I keep a daily eye on the bird baths in our garden. On several other occasions I have written about the visitors to the bird bath and I even have a list of those species to have paid at least one visit.
This morning as I finished my breakfast and was attempting to solve the cryptic crossword (only one word defeated me) I looked up to see a female Mistletoebird drinking from the bird bath. This is an unusual occurrance as I can recall only one other occasion when a male Mistletoebird came to drink.
The photo below shows a male. The female is plain brown with a red patch on the rump.
All the really hot weather we had earlier in the year seems to have flown. We have recently had some lovely days in the low 20s with a gentle breeze; lovely weather to be out and about in the garden. Yesterday we had a break from what we were doing and made a cuppa to enjoy out in the beautiful autumn sunshine.
Feeding on the ground only a few metres from where we sat was a family group of Yellow-rumped Thornbills, too busy finding things to eat to worry about us enjoying their presence so close to us.
The latest edition of I and the bird #73 is hosted by Snail from Snail’s Eye View down under here in Australia.
This time it is a tribute to Samuel Pepys. As usual this carnival devoted to birds has links to articles about birds from all over the world. It’s worth a visit.
This time I remembered to send a contribution from this site.
One of our favourite species of bird here where we live in Murray Bridge South Australia is the White Winged Chough. At first glance, the inexperienced observer might dismiss them as a crow or raven or just another large black bird. We think differently of them.
We have a family of Choughs that has taken to visiting our garden almost on a daily basis. Walking “the estate” (we live on five acres of land) I often see little scratchings in the ground where they have been searching for some tasty morsel to eat.
Choughs are almost always seen in small family flocks numbering from about six or seven through to as many as twenty. Nesting is a communal or family affair. Most of the flock will contribute to the building of the bowl shaped mud nest. After the eggs hatch the whole family helps raise the chicks.
It always amuses me how this species often prefers to walk or hop along rather than expend their energy in flying. At times they can be quite unafraid of humans. I’ve stood in the middle of a flock of about a dozen as they continued to feed on the ground around me, just metres from where I stood.
One of the frequent visitors we have in our garden are the local Grey Currawongs. I can’t really call them a resident species because they are not here all the time. They are only visitors. Sometimes they visit every day for a week or more, then we won’t see or hear them for several days.
When we first moved here over twenty years ago I would have to walk or drive several kilometres to the west of our home to observe this species. Over the last 4 to 5 years they have come closer and closer; we sometimes would one calling in the mallee scrub just up the road a little. Over the last year or so they began visiting our garden and the adjacent scrub lands. Only a few days ago one came to the bird bath just metres from the house; it also landed on the roof.
There are two possible explanations for this local movement of this species. The dry conditions we have experienced over the last few years may have forced them to move from the scrub to more populated areas in search for enough food. Two years ago last December the mallee scrub just up the hill from here was completely burnt out by a significant bush fire. It is only slowly recovering from that time and so there would be limited food available.