Archive for September, 2005

New Holland Honeyeaters

New Holland Honeyeaters are a common Australian bird, especially in parks and gardens. Good views of them can be easily had as they flit to and fro from bush to bush. Sometimes they even sit still enough for good views of their beautiful markings. On rare occasions they even sit long enough to capture a photograph!

This stunning photograph was taken a few days ago while looking over our neighbour’s fence. The bird posed long enough for me to take several shots. The green object it is perched on is the handle of a small hand operated plough. Our neighbour has several old farm implements in his front garden.

New Holland Honeyeater

Over the years I have been interested in the occurrence of New Holland Honeyeaters in our garden. They are probably the most numerous and widespread species of honeyeater in the Murray Bridge region. In the first 15 years of us living here they were only occasional visitors to our garden and patch of mallee scrub. I have kept monthly records of all birds seen on our property since January 1985. My database of bird observations (BirdInfo – which is no longer available) shows a sudden increase of observations in late 1998. From that time to the present New Holland Honeyeaters have been the predominant honeyeater species here.

Other species of honeyeaters recorded here include:

Red Wattlebird: resident, breeding species.
White Plumed Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Striped Honeyeater (occasional visitor, one breeding record)
White-Eared Honeyeater (occasional visitor)
Yellow Plumed Honeyeater (occasional visitor)
Singing Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Brown-Headed Honeyeater (resident, breeding).

You can find photos of many of these honeyeater species, including photos, by searching on this site, or clicking on the species name (not all have links).

One possible explanation of this change is the maturing of many of the native Australian plants we have planted over the years. Our property is now far more bird welcoming than, say 15 years ago.

Callistemon flowers

Update: this post was updated on November 5th, 2013.

Everything is quite ducky

As I awoke this morning I was aware of quacking noises outside.

Now, although we live in Murray Bridge which is situated on the Murray River, Australia’s longest river, our property is a good five kilometres from the river.

The quacking persisted. Those ducks are here again, I thought. Pacific Black Ducks are common in this area and are not restricted to just the river itself. It is not usual to find them in parks and gardens. Two, sometimes three, are regular visitors to our own garden.

Pacific Black Duck

“Our” ducks have taken a liking to our in-ground swimming pool (affectionately known as “the swamp” – look at the photos and you will know why). Almost daily they visit for a swim or just to laze by the poolside. They don’t seem to mind how frosty it gets here in winter, poolside is the place to be.

Pacific Black Duck with ten ducklings


Last year they slipped a surprise under our radar. Before we knew it, we were the adopted “grandparents” of six ducklings. Sadly, their parents abandoned them. We quickly discovered that raising little ducklings is not a skill one acquires overnight. They were far too weak, cold, wet and hungry when we took over as substitute parents, and they all died, despite our best efforts.

Update: this post was updated on 5th November 2013 with better photos. The mother duck with ten ducklings was taken on another occasion.

My first Blog entry

I am a first time Blogger. This is my very first entry having successfully stepped through the setup process.

I am reasonably familiar with the world of blogging because I regularly read the blogs of my daughter Rose in England and son Simon in Sydney (when he’s home), mainly to keep up with what they are doing and where in the world they are!

I plan to include recent interesting sightings of birds in and around our garden and property on the fringe of the rural city of Murray Bridge in South Australia. Our home is situated on 5 acres (2 hectares) of land. We have about two acres of mallee scrub and have planted several thousand trees and small plants on the rest.

I will also include reports on any trips I take here in South Australia and in other parts of Australia – and overseas when that happens. I also plan to include photos of birds (and other interesting things) taken with my new digital camera, a Canon Powershot S2 IS. The 12x zoom facility is great for birds shots. (Update: I updated my camera in 2011 to a Canon Powershot SX20 with a 20x zoom. Photos from the latter part of 2011 were taken with the new camera.)

Crested Pigeon

It has been raining steadily here all morning so we are confined to the indoors. The bird life has been very quiet during the rain, but when I went to check the rain gauge a few minutes ago I observed five rather wet Crested Pigeons on a nearby power line. Sometimes I have observed up to 30 or 40 of these beautiful birds all perched on the power lines that run along the side of our property. Above is a photo of a Crested Pigeon taken yesterday. It was quietly sunning itself near the house. I was able to sneak up to within about 4 metres from it.



Yesterday I also managed to get a good photo of a male Mistletoe Bird. These delightful little birds are quite common around here and are frequent visitors to our garden. About 15 years ago this was the first species I recorded nesting in a plant we had planted on this property.

This post was updated on 2nd September 2015.

Good birding.