By Dereka Ogden
I came back from watching the whales at Hervey Bay, to find the mulch from my garden all over my pot plants and on the bricks underneath. Mr. Turk (Alectura lathamii) was at it again.
Last year he did the same thing at the other end of the garden and I managed to foil him by putting up a cheap half metre high fence. He could fly in, but he could not get the mulch out. Problem solved.
On the neighbour’s roof
This year he decided to try the other end of the garden, and as there is no fence between my garden and my next door neighbour, he took his mulch as well. As a temporary measure I had to put my garbage bins on their sides along the garden edge along with an old cupboard thing that was here when I bought the house. That looked pretty ugly.
Another fence seemed the answer. I couldn’t get the black mesh this time, so I had to buy grey. The posts are made from recycled plastic, and that’s a great idea, but while the handy man was hammering one in, it broke. I guess they are not quite as strong as the wooden ones, but they are termite proof.
This morning he must have remembered he didn’t manage to get the mulch he had scraped up a few weeks ago and he hopped up on to the retaining wall. I could see he was surprised – he couldn’t get through. Resignedly he hopped down. I didn’t manage to take a photo of that.
The owners of the house where Mr. Turk has his mound have decided that they don’t like him there even though they are not gardeners and they only come down once in a blue moon for a few days. The lady is trying to find someone to relocate him. Best of luck I say. Another solution they thought of was to have a sprinkler that would turn on, when it would be triggered by Mr. Turk somehow.
Mr. Turk has been successful. Now he has eggs in his mound. You can see one of his ladies laying there in the photos below. There can be as many as 20 eggs in a mound laid by lots of ladies, but the chicks have a hard time of it and not many survive. I found a dead one on my path one year. A cat or dog killed it no doubt.
These birds are protected, and though they are annoying we may not harm them. Surely we are clever enough to direct them to a suitable place for their nests?