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)
Our first Pallid Cuckoos arrived earlier in the week – two birds chasing each other down Wyndham Street.
I was alerted to their presence by the typically mournful calls. You’ll note the difference in plumage between the bird in the first image and the second bird in the subsequent photographs. This mottled individual is a female while the first bird is a male.
Pallid Cuckoo (male), Wyndham Street Newstead, 14th August 2017
Pallid Cuckoo (female)
The wing shape and barred tail are distinctive features
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
At the weekend I observed this Golden Whistler excavating something, at the time I presumed an insect, from inside the stem of an English Elm.
Close inspection of the image suggests it may have been something else – the object of the whistler’s interest looks like a sugary material … any ideas?
Female Golden Whistler, Wyndham Street Newstead, 28th July 2017
A group of Pied Currawongs has made the yard their domain over recent days. It’s provided an opportunity to capture some nice close-up portraits.
Pied Currawong, Wyndham Street Newstead, 9th July 2017
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