Archive for September, 2009

The Trillers are here

White-winged Triller (male)

White-winged Triller (male)

There has been an interesting development in the bird life in our garden this last week. The male White-winged Triller is still around every day. calling endlessly and in between calls, feeding on the various caterpillars and other tasty morsels available on our trees and shrubs.

Today he has been joined by a female. She is a duller brown colour, not the striking black and white of the male. So far I’ve not been able to get a photo of her. I saw them feeding together in the same tree. I will be watching for any interesting developments between these two over the coming days.

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White-winged Triller (male)

White-winged Triller (male)

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

A few weeks ago I took off a few hours from my writing to take my wife to Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington East, about a half hour drive south of our home in Murray Bridge, South Australia. This is one of our favourite picnic spots, so we packed a lunch and the makings for a cuppa.

The arboretum has been set up by the local residents in conjunction with the local council. Many thousands of trees and shrubs have been planted over the last decade or so. Many of these plants are now flowering. I enjoy taking photos of the native plant flowers as well as the birds. ON this occasion the birds were rather quiet and were not being very cooperative about posing for my camera, so I turned my attention to the flowers instead.

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Pangarinda Arboretum, Wellington, South Australia

Mallee Ringneck parrots nesting

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Almost every day we have two or more Mallee Ringneck parrots in our garden or nearby. We love to have these colourful parrots flying around and feeding in the trees, grasses and bushes around our house. The only time they are not welcome is when they take to our ripening pears and other fruits. In many cases they eat the unripe fruit, so I hope they gets some pains in their little stomachs for damaging our fruit.

In recent weeks two of them have been hanging around one of the trees near the garage. This is an old growth mallee which could well be over a century old. Being so old it has developed several hollow branches. They have been fussing around one of the larger hollows, sitting on the branch, walking along a nearby branch, entering the hollow and sitting in it. Are they a pair? And are they preparing to nest in this hollow?

We can’t be certain that this is a genuine breeding attempt. We will just have to keep an eye on the situation – and have the camera at the ready.

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Mallee Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Woodswallows

Dusky  Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow

A few minutes ago I had occasion to go outside. I needed a break from my writing and I needed to attend to something before the coming rain storm arrived. Of course¬† I didn’t think I’d see anything unusual while outside so I didn’t take the binoculars.

Murphy’s Law and all that.

A small flock of about twenty woodswallows flew overhead giving their characteristic calls. Not totally sure but they were probably Dusky Woodswallows as that is the main species in this family we get around here.¬† We don’t have them overhead all that often, and when they do come they rarely stay more than a few minutes before flying on. Even less often do they settle. For this reason I haven’t taken all that many photos of this species. The one featured above was taken inside a large aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park. The one below was taken some years ago just up the road – on one of the rare occasions when one perched for me in camera range.

Dusky Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow

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Very Common Starlings

Common Starling feeding young in nesting hollow

Common Starling feeding young in nesting hollow

Common Starlings are becoming far too common around here in Murray Bridge South Australia.

At the moment their breeding season is in full swing. Our home is situated in several acres of old growth mallee scrub. Being old trees, they have many hollows. The starlings take advantage of this and use every available hollow for nesting. The sound of begging young fills the air. I decided that it was time I took a close up photo of the parent birds entering the nest to feed the young ones.

They are very wary birds around their nests, so I had to be a little cunning. I actually used our car as a bird hide in order to get a close up shot.

Who was I kidding?

They must have seen me getting into the car because the adult photographed was still very hesitant about entering the nest. Eventually, after about a ten minute wait, the calls of the young must have become too insistent, and I managed to get the shot I wanted.

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