Over recent weeks we have had some old friends visit our garden. Well – actually, they are not so interested in our garden but rather something in our garden takes their fancy.
We have had two (a pair???) Pacific Black Ducks visiting our in-ground swimming pool. This happens almost every year about this time. On several occasions we’ve actually had ducklings come and visit too.
They are always nice to see – except for the terrible mess they leave behind!
I had just driven out of the front gate this morning on my way to Adelaide when I had to brake suddenly. Just around the first corner I came across two ducks – Grey Teal to be exact.
They were casually strolling across the road – right in my path – hence the need to brake. As I approached they decided to beat a hasty retreat, so they took flight over the fence and into the nearby dam.
Sorry about the photo above – it’s not the best I’ve shown here on this blog. Searching through my photo collection I realise that I do not have many photos of this species – and those I have are not the greatest in quality. It’s only one of our most common ducks, so there is no excuse.
I need to get out more.
Spring is in the air
Spring has arrived here in South Australia – and not just according to the calendar. The last few days have been beautiful. Sure, the nights and mornings have been chilly and rather brisk. Sometimes the breeze has also had a bite to it, but the sunshine has been most enjoyable.
The garden birds have all started being far more active and are calling more energetically as well. The Yellow-rumped Thornbills are busy feeding all over the garden, calling as they go. They are probably nesting somewhere too.
The various species of Honeyeaters are also very vocal and active. I’m sure they are also nesting but they can be rather secretive about it. Our resident Australian Magpies are still feeding young in the nest. The Grey Shrike-thrush is very vocal all around the house.
Nearby the Skylarks and the Rufous Songlarks are in fine voice and fill the air with beautiful song. I haven’t yet seen it but there is a Rufous Whistler lurking around somewhere too; his beautiful ‘eee-chong’ call after the whistle is also good to hear.
UPDATE: You can hear a recording of the call at this site:
Great photography site
There are thousands of excellent photography sites on the internet. A local one I’ve discovered recently is Tony Crittenden’s Photography site. Tony has hundreds of excellent photographs of birds, animals, flowers, reptiles and several other topics.
It is well worth a visit – and lingering for a while over some of his excellent shots of wildlife, both here in Australia and overseas.
Cuckoos come calling
A few days ago I mentioned that we haven’t yet seen or heard any cuckoos this spring. That should be about to change.
This morning I think I heard the plaintive call of a Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo before breakfast – my breakfast – not that of the cuckoo. Not sure if he/she had already eaten. It could have been a Common Starling imitating said cuckoo, of course. I’ve been fooled by the starlings many times before.
A little later in the morning we left for our lectures in Adelaide. We had just entered the South Eastern Freeway when a grey bird flew across the road in front of us. It looked for all the world like a Pallid Cuckoo, but travelling at 100kph (my car – not the bird) I couldn’t be 100% sure.