Monday, 26 March 2012

Birds aplenty

In my suburban back yard the Burgan Kunzea ericoides is covered in seed and above it the Yellow Gum is dense with gumnuts that must be providing shelter for insects. The cafe is open for business.

On these two plants this morning I've seen two birds new to this garden as well as a bunch of others. It's been an amazing half hour. Here's my list.

Willie Wagtails (a breedng pair this year - for a decade or so we only had one resident)
Eastern Spinebills (rarely seen in my garden)
Crimson Rosellas
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (rarely seen in my garden)
New Holland Honeyeaters
Yellow-rumped Thornbills
Grey Fantail (one)
Red Wattlebirds
Spotted Pardalotes (several)
Australian Magpies
Silvereyes (the beautiful Tasmanian form - maybe they've just arrived)
Spotted Doves

Which birds are new here, I hear you ask? The pardalotes (I've only seen Striated) and the Grey Fantail. I expect the pardalotes and the silvereyes will move on but it would be fantastic if the fantail decides to stay.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Restless visitors

A long weekend, a few quiet days on our farm at Homerton - apart from the welcome noise of a couple of young grandsons.

The noisiest bird in the house paddock is a Restless Flycatcher. I'm very fond of these birds' distinctive calls and their sleek lines, and am pleased that they still call our farm home. Their numbers generally appear to be dropping.

It's been a warm and humid day today, with a storm expected this evening, and large numbers of swifts are flying over the paddocks, both Fork-tailed and White-throated. I haven't seen them in such numbers for a long time. I tried following a few with the binoculars to get an idea of ratio but they were moving too 'swiftly'. All I can say is that the impression I got was that the Fork-tails were in the majority.

Our council complied with our request to grade the track that runs up the side of our property, which is good. But... the grader driver hasn't been to a training class on the value of roadside vegetation, which is bad. I don't think too much damage has been done - time will tell - but the formation of this particular drainage line has pushed a young tree to one side and right onto 'my' Diuris patch. I'll have to wait until spring to see if damage has been done here.

Also flying this week are numerous female Common Brown butterflies and quite a few Shouldered Browns Heteronympha penelope. All are flying low over the grassy woodland areas at the edge of the closed bush. Here's one male Shouldered Brown that I managed to photograph ...

... and a female Common Brown that almost appears to be laying eggs.