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.
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|
|Mary Rose with iris.|