The baby LW was given a bee and knew instinctively to scrape it across the branch a few times to remove the sting.
Subtitle - egg on face
So three days ago I heard a familiar chirping emanating from the trees in front of verandah. Further investigation discovered this:
Yes, that's right - while I was getting excited about the imminent arrival of babies they had already arrived. I should have known better - last year the nest was away from the food area and then the fledglings moved into there when they were big enough. This year it's the same - only a month earlier.
Just counted up the different bird species here on the block - and there are 36 endemic and two Europeans. I do believe there are also a few small birds I haven't photographed and some diurnal birds of prey that my camera lens can't quite reach.
This diversity is very pleasing - and encouraging too - as it indicates, I believe, the range of suitable habitats and food sources here is supportive of a healthy percentage of the state's endemic bird species.
Breaking news (always wanted to say that). It seems the female LW was suitably impressed by her partner's courtship display because I just spotted her with a bill full of long, dry grass. She went to the banksia and the pink gum first - maybe a decoy run? - then to the sheoak, emerging from there with an empty beak.
The sheoak, with its dense tangle of fine branches, offers good protection from predators - currawongs, magpies, possums - as it's hard to land on and get into. The baby LWs spent a lot of their infancy in that sheoak. Speaking of which, I spotted one of the juveniles yesterday sitting quietly in the pink gum.
If the sheoak is to be the nest tree then the main issue, I think, will be the annoyance factor of the New Hollands and access to their favourite banksia which is right next door..
Was lucky enough to capture this LW courtship display today. First few shots a little blurry as I'd quickly grabbed the camera - but what a thrill to witness the prelude to maybe another episode in the LW's story.
You may recall my mentioning that LW had developed a habit of landing noisily in the woolly bush while I'm working near it - well this time I had my camera so got this nice close-up.
Was just looking at the LW bird diaries from Sept and Oct last year and it seems that we should expect babies early next month if the pair breed successfully. The large increase in the proportion of insects in the LW diet also occurred in Sept.
They are together most of the time when not chasing away other birds or hawking for insects. I've seen no collecting of nesting materials as yet, though, and am most interested to see where they'll build this time.
First day of September, first day of spring, and first sighting of this delightful bird.
He's a White-throated Treecreeper (the female has an orange spot on her cheek) and about 17cm long. I watched him for a while as he effortlessly scaled the tree trunks - he sang too - quite lovely.
These attractive birds live on a diet on mainly ants, but will eat other small invertebrates as well as nectar.
These birds can walk upside-down under branches, I read! If you're on the east coast of Australia or in the south-east you might be lucky enough to see one.