Another close encounter

Silvereye and Spotted Pardalote

Silvereye and Spotted Pardalote

I had another close encounter with one of the resident birds in our home garden this morning.

I had just finished watching a long parade of birds coming to either drink from our bird baths, or to have an early morning splash before a warm day. The various visitors had quite depleted the water, so it was time to get a bucket of water from the rainwater tank and then clean and refill the bird baths.

After cleaning the containers I went to fill them up again with fresh water but was distracted by a little Spotted Pardalote coming in for a drink. It gradually approached closer and closer until it was about 50cm away from me. It watched me intently for about ten seconds, obviously waiting for me to refill the bird baths.

I love these close encounters. Pity I didn’t have my camera with me – the photo above was taken some time ago and also shows another regular visitor to our garden, a Silvereye.

Other species seen while having breakfast include:

  • Brown-headed honeyeaters
  • Red Wattlebirds
  • New Holland honeyeaters
  • Spotted Turtledove
  • Crested pigeon
  • Australian Magpie
  • House sparrow
  • Striated Pardalote
  • Yellow thornbill

More Superb Fairy-wrens

Most mornings we have breakfast in our sun room overlooking our garden and several bird baths all within five metres of where we sit. Quite a few of the photos I have shared here over the years were taken from that very spot. After breakfast I usually read the daily paper and attempt the various puzzles as time and patience allow.

Yesterday I looked up from my paper to see our little family of Superb Fairy-wrens coming in for a drink and a short splash in the water. As I watched I did a quick count – and then an excited double check. We now have five wrens in our garden. They have either been joined by another, or have been successful in breeding this summer. One of them was begging from the coloured male, so I lean towards a happy nesting event recently.

This little troupe of birds has grown steadily in numbers over the last three years. I had recorded this species in our garden over twenty years ago and then they disappeared until three years ago. I suspect the many feral cats in the district are to blame.

On our arrival home after an overseas trip in the middle of January three years ago we were delighted that a coloured male and a female had taken up residence in our absence. Several family groups have always been present up the hill from home in some bushland about a kilometre away.

For some months we saw just the two of them. Later that year we saw three together on many occasions, and the next year there were four – and now we see five together. We are delighted to see and hear them in our garden on most days and pleased that they consider our garden a suitable habitat in which to reside and breed.

I am not showing any new photos today because I didn’t take any on this occasion. Instead, I have listed below some links to previous articles with photos of wrens for you to look at.

Further reading:


Products available via Trevor’s Birding


Over the last 9 years I have written over 1600 articles here about Australian birds, many of them illustrated by photos I have taken of the birds I have seen. I love sharing the best of my photos with my many readers.

Now I am happy to announce that selected photos are now available for purchase on a range of products such as the coffee mugs shown on today’s post. This has been made possible by my association with a company called Zazzle. The products also include shopping bags, puzzles, badges, posters, aprons, cards, caps, stickers, note books, key chains, ornaments and tee shirts. Plus many many more – 100s in fact.

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Birds for Australia Day



Today is our national – Australia Day, celebrating the arrival of the first European settlers in this wonderful country of ours. This day conjures up all kinds of feeling and images and the celebration of this event has grown in strength in recent decades. When I was growing up the day was reasonably low key, but in more recent years that has ramped up.

Throughout Australia it is celebrated by many ways, from family barbecues in the backyard, in a park, at the beach or out bush – such as a national park. Impromptu games of cricket or tennis are almost mandatory, as are gatherings in huge numbers to watch our national teams and players striving on the tennis court or on the cricket oval. This summer sports fanatics are further blessed with the soccer Asian Cup matches being played in our country.

I prefer a much more sedate endeavour: birding.

At the time of writing this a few days before the event, I have yet to decide where I will go birding. The weather looks like being kind to me, so I might venture out into some nearby patch of scrub, or perhaps somewhere along the nearby River Murray, or even venture a little further to a beach. Or I might just stay home and bird on our patch.

Meanwhile I will show off some photos of well-known and beautiful Australian birds for the enjoyment of my readers.

Happy Australia Day to all of my readers.

Male Australian King Parrot

Male Australian King Parrot


Sacred Kingfisher

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

A little night time visitor

Australian Owlet-nightjar

Australian Owlet-nightjar

Last night we were watching television with the lounge door open; it was a pleasant summer’s night. During a particularly quiet segment of the show we were watching we suddenly heard the churring call of our “resident” Australian Owlet-nightjar.

“He’s still around,’ we both cried out.

Now I need to clarify a few points here:

  • I use the word “our” loosely. It is a wild bird in the natural environment so we do not own it.
  • I am not sure if this particular bird is actually a resident on our 5 acre property. We do hear it often enough to think that it is here most days, but have no proof of that.
  • I have no idea if it is a male or female – to call it “he” is more of a generic term.

Over recent months we have not heard this bird calling many times at all, so it was delightful to hear the call last night. I like to think that it is quite contented living around here most of the time.

A few years ago one bird – perhaps the same one – took up occupation of a significant hollow in one of our mallee trees in our back yard. Amusingly, during the cool winter months it would emerge from the hollow every morning around 11am and sun itself in the opening of the hollow, call a few times and then retreat to sleep until evening. Sometimes we would even hear it calling again as it went out feeding during the night., being mostly a nocturnal species. It was on one of those occasions that I was able to sneak up closer for a photo (shown above).

Over the last two summers the hollow has come under the “ownership” of a pair of Mallee Ringneck parrots who have successfully added to their family each time. Lately they have been busy feeding two very persistent young ones which have recently fledged.

Further reading: