Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday

A success story this week.  A couple of years ago I rescued a rainbow lorikeet from the edge of the road where it had been injured.  I am a sucker for this and just have to stop and pick up injured wildlife. Most often they do not survive, though we have had successes, especially with magpies. A couple of times when I rescued a lorikeet, I took them to the local 'bird' vet and was told that they would have to be put down as they had broken wings and could not be fixed.

This time however I decided to keep the bird myself, even though the wing was broken. We put it in a large cage where, after a time, it thrived altthough it could not fly. It seemed happy enough.

 We decided to find it a companion and were able to purchase a hand reared lorikeet from a pet shop. Well, for the first few weeks they fought!!!!  They hated each other!!  They screeched  at each other!!

Then, they gradually became friendly, then bosom mates. And now,  I actually believe they are happy!!!

Then, this year one of them laid a couple of eggs in a hollow log that Don had put in the cage. Totally unexpected!!!  Very exciting!!  Unfortunately the eggs finished up on the floor of the cage, but that was probably our fault as there was nothing in front of the hollow log to stop the eggs falling out.  Now we know that one of them is a 'lady' - albeit a very noisy one - we can re-organise the nesting arrangements.

But the pleasure for us is knowing that we have managed to give another life ( albeit a captive one) to a lorikeet that would have otherwise perished on the side of the road.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Wild Bird Wednesday

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - We'll drink to that

Each evening lately I have taken my chair and spent a pleasant hour watching the birds come down to drink at the birdbath and play in the nearby shrubs. I get quite snap-happy with my new camera. I had dreams of buying myself a better zoom lens until I looked at the price of them! Maybe when I win Cross Lotto!!

The little red-browed finches are frequent visitors

It is unusual to see a finch drinking with a Striated Thornbill.  And I though finches were small!!
Yesterday we had a mother and baby Thornbill
And then there were three
The New Holland Honeyeaters are probably the most enthusiastic users of the birdbath

And tonight we even had a visit from an Adelaide Rosella which is pretty unusual as they don't usually drink from the birdbaths.
As you can see, the birdbath is the place to be seen in the evenings at Lenswood.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Wild Bird Wednesday

PS: Re last week's post. The apartment building seems to have been unsatisfactory on all counts as both couples have abandonned it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - A Soap Opera

It was a bit like "Neighbours" in our garden this week.  Last year we had a pair of galahs nesting in a big old gum tree in the garden and I was lucky enough to catch a shot of one of the parents feeding a rather large baby.

This year we have seen a pair of galahs and a pair of rosellas hanging around the same hole in the tree. One afternoon last week Don called to me to get the camera as it looked as if the galahs were nesting again. Sure enough there was one galah sitting on an adjacent branch and another trying out the nest. She would disappear into the nest for 5 or so minutes, then reappear, ruffle her feathers, preen a little then go back into the nest.

We were very excited at the thought of another nesting pair.  About an hour later Don called me again and to our astonishment there were two rosellas checking out the same nest. My son had snaffled the camera so I missed getting a shot, but I did get one the previous week when they were inspecting another hole (top left). They obviously didn't think much of that one because this time they were after the same apartment as the galahs.

This is all very intriguing - the battle of the nests?  Or maybe the old tree has multiple nesting spots with one shared entrance - like an apartment block for birds.

I will keep you posted if there are any further episodes in the fascinating soapie.

Liz Needle, linking with Wild Bird Wednesday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

More of the Eastern Spinebill

Either these little birds are getting more accustomed to my presence or I am getting better with my camera, but I am really pleased with these latest shots.

Liz Needle

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eastern Spinebill

A frequent visitor to my garden and one of my favourite little birds is the Eastern Spinebill. They are quite small - 12-15 cms and very attractive with the distinctive cinnamon collar and chest and the contrasting black and white bands on the chest.

They are found all down the East coast and in the south east of Australia. They have a variety of habitats, but seem to like our garden with its huge variety of flowers. An Austrlian native honeyeater, they seem to prefer to collect the nectar from non-native flowers like fuchsia and salvia.

They are very difficult to photograph as they never keep still and I sat for hours on the veranda to get a few decent shots.

In other areas of the garden, the irises have been putting on a superb show, though they are all but finished now. 

This is a selection of what flowered this year. I love the rich colours and the lovely ruffles petals. And to think that I used to dislike irises - too flamboyant and over the top.  Who knows one day I may come to like gladioli and irridescent orange roses.  How tastes change

Liz Needle  -  linking with Wild Bird Wednesday

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Change of Focus

Well, I promised myself that I would complete this blog for a year so that I could record the changes in the garden over the year. I am reasonably happy that I have achieved what I set out to do - sometimes better than others. A few people have joined me on my journey and I thank them for sticking with me.

Now it is time to change my focus slightly and so I have decided to share with my readers not only my garden, but the visitors who come to my garden and surrounding areas. I hope that some of you will continue to visit and read my blog.

A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to be able to watch the progress of two little fantails as they reared their young. Again this year we have been so privileged as a pair of grey fantails built their nest in a camellia bush and proceeded to raise their little family. I like to think it may be the some of the young that we watched 2 years ago.

The Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa) is small, very active flycatcher. The form we have is the southern grey fantail which is distinguished by its mid-grey tail. They are rarely still, catching insects on the wing. They are cheerful cheeky little birds and seem quite unafraid to be around humans. The nsting pair this year was more wary than the previous pair and I think perhaps this year's were younger and less accustomed to nosey humans.

They build a neat cup shaped nest, made from grasses, bark and cobwebs on horizontal twigs. Usually 2-4 spotted pale-buff eggs. We spend a lot of time on the veranda watching them collect cobwebs for their nests. The plentiful supply of cobwebs under the eaves of the veranda could be one of the reasons they nest so close to the house.
My photos this year were not as good as the previous ones as it was harder to get close to the nest without distressing the parents.

TThree evenings ago I noticed that the parents were getting very excited by something on the ground. I went to investigate and found that one of the babies had fallen from the nest and was fluttering around. i picked it up and put it back in the nest, whereupon it promptly came out again. I spent the next hour putting the little one back in the nest as he was obviously not ready to take off. He did eventually settle as next morning he was snuggled down again.

However, yesterday evening the babies were obviously ready to get going as one hopped onto the branch shortly after this photo was taken. This morning the nest was empty.

This year has been a wonderful one for roses around here. Long wet, mild winter and some lovely sunny, but not too hot Spring days. My roses are looking brilliant.

Can't remember the name of this one, but it is really stunning this year.

Some of the David Austin collection

Fritz Nobis

Mary Rose with iris.

Liz Needle

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend Flowers

I have been enjoying my new camera so thought I would share this one with you.

Normally I would link this with Weekend Flowers, but that doesn't appear to be happening this weekend, so instead I'll add afew more flower shots I took this week.

 This flowering crab apple makes a beautiful show at this time of the year. I love all the flowering apples, but this one is my favourite, I think

A pretty little lavender. They don't do particularly well here - soil too heavy, too wet and too cold. Pity because I love the perfume.

And this apple is just a stunner at this time of the year.

Liz Needle