Monday, December 3, 2012

Birds and Bees

One of the things I love about Spring in the garden is the variety of birds and insects that visit. Mark is keeping a log of bird visitors and so far he has he has recorded over 30 species.

My favourites are the grey shrike thrush who have nested in the shed and are now raising two nestlings. They are very protective little birds and as soon as anyone approaches the shed one of them is on guard in the nearby trees calling out  continuous warnings to the mate sitting on the nest. As  we get closer to the shed, the warnings become more frequent and they become less frequent as we walk away. It is lovely to see that although they cry warnings, they are not scared of us and remain on the nest if we have to go into the shed. We had planned to build a chook yard in part of the shed, but are holding off until the nest is empty.

We also had a pardelote's nest in a heap of weeds and soil that we had built up for compost. They too seemed unconcerned about the humans moving around and even mowing lawns in their vicinity.

Each morning and evening the birds come in and feed on our back lawn. I know the practice of throwing out seed for native birds is sometimes frowned upon, but during the winter the pickings are slim around here and I like to think the birds feel welcome and safe in the garden.

This is one of a pair of galahs who nest in our old River Red Gum every year. One of this pair has only one leg, but does quite well regardless.

We get dozens of rosellas of various hues from red fellows like this one to pale yellow ones. I only throw seed out about once a week, but the birds never fail to know its there and they flock in to feed.  They must have a very efficient means of communication.

Insects are another lot of visitors that love the Spring and spend time collecting nectar from the flowering trees and shrubs.

Liz Needle

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