Kookaburras know how to score an easy meal

I'VE got a new friend. I was mowing the lawn a week or two ago, struggling to get through the mess of a lawn that we inherited when we bought our house.

My wife had mown most of it, but there's one section which is quite difficult as it is on a slope, and some of the weeds are monsters.

Anyway, back to my friend. As I mowed along the fence line a kookaburra decided to come along and sit on the fence.

He just sat there, and as I got closer I was certain that it would fly off. But no way.

That kookaburra wasn't going to let the opportunity of a cheap worm go by, so it just sat on the fence, and I eventually mowed past with my shoulder no more than 300mm from its beak.

I'm not sure of the nature of kookaburras - whether they are aggressive like the magpies we encounter in New Zealand, or whether they are fairly docile creatures.

I guess I found out when the bird didn't flinch as I walked past.

Back I came, one row out from the fence line and still Mr Kookaburra didn't move.

It took me probably 15 minutes to get further up the slope, and still the kookaburra stayed there, watching me go back and forth, but also keeping a close eye on the ground.

He was rewarded just as I moved further away.

Then along came its mate and the two of them watched for what seemed like an age, before flying off into the huge gum trees on our boundary.

The kookaburras seem to come back pretty regularly to our place, and they are always there when we get the mower out.

I guess it's much easier than fossicking around hunting for worms the hard way.

So that's my new friend. I just wish he and his mate wouldn't decide to have a conversation with themselves while sitting up in the big gum tree as soon as the first peek of light arrives at the dawn of a new day.

Every morning, around 4.15am they decide to have a chat.

I was lucky this week, as my wife mowed the slope. Mr Kookaburra didn't come to visit her.

Perhaps he will next time I take to the mower again - then I'll really know he's my friend.