21 March 2019


Late summer-early autumn is finch time on the farm. They’re cheeping in the yard; it’s the cutest sound a bird can make. The large family group of Double-barred Finches hop closer. 

My 6th sick day in a row, I sit out in the sun watching the birds. A balmy 27 degrees, I keep my jacket on until I get sweaty; then take it off and start shivering again. But, one giant sneeze and they’re gone.
Two cough lollies, 1 black tea with honey and 3 tissues later the finches risk coming back. Their faces are heart shaped, their beaks are blue, their wings are speckled with polka-dots.  
The finches appear to float along while pecking grass seeds.

Three finches skate closer. Each keeps one eye on me as they hop up to bathe. Two minutes later the cheepers relax; sipping and shaking off excess water like a mini fountains. 

Even with a bad head cold, bird watching is lovely. I try to suppress it but need to cough; trying not to makes it worse. The moment when I start spluttering the finch trio is away.

Eyes streaming, the coughing fit burns my throat. And I frighten the finches.

All of 10cm long, I can’t see or hear anything from them. I head inside for water and a gargle with cough mixture. 
Out again, I rest the camera on the wobbly table edge, hoping the little guys aren’t too scared to come close again.

It takes a while, but one cheeky chap comes back. He’s photogenic. I snap away, even film him, but every shot is wonky. I’ve always been a crappy photographer, but I do have a small fever. And I did capture one perfect cheeper  having fun in a shower bath.

It sips, it dips, it flits. A 2nd bird joins it for a splash.

Seeing Double-barred Finches play in the sun makes me feel better.


  1. A lovely story Therese. Beautifully written and i love how these beautiful birds can make you feel better. Looking forward to reading more.

  2. Thank you, sometimes the smallest birds are the sweetest. You can't help feeling good when you watch them.