Monday, January 14, 2019

Babies on Display

Over the last week we have had hatchings of Red-browed finches, Sparrows and Blue Wrens. We are so lucky that the parents trust us enough to bring their precious little ones onto our front lawn to play and feed. I am sure there have also been honeyeaters hatched, but they are far less confident and rarely go to ground.

We have had hours of pleasure watching the antics. especially of the wrens.  They are so funny chasing mum and dad for a feed, little round bodies, long spindly legs and little tails wagging. Impossible to get a focussed shot as they are never still.

The baby  finches lack the red markings on their heads. Apart from that. they are hard to distinguish. They are quite independent and you rarely see them demanding to be fed, like the baby wrens.

And my favourites. These little fellows are just so cute and so unafraid.

They remind me of the three wise monkeys.

We have had three days of 40C degrees here. Oh for some cold, wet weather.

Liz Needle  - linking with "Our World Tuesday", "Nature Notes"  and "Wild Bird Wednesday".

Sunday, January 13, 2019


A change from sunsets. These beautiful clouds fascinated me earlier this summer. I find cloud formations so beautiful and varied in their form.

Liz Needle  linking with Skywatch Friday.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Glorious Sunset

I haven't caught a lot of sunsets lately - never there at just the right time, or maybe a lack of really good sunsets, but this one a few days ago was a beauty.

Whoever makes sunsets does a brilliant job some days.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Skywatch Friday


Despite a few days of blistering heat, the hydrangeas are looking stunning this year. I am always amazed at the variety of colours we get in the one patch of garden under the Mulberry tree. One would think that the soil in the one area was of similar composition, but it does not appear so here.

They do make a lovely show in this hot dry weather. So cool and inviting.

Liz Needle

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

New Life

Well, it is nice to know that not all my blogging friends have given up on me - thanks for your perseverance Pennie.

We have been swamped by birds this Spring - not always in a positive way - see my last post about the rosellas!!  Now the Lorikeets have arrived in the district and are wreaking havoc in the orchards, despite the very expensive and extensive netting program. We hardly saw a loquat this year - and the tree was loaded. Now they have started on the quinces, despite them being hard and green.

This is probably one of the reasons why the Rosellas have been hanging around this year.

On the other hand we have babies everywhere. The front garden wrens have hatched out a brood of four and they visit the lawn each day. They provide hours of laughter with their antics. The poor little mother - quite thin and scrawny after weeks on the nest' is driven mad as she is chased by four fat babies all wanting to be fed. Not easy to get good shots as they are constantly on the move

We have discovered at least four Red-browed finch nests in the trees around the front  lawn and we are waiting with anticipation for those babies. In addition the pair of resident crested pigeons appear to be nesting, but we haven't gone looking for their nest as they are very shy.

The finches make such a big messy nest for a tiny bird.

Liz Needle - linking with Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Where has the time gone????

Oh Dear!!!

I look at my last post and it was July!!  Where have all the weeks gone? What has been keeping me so busy that I can't spare the time for my blog? I really don't know - I seem to have frittered it away. 

When I was teaching full time I seemed able to achieve so much more - was so much better organised. I got all the housework done on the weekends, I found time to keep the garden neat and tidy, I quilted, I crocheted, I got projects finished, I took photos, I read,  I went out with friends.  Now I don't seem to even have the time to keep up with my blog!! Is it age catching up with me??

I do have to admit to becoming somewhat obsessed with Lawn Bowls and my garden is looking so much better and I sleep in a lot more and I waste time on my iPad!!

Christmas is almost here. Today my daughter Jo and I spent a day in the city and actually got most of the Christmas shopping done - mind you we usually have it done by the end of November!! Christmas will be here this year - the Sydney contingent is staying in Sydney this year so it will only be nine of us for lunch. Mark is cooking (he is a talented chef) so the food is out of my hands, though I dread cleaning up the kitchen after him.

I have been busy in the garden - between games of Bowls - getting it ready for Christmas visitors. We have had a mild, wet Spring, so everything is growing madly - especially the weeds!! My only hassle has been that the Rosellas have devastated the roses to such an extent that a lot of the older bushes still are without any Spring growth.  As soon as the new shoots appear, the naughty birds nip them off . I am not sure whether some of them ( the rosellas and the roses) are going to survive. 

Everything else is growing well as you can see from the pictures below.

The irises were stunning this year!!

 This old rose is a beauty and although it only flowers once in Spring, it is a delight for the eyes while it is in flower.

One of the few roses that the birds did not touch - a Persian rose - one of my favourites.

 Exhaustion has set in. I am off to bed with my iPad and my games.  More soon.

Liz Needle

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lataringa Wetlands

My husband Don is a keen observer of birds and has been ever since he was a small boy, living on the family farm at Williamstown in the forties and fifties. These days he is a sedentary observer, having suffered a number of health issues - he spends hours sitting on our front veranda observing the antics of the many birds that share our garden. Although I am the photographer, it is his knowledge and interest that gets me going and results in the photos I post on my Blog.

Recently he has been feeling a lot better and we have ventured further afield, visiting local bird habitats. We were very disappointed a couple of weeks back when we visited the Monarto Conservation Park and saw no birds at all  - we will go back in Spring. Midwinter is probably not the ideal time to visit.

So imagine our excitement as we were driving home past the Ferries MacDonald Conservation Park when a Mallee Fowl ran across the road in front of the car. As Don said, "I nearly wet myself. I am nearly 80 and that is the first one I have seen." I had my camera on my lap, but was so astonished that I didn't have a chance to even lift it a fraction. These birds are very shy and retiring and are rarely seen by anyone, let alone two novice birders just driving home.

Last week we visited the Lataringa Wetlands at Mount Barker. This wetlands has been established with recycled water, planted with local plant species and open to the public for walking and cycling. It is a gentle, level walk with a good sealed path, skirting the lakes and is about 1.2 kms long. The lakes are home to many species birds, reptiles and small mammals. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the area..

Royal Spoonbills with the black beaks and Yellow-billed Spoonbills.

Australian White Ibis 

White-necked Heron
Chestnut Teal

Masked Lapwing
Black-fronted Dotterel (not a clear shot)
Hoary-headed Grebe
Pink-eared Duck

These next two shots were interesting. Out in the middle of the lake we came across a large group of mixed birds, all swimming in a tight huddle, feeding on something close to the surface. At one stage they were startled and moved apart quickly, but within a few seconds they were back together again. Obviously there was something in that spot, but we have no idea what.

Front left are 3 Australasian Shovelers

Hmm.  Wonder what is for dinner there.

Liz Needle

Linking with

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

Linking with

Wild Bird Wednesday

Nature Notes

Camera Critters

Saturday Critters