Category Archives: The Home Garden

Bush visitor

We had a couple of Grey Fantails in the garden this afternoon – I was alerted to their arrival by their sweet, chittering calls in the canopy overhead.

This species is a resident in the surrounding box-ironbark woodlands, typically visiting during autumn as the birds disperse after breeding. They are fascinating to watch as they pursue insects amongst the foliage.

Grey Fantail, Wyndham Street Newstead, 25th April 2017

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Ah … the serenity!

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

White-plumed Honeyeater

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Yellow Thornbill

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Enjoying the garden bounty

Silvereyes can be found locally throughout the year but numbers tend to grow in the autumn, boosted by an influx of migrating birds from Tasmania. This race of silvereyes is distinguished by having rich chestnut flanks and pale coloured throat feathers. They are a highly mobile species and I suspect we are seeing different individuals throughout the seasons.

The home garden provides a rich bounty for Silvereyes. They are especially fond of saltbush fruits, ripening olives and will readily feed on nectar from a range of flowers, including mistletoe.

Silvereye with Ruby Saltbush fruit, Wyndham Street Newstead, 16th April 2017

Silvereye feeding on mistletoe flowers in our yard

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… and then to the bird bath

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Ruling the roost

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

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Red Wattlebird arrives …

… and is now

… ruling the roost!

Autumn eclipse

We enjoy the company of a family of Superb Fairy-wrens in our home garden – a mob of five or six that can be seen bobbing around happily most days.

At this time of the year the adult male loses its spectacular garb and moults into an eclipse plumage for a few months before regaining its full glory in late winter. The male can be distinguished by the black bill and blue tail, while the females have a chestnut bill and mask.

Superb Fairy-wren (male in eclipse plumage), Newstead, 14th April 2017

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Adult female

Barely a ripple

It’s raining this morning … the gentle sound of rain on the roof is unexpected but welcome. The Rainbow Lorikeets appear to have left and the Musk Lorikeets are celebrating their departure with a cacophony in the Yellow Gums behind the house. I think this might be autumn …

I couldn’t resist this sequence from yesterday at the bird bath – a female Spotted Pardalote quenching her thirst.

Female Spotted Pardalote, Wyndham Street Newstead, 18th march 2017

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Male Common Bronzewing

A fleeting visit?

Gordon alerted me to the presence of a visitor next door … a beautiful Southern Boobook, sheltering in the security of the car-port.

Southern Boobook, Wyndham Street Newstead, 15th March 2017

This beautiful hawk owl, a relative of the Powerful Owl and Barking Owl (a rare local), is heard more than seen. During the day they roost in places where they can escape the attentions of small birds such as honeyeaters, which will mob an owl relentlessly if its arrives in their territory. Southern Boobooks are nocturnal hunters – they feed on flying insects and small vertebrates … including mice!

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