Autumn is a big growth and flowering month for the native plants. The gum trees bring in the larger birds, such as parrots, and the honeyeaters will soon have a wider selection of nectar after relying on their staple diet of banksia over late summer.
It was the new bird calls that made me start wondering, followed soon after by several bird silhouettes, against the blue, that looked and flew like swallows - but not the Welcome Swallows that appear briefly in the spring.
There were about 15 birds in all (bit hard to count such fast movers) and they were flying over and around an area behind a shed - not feeding that I could see. Finally most settled on a nearby tree.
After some more 'conversation' all but two flew to the ground - too far away for me to see what they were feeding on, but I was able to get close enough for this pic.
With the help of my favourite birdie field guide I discovered that they are Dusky Woodswallows.
At 18cm long and weighing just 35g, these woodswallows are mainly insectivorous. Delightful to have a different species visit.
It started in a pink gum and then moved to this grevillea - two LW, one seemingly in playful pursuit of the other, spent a good ten minutes in the shrub, barrelling through the branches in spaces barely large enough to stretch a wing.
Not quite sure what was going on - two babies playing chasey? or two adults playing, erm, the grown-up version... It's a couple of months shy of the breeding season, but LW are known to breed all year round if food is plentiful. One bird occasionally made the soft, two-syllable 'coo', second syllable descending, which I associate with the adult female, who seems to make this noise to the male when he gets wound up.
Meanwhile this LW did some people-watching from the buddlejah. Am quite confident this is a baby - a few more pics if you click.
I do enjoy experiencing the White-browed Babblers collecting materials to build their roost.
(gales and hail)
Add a bit of decent rain and one can just about watch the ground going green. Many of the natives are starting to blossom - like this Pincushion Hakea. There were eight or more New Hollands feeding when I arrived - one of them clearly felt the flower's nectar of more import than my intrusion.