Sunday, 8 May 2011

Miner, Drongo, Fantail and Blue-banded Bee

Noisy Miner enjoying "Fire Sprite" Grevillea

We normally don't have many visits from Noisy Miners  Manorina melanophrys which is a bit of a blessing as they travel in a group, are very territorial and aggressively chase off other birds. However it is nice to have the occasional visit and today a group of about twenty arrived to feed in the banksias and grevilleas that are in flower. There was a bit of a kerfuffle with the Spangled Drongo that was also enjoying the nectar but they worked over the flowers for a short period then they all headed off and the Spangled Drongo was back sipping nectar. This bird is here every day at present and spends its time between feeding on nectar and catching insects particularly the paper wasps that have quite a big grouping of nests on the back of our workshed.

With lots of insects around the flycatchers have been very active and the Grey Fantails are probably the least timid of all the small birds and will swoop around you to pluck from the air any insects you disturb.
One insect that was busy collecting food was a Blue-banded Bee Amegilla Sp. (probably the Common Blue-banded cingulata but as there are at least 59 species of  Amegilla many blue and black banded accurate identification is somewhat difficult). It was collecting pollen from the flowers and then took a break and gave me a chance for a photo.
These guys are solitary bees and build burrows for their nest in earth banks, sandstone and also mud-brick houses. They are found throughout Australia except for Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

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