Archive for July, 2008

Golden Whistler

Earlier this week we were just finishing our lunch when my wife saw a male Golden Whistler skulking in the bushes near our sun-room. I raced for the camera and stealthily went outside to track it down.

It was still there, feeding in the bushes. I managed to get quite a nice collection of photos. Below is the best of them. (Click on the image to enlarge the photo.)

Golden Whistler (male)

Golden Whistler (male)

I have found that the Golden Whistlers we have visiting our garden are generally rather quiet, feeding happily with little fuss in the various native bushes and trees in our garden. They rarely give their strong, beautiful call, but when they do, it has a rich quality that makes one stop and listen.

I am so pleased with this photo I think I might print it on good photo paper and mount it in a photo frame visitors to admire – and for my own pleasure every time I look at it.

I and the Bird #80

With the Olympic Games just around the corner, people everywhere are waiting in eager anticipation. Birders from all over the world have celebrated their own ‘Olympics’ with the latest edition of I and the Bird #80 over at The Hawk Owl’s Nest. PLenty of links to interesting bird observations from all over the globe.

Alas, I was not selected in the Australian Team this time due to a technicality. I didn’t have access to the internet [sigh]. Next time I’ll be ready.

New readers of my blog may not realise that I hosted I and the Bird #67 right here.

Budgerigars, Cleland Wildlife Park

Budgerigars, Cleland Wildlife Park

Wedge-tailed Eagles

On a recent trip to Adelaide I was delighted to see two Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring high over the freeway near Mt Barker. I have driven this route many hundreds of times over the last twenty five years but this is the first time I’ve seen this species while using the freeway.

This sighting was just north of the golf course and the Laratinga Wetlands area on the eastern edge of town. It is good to see that this species is surviving in an area of the Mt Lofty Ranges that is rapidly becoming swallowed by suburbia. Several thousand houses have been built in this area over the last decade.

I didn’t have my camera with me at the time. Moreover, I couldn’t legally stop at that point anyway. Instead I have included a photo of a captive Wedge-tailed Eagle taken by my son Sim’ at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria.

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Healesville Sanctuary

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Healesville Sanctuary

Australian Magpies nesting

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

While working in the garden pruning the fruit trees this morning, I noticed that our resident Australian Magpies are getting ready to breed. They are currently refurbishing the nest used last year. Fortunately we don’t have to worry about them swooping us because “our” magpies are a docile mob – unlike some magpies in other parts of the country.

Several previous articles on this topic may be of interest to new readers.

Sad demise of a Tawny Frogmouth

The Tawny Frogmouth of Australia is one of my favourite birds. I first became acquainted with this lovely bird while on numerous camping trips with my young family back in the 1970s. Its gentle ooom-ooom-ooom call near our tent was strangely soothing. It is one of the iconic sounds of the Australian bush when all is quiet.

From time to time we also hear one calling near our home. When we have the television off, of course. It is a lovely sound to drift off to sleep to, and where we live there is very little traffic on the road passing our home late at night. From time to time we will catch a sight of this secretive bird during the day, perched on a branch trying for all the world to look just like the branch. Many times an individual has crashed against a glass door or window trying to grab a moth that has ventured towards the light.

It is with deep sadness that I report therefore that my wife found a dead Tawny Frogmouth drowned in our swimming pool. Somehow it had been trapped by the water – not that there is much water in it at the moment; the water almost completely disappeared during the long hot and dry summer and with water restrictions I haven’t been able to fill it again. The winter rains have not been sufficient to refill it to normal levels, even with part of the roof rainfall being directed straight into it.

It was a sad day indeed. Such a lovely bird.

I did take a few photos, but they would be a rather morbid addition to my collection of photos on our photo gallery.