Swamp: when humans can’t read signs.

From Lofty:

Cycling up the linear path gracing our local Torrens River I stopped for a breather at a storm water retention pond which sported a large sign reading: PLEASE DON’T FEED THE DUCKS.

First a couple of moorhens idled by, then the pigeons staggered over for a look. Soon the entire population of the pond had to come and check me out. Tough luck for them for I was a literate human.  Click for full size.





© Lofty. All rights reserved.



  1. Lofty says

    but I bet you were feeding the mosquitos

    Too cold for our mozzies, that day’s temp was about 12C. I’ve seen none about since the days dropped below 16C. Also warm wet grass is worse around here for mozzies than inhabited ponds. A couple of years ago I got a very serious virus from a bite on a well watered lawn when it was around 25C.

  2. Lofty says

    Kengi, yes, across the footbridge in the third picture lies a suburb called “Paradise” that is full of Italian families, and their matriarchs of course take very little notice of such things when dragging out the grand children for a bit of fresh air.

  3. Kengi says

    Ah well. I shouldn’t point fingers. I feed the critters around my house for entertainment and have no doubt messed up the local ecology pretty badly because of that. I try not to think about it too much and just enjoy the animals.

  4. Lofty says

    I don’t think many right thinking people have a problem with creating a safe haven for wild birds so long as you don’t feed them garbage, like white bread. Feeding that stuff to humans is pretty bad too.

  5. Lofty says

    rq, those fat pigeons had developed an interesting trick. The one on my bike wheel flew repeatedly right past my face trying to get me to drop the white sandwich shaped object in front of my face. Pity for them the little white camera wasn’t going anywhere except back in its bag.

  6. blf says

    For all the rat-in-a-bird-puppet picture fanciers, there’s a great picture of a seagull puppet in the article, GPS tags reveal the secret life of urban seagulls:

    Pioneering study of four herring gulls nesting in St Ives, Cornwall, found they spent most of their time foraging for food outside of town
    The study involved researchers attaching solar-powered GPS tags to the herring gulls, two male, two female, nesting on the rooftops of St Ives and tracing their movements through a summer.

    It turned out the gulls, from four different nests, acted in very different ways.

    One of the birds, a male known as G4036, roamed widely, ending up as far afield as the Irish mainland and did not mind spending nights bobbing around out at sea. He was found to have visited Lundy island in the Bristol Channel and the Saltee islands off County Wexford.

    A female called G4038 ranged primarily over land or within a mile or so of the shore but also occasionally took long trips out to sea.

    By contrast, another female called G4037, which bred on the same roof as the prolific seafarer, and a male, G4039, rarely went more than a few hundred metres over water and then usually only to cross Carbis Bay on the way to the Hayle estuary. Their activity was concentrated during the day while the other two were out and about at night.

    The data revealed only occasional GPS fixes for the birds in the streets of St Ives close to their nests, at which time they may have been picking up scraps of human food.

    But they did spend much more time at a farm inland where there was a large heap of animal feed and in fields where they were probably hunting for invertebrates, small mammals, nestlings and amphibians disturbed by farm machinery during hay cutting and other farming activities.

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