A somewhat unanticipated, but very welcome event … we enjoyed 8mm of rain yesterday morning. Within minutes of its gentle onset, swarms of insects emerged, including flying ants of various varieties.
Once the rain had stopped, but under still leaden skies, I paid a visit to the Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve. There was lots of bird activity … the bush always comes to life when rain follows a dry spell … and insectivorous species were especially active. Black-faced and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes, Restless Flycatcher and Dusky Woodswallows were joined by numerous Olive-backed Orioles in their hunt for insects.
I was struck by this juvenile Olive-backed Oriole that I first spotted catching winged ants from the ground. It was being followed by two immature and inquisitive Crimson Rosellas, prompted apparently by the foraging success of the oriole. Over the course of a five minute cameo the rosellas followed the oriole to a succession of perches but at no stage did they make any attempt to interfere. I can only surmise that they were hoping to share the oriole’s success but I’m not clear on their strategy, if indeed they had one!
Rosellas are mainly fruit and seed eaters, but they are known to take insects, especially larvae – this behaviour though is a first for me.