I try to snatch a few minutes every day to sit quietly on the front verandah and enjoy the passing parade of birds. Earlier this week the selection below made visits to the bird bath as I observed from a few metres away. In the distance I could hear the plaintive calls of a Black-eared Cuckoo … no doubt heading north for the winter.
Ah … the serenity!
Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 17th April 2017
Male (in eclipse) Superb Fairy-wren
After having Rainbow Lorikeets dominate the bird baths for a month or so in late summer, the local residents have resumed ‘normal service’. The smaller honeyeaters, mainly Brown-headed and White-naped Honeyeaters, visit in ones and twos throughout the day, with Spotted Pardalotes and Weebills the other common visitors.
Red Wattlebirds though, rule the roost, arriving at pace to move on the smaller birds whenever they’re spotted slaking their thirst.
Brown-headed Honeyeater @ the bird bath, Newstead, 14th April 2017
Red Wattlebird arrives …
… and is now
… ruling the roost!
Over past weeks our local Yellow Gums have started to flower … but not the heavy blossoming that I was hoping for.
Rotunda Park is notable for its magnificent veteran Yellow Gums and in the past these have lured Swift Parrots to feed on the nectar during April as they arrived back on the mainland from their Tasmanian breeding grounds. In years of bountiful flowering the birds remained right throughout winter.
I fear that once again this year the paucity of flowering won’t be sufficient to encourage the parrots to pay anything more than a fleeting visit. With the Easter break promising excellent weather I’m hoping a few ‘swifties’ might be about.
Juvenile Red Wattlebird, Rotunda Park, 11th April 2017
Yellow Gum buds
Silvereye feeding on Box-thorn
After chasing some of the cryptic and rare species along Mia Mia Track in recent days I thought the ‘lesser lights’ deserved a chance to shine.
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Mia Mia Track, 8th April 2017
Female Scarlet Robin
Male Scarlet Robin
Female Superb Fairy-wren
Footnote: The rare and cryptic include – Red-capped Robin, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola, Speckled Warbler, Hooded Robin, Crested Bellbird and Spotted Quail-thrush.
… that the first Eastern Spinebills arriving around Newstead are almost all juveniles, products of summer breeding in the high country to our south.
The adults are not far behind – I’m expecting to see them in about a week or so. I’d be interested to know if other readers have noted a similar pattern.
Juvenile Eastern Spinebills, Rotunda Park Newstead, 3rd April 2017
A few Eastern Spinebills, all juveniles, have arrived at Rotunda Park – travelling ‘downhill’ from the ranges as they do every autumn.
This species is also affectionately known as the Cobblers Awl, on account of its beautifully shaped bill – perfectly adapted for draining nectar from flowers such as those on offer on the planted Correas in the park.
Eastern Spinebill (juvenile), Rotunda Park Newstead, 2nd April 2017
Feeding on a planted Correa glabra
When the Rainbow Lorikeets, Red Wattlebirds, Galahs and rosellas aren’t monopolising the birds baths, a suite of smaller species flock in for their turn. I’ve also heard a Black-chinned Honeyeater in the garden this morning – we sometimes see them during autumn as they disperse from their breeding sites in the surrounding bush.
Juvenile Brown-headed Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 12th March 2017
Brown-headed Honeyeater (adult)
Female Spotted Pardalote