Three degrees (the temperature, not the pop group) on verandah at midnight last and the lone fan-tailed cuckoo still calling for a mate. Had some severe weather in the
form of gales, hail and thunderstorms but no real harm done, just the usual round of pick-up-sticks required. Meanwhile this magpie was involved in a big chase and sat a while to cool off.
The strong winds dry out the bird baths fairly quickly. A distant shot of a Rosella
having a lie down in water - and a well-washed New Holland Honeyeater.
Over the last few days LW has developed a habit of entering front verandah to inspect the cobwebs for bugs - he's seemingly indifferent to being within arm's reach of the human occupants. The thing that truly astonishes me is his hovering. For such arelatively large, heavy bird it really is impressive to see how good he is at it - not only hovering in one spot, but moving up and down, side to side, with ease. I haven't seen him hover to nectar feed. He's certainly developed a taste for an easy protein boost and visits several times a day.
His wing-tips almost touch on the downbeat and then arch upward over his body.
Hope to get a video of this - meanwhile there's a slide show that shows, albeit
roughly, his bug-picking technique.
Photographed by C Lindemeier
Male Emperor Gum Moth Opodiphthera eucalypti .spent his last couple of days on verandah. These moths don't have the ability to feed, so once the next generation is on its way the cycle is complete. The moths rest with the hind wings tucked out of sight, then raises its body to expose striking eye spots when disturbed.
Nothing much to report - currawongs and red wattlebird are keeping LW busy. Still time to stop off for a banksia feed, though.
Heard female sounding alarm call and went to look - a currawong was high in a tree on the western limit of LW territory and I saw the male making several unsuccessful attempts to move it. He then sat close to tree and also made alarm call - his deeper and more raucous than hers. There were several smaller birds calling too, so the currawong's presence certainly stirred things up. First time I've heard male sounding alarm though - not sure what purpose it serves...
LW spent most of yesterday defending his patch. He'd just flown off to evict a neighbouring LW from the big manna gum (which is also 'his', apparently) and I had camera ready for his return - anticipating that he would land on main perch and that I could photograph him against the blue sky with the sun on my back.
Well he landed behind me instead and, as I turned, he was joined by his mate. So after some fumbling around with the camera I managed to get a few pics - shame she is headless (she was grooming the entire time) and the light was wrong - but here they are.
An intrusive Red Wattlebird was not in the least deterred by the calling and posturing of LW so there was an altercation followed by a chase. The difference this time was that the female LW joined in the pursuit. I haven't seen that before. The pair were successful in driving other bird away and spent quite a lot of time together for the rest of the day.
The LW territory covers about a quarter of an acre with the centre being the trees in front of verandah. There is a concentration of nectar-producing plants with something flowering for most of the year as well as a bird bath either end so it really is prime real estate (apart from the proximity of humans!)
There was a full moon last night - but the rain clouds were so thick that even the magpies were silent. In fact, apart from the sheep, (and who counts them?), the only creature in voice was a koala and his three long vocalisations. If there was any reply, it was lost to me in the wind. So far nothing large has blown over in or near the garden and there has been a decent 38mm (or about an inch and a half in the old money) of rain this spring.
The road in front of the block gradually descends toward the coast and the paddocks either side of it have been lakes for weeks, an annual occurrence and, as you'd expect, there are quite a few mozzies about. Just read that bats will eat the little buzzers , if nothing else is available. Hmm...
Well the sun shone obligingly for the first day of Spring but today is rain and that's forecast for all of next week, so I was glad to be outside. Took a few pictures too.
LW reminding me whose Woolly Bush this is before he gets back to feeding from it.
Curious birds, the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes. This one flew from tree to tree to follow me around for about 15 minutes until it got bored with me.