Eastern Rosella, Murray Bridge
This morning I had a small birding accident. I didn’t hurt myself – or anyone or anything else. This week the forecast is for severe hot weather after a prolonged period of mild weather, so I decided before breakfast that our bird baths should be replenished every morning. The resident birds sure appreciate the fresh water every day.
I filled a handy bucket from the rainwater tap – I prefer to treat them to rainwater rather than tap water – and trundled outside into the garden. As I carried the very full bucket of water I stepped off the veranda and… disaster! The cheap plastic bucket shattered into about a dozen pieces and water splashed all over my shoes, socks, and legs. The bucket – what was left of it – was immediately thrown in the rubbish bin and another one fetched and filled from the tap over the laundry tub. This time the water reached its destination without further incident.
My efforts were rewarded about an hour later. While reading the paper at the table in our sun room two birds flew in to have a drink and a bath. One was a Mallee Ringneck and the other an Eastern Rosella (see photo above) Strangely, these two birds have been seen together in our garden on many occasions over the last few years. Eastern rosellas are not common in this area.
A few days ago I wrote excitedly about the increase in Superb Fairy-wrens in our garden. The numbers have risen steadily in recent years. At first we only had two, a male and a female. Later this became three, then four and soon five.
Now I have counted SIX individuals. Two days ago they all came hopping along through our garden, feeding as they came. Most of them stopped for a drink at the bird bath, and several had a quick dip. I did a quick count – and a recount to be sure. Yes – there were six of them, one in male plumage and the rest were the plain brown of the females or young males. I can never work out the different between the females and the young males.
I have observed that several of them are displaying begging behaviour, so it seems that a number of the uncoloured birds are actually recently fledged. That’s good news; it proves successful recent breeding attempts. It also bodes well for the future of this small but steadily growing population. They are quite the lovely little family group, adding much colour and character to our garden.
Last night I was looking through some of my photos from a few years ago. I am not sure if I ever used the above photo of a White-faced heron taken at Victor Harbor on the south coast of South Australia, but it caught my eye as I scanned the photos taken on that day. (Mmmm… yes I did use it here.)
What an elegant looking bird.
Sometimes the birds we see, and photograph, almost look as if they are deliberately posing for the shot. I like that.
This also proves that even our most common birds can make wonderful subjects for our cameras.
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
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.