As one of the visitor service hosts at the Museum, the Garden of Australian Dreams has always been my favourite space.
In spring and summer you can sit on the grassy hill under the dappled light of the Italian alder trees and watch the garden. In stormier seasons you can walk along the outer path, protected by the overhang, and watch as rain and wind transform the space.
The garden is equally enjoyed by many birds, and we are excited to be launching a new birdwatching booklet to help visitors spot and identify them.
Wait long enough and you’ll see red-rumped parrots waddle past, crimson and eastern rosellas performing acrobatics in the brittle gums, and swallows darting about, creating their own obstacle courses from concrete, metal and timber.
It was while watching these birds, and the visitors appreciating them, that I had the idea for a birdwatching activity booklet. There was great support for the idea, with bird lovers within the Museum offering insight and support. And while developing the booklet I was continually encouraged by feathered activity in the garden.
During spring we were lucky enough to have peewees nest in one of our alder trees. We watched as the couple constructed their home from mud, twigs and feathers, and settled down to roost. We grew protective of them, cheering when they successfully scared off an egg-scavenging currawong.
We were finally rewarded when we heard the first tiny cheep-cheeps come from the nest and spotted the hatchlings peering over its edge. By this time the birdwatching booklet had become a reality.
The booklet contains information and fun facts on nine birds that you might see in the garden, and gives tips on the delightful art of birdwatching. From the beginning of the school holidays you can collect a booklet from the front desk, or from the garden itself.