The weekend provided some wonderful sights in the garden. Despite the dire forecast of hail and snow there were some nice sunny breaks which encouraged the birds to show off their colours.
Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 19th August 2017
New Holland Honeyeater
Red-rumped Parrot (male)
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
Yesterday was grey and gloomy … the sort of conditions that seem to encourage woodland birds to gather in mixed feeding flocks over winter to collaborate in their search for insects.
Along with the Grey Fantail and Scarlet Robin (male and female) it comprised a White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Buff-rumped Thornbills, all of which eluded the camera!
Grey Fantail, Demo Track, 8th July 2017
Male Scarlet Robin
I found the first flowers of Golden Wattle this morning … I’d be keen to hear how this magnificent shrub is faring elsewhere in the box-ironbark.
Golden Wattle, Demo Track, 8th July 2017
There was bird action as well – this male Spotted Pardalote in a party of four + Scarlet Robin, White-throated Treecreeper, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Grey Fantail and Yellow-faced Honeyeater providing lots of interest.
Spotted Pardalote in Red Box on Demo Track
Last Saturday morning I ventured beyond the front yard for an excursion along our street … there were a few nice surprises.
A pair of White-browed Scrub-wrens courting … they’ll be nest-building soon. A small flock of Fuscous Honeyeaters chasing insects and nectar.
I was then prompted to look skyward by a raptor call … a Little Eagle jousting with a Brown Falcon.
I reckon Spring is not far around the corner.
Fuscous Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 1st July 2017
Brown Falcon and Little Eagle
Red Wattlebirds are highly aggressive and territorial birds – they are constantly on the lookout for intruders into their patch and will react quickly and ferociously towards other birds that ‘cross the line’. In recent days I’ve observed them chasing tiny Eastern Spinebills from the front garden and then at the weekend saw them taking on Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. The cockatoos were trying to perch and feed in the large Yellow Gums at the end of the street but constant harassment from the wattlebirds forced them to move on after repeated dive-bombing from the honeyeaters.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – artful inelegance … , Newstead 1st July 2017
A Red Wattlebird arrives
The size difference is pretty big
A moments peace before the next attack
I observed a fascinating little incident yesterday afternoon at the Rise and Shine.
My eye was drawn initially to a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, fossicking in a crack in the trunk of a eucalypt. A couple of times the bird fluttered quickly away before returning … a Yellow-footed Antechinus bouncing along the trunk causing it to depart. I watched the honeyeater for nearly 30 minutes as it kept returning to the same site, to probe for whatever it was after.
At first I thought it was gathering nesting material but it never left with any bark in its bill so I remain puzzled about its purpose. It didn’t seem to be catching insects so I can only surmise it was feeding on sap from a wound inside the crevice. Eventually the antechinus popped out into the late afternoon sunshine to complete an intriguing half-hour.
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Rise and Shine, 30th June 2017