The squadron of noisy miner birds banks to the left and comes in hard on a pair of magpies that have inadvertently invaded their turf. With their black, masked faces they resemble bandits and the little honeyeaters have the character to match their appearance. One bird in particular, seems to be sitting on a branch with its head cocked to one side directing operations.
I am strolling around Veale Gardens on the northern edge of the South Parklands alongside South Terrace. After picking up some lunch and a takeaway coffee in the city I've decided to eat alongside the little stream that bisects this manicured section of our parklands. There are wide expanses of grass, benches, shady trees,]a rose garden and even a couple of little grottos with tiny waterfalls. Such a lush environment is also a natural drawcard for numerous species of urban wildlife from birds and insects to spiders and possums.
In keeping with my aerial military theme, my next encounter is with a mud dauber wasp. With their black and yellow stripes, superb hovering skills and segmented bodies and they resemble attack helicopters coming in to refuel as they collect mud by the stream to build their nests.
Further along the path in the shade of a massive gum tree a small group of white-cheeked rosellas are feeding near a gravel pathway. The birds are wary and I sit nonchalantly on a bench pretending not to notice them before one ventures close enough for a candid shot. They really are beautiful parrots and well worth a little patience and perseverance.
With lunch and coffee complete its time to leave the tranquillity of the gardens and head back into the city. Near the eastern perimeter by Peacock Rd the little creek disappears but in a farewell gesture, a group of ibises is feeding along the bank....a fitting way to end my lunch time break.