Saturday, 18 October 2014

Scarlet on white

The peak flowering now of our Callistemons is about a month late this year and although we have had some Scarlet Honeyeaters around for the past couple of months, they have now started to arrive in numbers. Usually they spend most of their feeding in the red flowering Callistemons but I found a pair today in a Callistemon saligna which is a white flowering species. I was only able to get a few photos of the male as he worked over the brushes.




Friday, 17 October 2014

UFM

Found this UFM Unidentified Flying Moth on the floor near the front door so removed it to an outside position for a couple of photos.



However as yet I haven't been able to identify, so would be happy if someone can give it a name.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Osprey overhead

We often hear Osprey calling as they fly over or they rise in the updraft on our hillside and today one was overhead riding the breeze and calling. I was able to get a photo but it was too high for a nice clear shot, so this one is just for the record.

We are lucky to have a few pair that have territories in our area and they are regularly sighted around the lake. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Cuckoo calling

You know summer is not far away when you hear the strident repeated call of a Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae as it arrives from the winter home in the north of tropical Australia or New Guinea and Indonesia.
This morning one went screeching by being pursued by a couple of magpies that were trying to drive it out of their territory. It perched for a short time allowing a photo before heading off to look for a suitable nest.
As the world largest cuckoo it generally picks on large birds like magpies, ravens, crows and currawongs as having the most suitable nests in which the female can deposit her eggs.
The young cuckoos don't bother pushing the host nestlings out they just dominate the food supply so most often the hosts young don't survive.

The photo below is of a pair of young from last seasons hatching, in a nearby location. The mottled brown variation in the plumage colouring is typical of the young. This pair (about 50% bigger that their host parents) were incessantly demanding food from a pair over very overworked magpies.
 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Feed and weed

Wild tobacco bush  Solanum mauritianum a native plant from  South America is a prevalent weed in many parts of Australia and common in our district. One of the spreaders of the plant is the native Brown Cuckoo-dove  or Brown pigeon Macropygia amboinen, which is very partial to the fruit that is produced in large bunches on the bush or small tree.


The seeds are deposited with their own supply of fertiliser in the rainforest margins and wet forest areas that are their preferred habitat and are very quick growing. Fortunately they are easy to remove when small, but it is a continuing task for bush regenerators.


These photos show the bird on the Wild tobacco with the flowers and fruit that is swallowed whole ripe or unripe.


They are very hansome Birds and reduction of their natural habitat and their normal feed source has made the opportunistic feeders on this weed.