like them. But once the seeds dried, Riam love those heads.

Upon which I decided keeping the heads for Riam instead of allowing the IRNs to feast on them.

Too bad for the IRNs in my garden.

But I am thinking of other alternatives for them

(footnote here. I tried to grow another crop of sunflower heads sufficient for both Riamfada and the wild IRNs. That crop all died in that heat wave that reached 55C for 4-5 days together with even the cactus in my garden. Only weeds are left now)

editted to include below

I wrote to Stuart of this entry and he replied ok to include his letter to me.

Hi Stuart,

What a delightful saga of the wild beasties and birdies!

So much so that I compiled the sagas of my own interactions in Brisbane just for you in my livejournal. I hope you will enjoy them

Belated compilations of some beasties/birdies events of Australia

During my time in Brisbane, I eyed with sadness so many times at the SC2s on the trees on other side of the road from where I lived. I laid out bribes for them but they never came down to me.

Here is another fascinating saga on SC2s in Australia that might give you some good reading of his interactions loaded with beautiful photos.

In time, I guess you be adding well fermented pineapples , with maybe a shot of black label to get them even more sociable. And I expect in due time your photos of your guests.

I knew for a long time now how beasties loved to be high and tipsy. It started from early childhood when I caught butterflies by laying out fermenting mangos and pineapples in secondary forests of Singapore. Those got pinched by squirrels and monkeys.

And I liked your letter so much that I hope you allow me to copy that in full into my livejournal entry as that catalyst that created that compilation.

Warmest regards




--- On Tue, 7/14/09, Grant, Stuart <stuart.grant@xxxx> wrote:

From: Grant, Stuart <stuart.grant@xxxx>
Subject: RE: Forty Thieves of Kenmore (six at least)
Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 7:14 AM

Hi KC,

Just thought you might like to hear of our vanishing passion fruit.

As you know Queensland is blessed with a climate where just about anything can grown, including the passion fruit vine we have in our back yard, indeed it provides so much fruit that we don’t mind the thieves that come and plunder the fruit from time to time, even if their table manners leave a bit to be desired.

For some time now the possums and the fruit bats have been the subject of our oaths’ as we discover the remnants of their meal scattered over the garden – but until yesterday the bandits have been able to get away with their raids unseen.

However, due to a very early start I got home earlier than usual yesterday and by the noises coming from the rear of the house, murder was obviously in progress in our back yard. So without delay I torn down the stairs only to find out the crime was not murder but theft and the culprits were about half a dozen beautiful sulphur crested cockatoos.

Off course with my sudden arrival at the door you might expect them to flee in fright, if not shame, but not a bit of it – they just carried right on as without a care. One of this ‘band of brothers’ even flew down to the edge of the pool with a piece of fruit, not 2 meters from me to “wash” the pulp out of the fruit. One did decide to fly off but only after taking the time to neatly prune off a section of vine which had about 5 or 6 fruit attached, to a perch on the gutter of the roof above me and then proceeded to flick debris down at me as he (or she) ate.

I just wish I had grabbed my camera.

All in all, the loss of some fruit is a small price to pay to see such a wonderful sight – I’m sure you would have been laughing out loud at their antics.


Stuart Grant


If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

hit counter code

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.