Category Archives: Bird breeding

A holiday break

This pair of White-faced Herons are nest-building near the Newstead Cemetery.

I’ll be keen to see how they’ve progressed in a few weeks when I’m back from an extended break.

White-faced Heron, Newstead Cemetery, 22nd September 2017

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Night calling

For the past week a Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo has been calling regularly throughout the night – its familiar descending whistle is not exactly a lullaby!

There have been quite a few dashing about the garden during daylight hours, either chasing each other or being ‘evicted’ by wary wattlebirds and honeyeaters. Meanwhile there is much to see only metres from the front door every day.

Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Wyndham Street Newstead, 9th September 2017

Eastern Rosella

New Holland Honeyeater feeding on Eucalyptus caesia

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Red Wattlebirds are feeding young in nests at the moment …. hence they are seen often at ground level chasing insects

Female Spotted Pardalote

Galahs nesting on the plains

Along with most of our other local residents, Galahs have commenced their spring breeding.

This female and its partner have secured a nest site high up in an old dead eucalypt on the Moolort Plains – a favoured site that has been used regularly over the years.

Female Galah at the nest hollow, Moolort Plains, 1st September 2017

The nest tree – looking north-east towards Tarrengower

The female arriving back at the nest

The hunter and the hunted

Yellow-rumped Thornbills and Superb Fairy-wrens are fixtures in our garden. Yesterday I observed the thornbills gathering nest lining and the wrens checking out potential nest sites in the saltbush. Overhead, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoos were calling and chasing each other through the canopy. Both thornbills and fairy-wrens are favoured hosts for this parasitic cuckoo and the wrens especially got quite upset at one stage. That’s life in bush and garden with the arrival of spring.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 31st August 2017

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Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo

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Female Superb Fairy-wren

Modest designs

Over the past few years one of my favourite television shows has been Grand Designs, initially the UK version and more lately the New Zealand spin-off. I must admit though I’m starting to tire of the story lines … the home always takes three times as long as predicted, costs twice the initial budget and sometimes the result is a complete ‘trainwreck’.

Not so for the beautiful Spotted Pardalote. Their home is much more modest, but does the job and always come in on time and on budget. This male has started excavating at the base of an earthen bank next door. Essential viewing!

Male Spotted Pardalote above the nest site, Wyndham Street Newstead, 20th August 2017

At the entrance of the newly started home

Star quality!

The leaf provides a nice awning

Alert but not alarmed

Excellent choice

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

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Red Wattlebird below the nest

On the cusp

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

Grey Fantail

Striated Thornbill

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