Category Archives: The Home Garden

The beauty of ravens

Last year a pair of Australian Ravens nested in a large Red Ironbark in our front yard. They are back again this year and have become quite territorial over recent weeks. The bird pictured below was photographed moments after ejecting a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo from the bird bath!

While often dismissed as simply a ‘large black bird’ these images highlight the complexity of their colouration when seen up close. The plumage is an interplay of black, blue and green sheens and the iris features a wonderful powder blue ring. I’ve found this species and also the Little Raven to be very difficult to photograph – they are extremely wary in most situations.

Australian Raven, Wyndham Street Newstead, 18th July 2018

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As an aside, the most popular post on Natural Newstead over the years is “Sorry, but we don’t have crows around here”, written on July 7th 2013. It was my response to the oft heard claim about observing a crow, when in fact locally, all of these ‘large black birds’ are most certainly either Little Ravens or Australian Ravens.

Common bird … not so common views

If there is one bird that epitomises our garden it’s the New Holland Honeyeater.

This noisy, bold and aggressive honeyeater can be found year-round dominating the foliage in search of insects and nectar. I’ve even see it attempt to chase off Red Wattlebirds – no mean feat.

Typical views of this bird will be familiar to readers of the blog … this set of images capture some different perspectives.

New Holland Honeyeater, Newstead, 12th July 2018

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Kookaburras by the half-dozen

We’ve been the staging post for a ‘family’ of six Laughing Kookaburras over recent days. Their raucous laughter has been rejoined by other groups around the neighbourhood … a lovely winter chorus.

Laughing Kookaburras, Wyndham Street Newstead, 23rd June 2018

4 + 2 = 6

A riot of colour …

… in the garden this morning!

Eastern Spinebill feeding on Correa pulchella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 22nd June 2018

Eastern x Crimson Rosella hybrid

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Crimson Rosella with Eastern x Crimson Rosella hybrid @ the bird bath

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Honeyeaters up close

Nice views this afternoon of two honeyeaters … the Eastern Spinebills (at least three different individuals) are paying regular visits to the Grevilleas in the front yard.

Again, late this afternoon, a Blue-faced Honeyeater arrived in our street, its calls drawing instant attention. I’m pleased to have got my best local shots of this bird.

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 16th June 2018

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Eastern Spinebill (adult female)

Eastern Spinebill (adult male)

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Winter morning antics

It’s been fun watching the gatherings of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in recent weeks … they are such spectacularly beautiful birds!

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Wyndham Street Newstead, 16th June 2018

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Look at me … I’m here to stay!

Late this afternoon I was distracted from the keyboard for a few minutes by the incessant squawking of a Blue-faced Honeyeater, sheltering from the drizzle in an ironbark near our driveway.

This sound is becoming a ‘feature’ of the evolving soundscapes of many towns in southern Australia where certain highly adaptable bird species, largely from northern climes, are moving in. The Blue-faced Honeyeater is an aggressive and competitive species, but it’s a relative newcomer to the district, having arrived in small numbers a couple of years ago. I suspect they are here to stay, so we might as well get used to their noisy vocalisations and enjoy their distinctive character.

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 13th June 2018