Thursday, July 12, 2018

Melbourne Visit


As I mentioned last week, I was recently lucky enough to visit my cousins in Melbourne and as keen birdwatchers, I was taken to some of their favourite sites. 

Whenever they visit us here in the Adelaide Hills, they comment how lucky we are to have so many birds visit our garden, but after a few days with them, the boot was on the other foot. I was really envious about their proximity to so many lovely conservation areas in the nearby suburbs. I guess we are all lucky that there is so much more being done to preserve natural habitats and to provide man-made ones as well.

The first shot was taken at Mornington. I liked the identical poses of the Crested tern.  Obviously this species cannot read!!!


A walk along the coast near Mentone Beach gave us this pair of Red Wattle birds in a dead tree.


And in the same area this very pretty Fairy Wren in full plumage.



This little fellow is a Bell Miner - a honeyeater. We don't get this bird in South Australia so I was completely captivated when walking through a section of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens to hear the lovely chiming sound coming from all around me. I eventually got this not so good photo. I was quite disappointed to learn that Bell Miners are considered a bit of a pest in Victoria as they tend to take over areas. I think I could put up with their song if they lived in my area.




This little Dusky Moorhen was the only one left in the nest - the other more adventurous ones were swimming with Mum.


Purple Swamphens are very common, almost to the point of being a nuisance in parks, but I loved these two shots of mothers and sons/daughters

.




And my most exciting moment of the trip was to get a shot of a Golden Whistler - my first time to catch one still enough to get a reasonable photo.



Liz Needle

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

By the Seaside


Living as we do in the Adelaide Hills, we don't get to the seaside very often - and rarely with a chance to go birding. So, it was with great delight that I was taken by my birding cousins to Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary on a recent trip to Melbourne.

John and Margaret are keen birders and were more than happy to drive me around Melbourne to visit some of the many suburban birdwatching areas - and Melbourne has a wealth of them. Ricketts Point was especially good because I got a chance to snap seabirds for a change. These are all pretty common sights for those of you who live near the coast, but a real treat for me.

Silver Gulls and a pair of Little Pied Cormorants

Crested Tern

I am familiar with Black Swan. We get them on the waterways in the hills, but I did not realise they were also found on the coast.


The White-faced Heron is one of our visitors and has actually nested on our property, but again I did not think of them as a coastal bird.




Australian Pelican


And finally, a bit of everything.





Liz Needle

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Murray Magpies" in the Garden


A common bird in Australia is the Magpie-lark  -  or as it is commonly called in South Australia, the Murray Magpie. We don't see a lot of them around our garden, probably as the Australian Magpies and the Grey Currawongs are more aggressive. In fact so rarely do we see them that I do not have any images of them.

 So it was with great pleasure and some excitement  that I discovered a nest in our oak tree last Spring and was able to snap the parents feeding the nestlings. They were well hidden and very protective , so the photo was taken from my veranda, a safe distance for all concerned.








We  watched them daily for a couple of weeks until the little ones were able to fly and then they were gone!!



We haven't seen them since, but we are hoping that they may return in Spring again.

Liz Needle

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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Grey Fantails



For several years we had Grey Fantails nesting in the garden and at the time I posted photos. Quite a while back now, so I will put some up again.









Then they disappeared and we didn't see them around - perhaps my camera scared them off!  This year, much to our delight w have had severaL sightings and although they are rather elusive and never keep still, I have been lucky enough to get some reasonable shots.




And my favourite shots of these pretty little birds.  The fellow with the brown colouring is a juvenile. Doesn't stop him flirting though.











Liz Needle

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Eastern Spinebill


One of my absolute favourites among our garden visitors is the pretty little Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris - a very long name for a shy little honeyeater. They are busy feeders, loving the native nectar flowers like grevillea and Epacris, but in our garden preferring the long tubular fuchsias and salvias.

We love watching them hanging upside down feeding from the drooping fuchsias or hovering like humming birds as they feed. In spring they become quite bold, collecting cobwebs from the eaves of our veranda just a couple of metres from where we sit.












Liz Needle

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Colour in the Garden


At the moment there is not a lot of colour in the garden - autumn leaves were all but absent as we had that late dry, warm summer/autumn and no frosts to bring out the leaf colour. Very disappointing as I love the autumn color. Alas, the leaves just fell off the trees and we got the usual mess without the glorious colour. At least we are now getting the rain we needed.

But, we are getting colour in the garden as you can see from the photos. These beautiful birds are Rosellas. The one we get here in Adelaide is appropriately called the 'Adelaide Rosella' and is a subspecies of the Crimson Rosella from the Eastern states.

They come in a range of colours from yellowish to orange to red and all shades in between, which makes them far more interesting than the Crimson  Rosella. The young ones are born green and gradually get their colours as they mature.














Liz Needle

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Wild Bird Wednesday. If you pop over to this link you will find a great post on the Crimson Rosella.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Rare Sight

Although we have many birds in our garden, we don't always get a chance to photograph them, or to even get a good look at some of the shyer ones. It seems to me that every time I get my camera out, the birds disappear!!

Last week I had a couple of lucky sightings. Wattle birds are very common around here, but they usually stick to the trees and rarely come down close enough or for long enough to get a shot. I guess with not much water around, they are coming closer to get a drink, because I was able to not only get a good shot of the little Wattlebird (pretty common here), but also of the Red Wattlebird - far less common.

Little Wattlebirds - here the wattle is non-existent or very small, hence the "little".




Red Wattlebird - the wattle is much larger and more noticeable.




Tasmania has a Yellow Wattlebird, not found on the mainland. This one has a bright yellow belly and long fleshy yellow wattles. Wattlebirds are honeyeaters and are often quite aggressive towards smaller honeyeaters.

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Liz Needle