It occurred to me the other day that not only haven't I seen a LW lately, but I haven't heard one either. Nor have I seen or heard a Red Wattlebird. As they are both known to be migratory I wonder if they have moved on to somewhere with a more abundant nectar supply. Not a great deal for them here at the moment, apart from banksia flowers - and the New Hollands are all over those. Meanwhile -
A possum would be my guess - the counterweight of a 2kg lump of limestone in the centre of the bowl (bee island) was obviously insufficient.
Has it been a long time? Feels like it - and a web search (ahem) yielded nothing definitive about spider egg hatching times - 1-4 weeks one site suggested. Bring on the spiderlings.
Here's something a little more attractive - first flowers for this one.
I've had a pile of mulch wrapped in black plastic waiting for several months for its day to come. Yesterday was the day and I'd used most of it when this Eastern Common Froglet, crinia signifera, hopped out. She's <30mm and a particularly warty looking example of a species that has a variety of colour types.
And the day would not have been complete without a visit to the spider and her egg sac - she's certainly guarding it well.
First bottlebrush bloom of the year. Soon there'll be a riot of red and the birds will have plenty of nectar in addition to their mainstay of banksia. Visit 'What's Flowering' to see March's blossoms.
Went back to see if there was anything hatching and just got one pic of mother spider before she sped off out of view. She is tiny - 7 cent coin size. Doesn't seem to be much change in the egg-sac?
They're not green eyes, you might be unsurprised to hear, just well-placed lumps of greenery.
If you've followed the acacia bush versus caterpillar versus cuckoo mini-series -
then you'll understand how the vision of new growth on the above bush (which had seemed dead) inspired me to wax lyrical about endurance, persistence and all that.
However, closer inspection revealed something else -
Five caterpillars on the last of four bushes - apologies for poor pic quality - camera didn't want to focus on small twig - on the right the caterpillar is eating the tip of a bare stem. I wonder (again) why the moth laid her eggs on an almost leafless shrub - needless to say these caterpillars won't have enough food to reach maturity. Is this the final instalment?
I dunno - turn your back for five minutes...
and that LW is back.
Well it might make a good story, but the group of New Holland Honeyeaters had gone off somewhere (they seem to fly toward the east in the afternoon for an extended period) so the LW had time to fill up on banksia nectar.
I don't know which LW it was, but I have a feeling it was the male - I've spent a lot of time in eye contact with him through the lens over these past months.
Although if he was still in charge, this pair of Mallee Ringnecks wouldn't be enjoying their siesta in peace like this.
It's going to be interesting when the LW's breeding season starts - last year they were earlier than the New Hollands by a few weeks.