I have located the nest of a Little Wattlebird (LW) with attendant sitting female, although am not sure which. It's on the other side of the shed from the Cape Honeysuckle featured in last post and in a dense tangle of grevilleas planted there to hide the shed. The nest is surprisingly small and well out of the easy reach of larger birds, who would struggle to navigate all of those fine branches. I decided not to hang around or poke the camera lens in so she could get back to her egg-sitting.
Speaking of large birds - there's a Malleefowl on the block - about 50 metres from the house in semi-open uncleared scrub. If there's a pair it should be fascinating to watch the mound-keeping duties of the father. I was rather shocked to discover that Mallefowl populations are in critical decline in many areas of Australia (likely to become extinct in Western Australia, for example) and they are listed as vulnerable here. I found the National Malleefowl Recovery Team website so I'll see if there's anything I can usefully do.
Happily populations of both the Grey Shrike-thrush and White-browed Scrubwren are secure.
To end on a high note - quite impressive clouds ahead of the rain front that started to deliver yesterday.
Half an hour well spent at the birdbath, with the usual suspects on show. Apparently the White-eared Honeyeater has a liking for human hair to line its nest and has been known to source it directly! Now that would be something!
Minus 3 last night - and again tonight, according to BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) and that's about as cold as it gets here. Whenever there's a frost I think 'hope the babies (newly planted tubestock) will be OK' and recall the first year I planted some out and then rushed to cover them over when the frost arrived.
The plus side of cold clear nights is usually beautiful wintersun days and the honey bees make the most of these to collect nectar and pollen.
The 'Coastal Pink' Correa really are hardy and prolific flowerers and deserve a spot in the garden, needing no attention, unless shaping is desired.
Meanwhile the birds still need their baths and this female Golden Whistler prefers hers ground floor while her colourful partner is more conventional.
- well if you can see it through the mist... Winter on the block - not so good for the camera/taking pics - but a miracle of nature nonetheless as all of that rain initiates colour and abundance. Most of the flowering won't happen until the sun comes back, bringing the bees, but the Pincushion Hakea, many Grevillea cultivars and Correas have made a good start. This One-sided Bottlebrush added a small splash of red.
The rain helped give the babies (the 70 tubestock native plants planted first week of May this year) a good start and having done the rounds I was happy to find no casualties. While they all look healthy and have survived transplant shock well, the really impressive growth has been from the Dwarf Tassie Blue Gums.
Lastly, and it begs a pun but I'll try not to, large numbers of these mushrooms emerge from the bark mulch annually - I have a couple of ideas as to what they might be, but not certain as yet. Do you know what species they are?
June - and for some of the birds on the block it's time to get ready for breeding season. Couples are forming - or reinforcing their pairing - Eastern Yellow Robins, Rosellas and Wattlebirds to name a few.
This does tend to give rise to more territorial disputes - nesting sites and food availability make the densely planted areas in front of the verandah highly prized.
So it's the usual suspects involved in the relentless chasing, calling and bill-snapping - honeyeaters - and a surprise addition to the fray - Mr Blackbird.
Last year we had first batch of baby LWs in July. Watch this space.