A pair of Red Wattlebirds are building a nest in our yard. This is not an especially notable thing, we have a few pairs in the neighbourhood and I watch nests most years.
What is especially pleasing though on this occasion is that they have chosen one on the Dropping Sheoaks that I planted almost a decade ago. It’s nice when a plan comes to fruition.
Red Wattlebird nest in Drooping Sheoak, Wyndham Street Newstead, 5th August 2017
Arriving with wool for the lining
Red Wattlebird below the nest
We are on the cusp of a changing of the seasons.
Over the past few days I’ve observed Australian Magpies and Eastern Yellow Robins carrying nesting material … I’m sure there are some active nests already.
Meanwhile, in the bush, small insectivores are still moving about in mixed species flocks, using their collective powers to forage cooperatively in search of insects. The images below are from a small flock seen along Bruces Track in the Muckleford bush. Scarlet Robins, Weebills, a Rufous Whistler and Grey Shrike-thrush were also part of the convoy.
Buff-rumped Thornbill, Bruces Track, 27th July 2017
A pair of Australian Ravens have been staking out a territory along Wyndham Street over the past fortnight.
The birds have spent quite some time calling from atop the larger trees followed by a sequence of whirling circuits around the neighbourhood. They don’t appear to have chosen a nest site as yet but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Australian Raven, Wyndham Street Newstead, 12th June 2017
Spotted this impressive flock of Australian Pelicans last evening near Picnic Point … one of the largest congregations I’ve seen for some time on the lake.
What’s your count?
Australian Pelicans, Picnic Point, 31st May 2017
How many pelicans?
Is that a youngster at the front?
Last spring I admired a female Mistletoebird building a nest in a Golden Wattle next door.
The nest was never completed, as the pair abandoned their efforts (the male is a mainly an onlooker when it comes to next construction) and apparently moved to a more favoured location nearby. Numerous times over following weeks I observed the birds visiting a copse of deciduous trees on the corner of that block – a location that has been used before by Mistletoebirds.
Alas, I never found the nest – the dense canopy and furtive behaviour of the adults making it impossible to locate the exact site. With the onset of autumn the nest is now revealed, the delicately stitched purse of cobwebs, flowers and fine plant material suspended from an outer branch.
Mistletoebird nest, Wyndham Street Newstead, 14th May 2017
I ventured stealthily out to the verandah yesterday afternoon … in the hope that there might be something of interest at the bird bath.
The reward was in the form of a family of Crimson Rosellas, a pair of crimson and blue adults and an immature bird with its beautiful olive-green plumage.
Immature Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 7th May 2017
Adult Crimson Rosella
The immature bird again …
I’ve been visiting the same spot along Mia Mia Road over the past week. All four visits have yielded Red-capped Robin, Scarlet Robin, Crested Bellbird and Speckled Warbler, while I’ve seen Chestnut-rumped Hylacola twice and this morning heard a Spotted Quail-thrush. It’s a real hot-spot!
On each visit a small group of Speckled Warblers have been hanging around the same general area, a pair of adults with what I think is an immature bird, which earlier in the week was spotted following one of the adults carrying food. This morning I observed the female carrying what appeared to be a downy feather … could it be that they have raised a youngster and are now constructing another nest?
Speckled Warbler carrying food, Mia Mia Track, 5th April 2017
II – with immature bird at bottom left
Male Speckled Warbler
Female Speckled Warbler, 8th April 2017
II – with nesting material?
Also observed this morning: White-eared Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-throated Treecreeper, Crested Shrike-tit, Golden Whistler, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Little Lorikeet, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill and Grey Fantail.