Last week I heard the lovely sound of a Peaceful Dove in our garden. I went chasing after it with my camera but it wouldn’t sit still long enough or in good light for me to get a good shot of it. So I’ve had to use several photos taken several years ago in a walk through aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills.
While this dove is common and widespread in our district they don’t seem to come into our garden all that often. We usually hear and see the resident Spotted Turtledoves and Crested Pigeons every day, but this beautiful bird seems to be a little shy about staying around for very long. Because of this we are always delighted when we hear its soft call in the trees near the house, and even more delighted when it comes close enough to see.
Over the last week or so we have had two young Grey Currawongs visiting the garden almost every day. They are still quite downy and their begging calls are quite pathetic compared to the far reaching, ringing calls of the adult birds.
They didn’t nest in our garden or on our block of land. I guess they nested up the road a short distance where there is a considerable patch of mallee scrub. The adults are regular visitors in our garden every day or so, but I can’t really call them resident as they come and go. We often we hear them calling in the distance.
Click on the photos to enlarge the image.
I have been a little puzzled about our resident pair of Australian Magpies this spring. Although they showed signs of building a nest earlier in the spring they seemed to abandon the idea after a few days. I had observed them refurbishing the nest they have used for the last four or five years. Instead of continuing the nest building and then sitting on the eggs and finally being busy feeding the young in the nest, they seemed content to just occupy themselves searching for food during the day, visiting the bird bath (as in the photo above) or chasing away the White-winged Choughs whenever they came into the garden.
I thought they’d given up on breeding this season.
It seems I was wrong. Earlier this week I was passing the garage when I saw a young magpie fresh out of the nest, all downy and begging for food.
This is perplexing. I still haven’t found any nest. There are two possible explanations:
- They made a new nest in a location I haven’t yet discovered. This is entirely possible as it would take quite a while to check every tree on our five acre block.
- The young bird I saw was from a neighbouring magpie territory and it had wandered into our garden.
It does not matter. It is good to see that at least one magpie was hatched in this locality this year.
One of the endearing little birds we have frequenting our garden is the Australian Owlet-nightjar, a small nocturnal bird more often heard than seen. Last night around midnight I was checking my emails because we had been in Adelaide shopping all afternoon and at a dinner in the evening. The house was quiet with no television or music.
From just outside my office I heard this small owl-like bird calling several times. Normally the sounds of the television would drown out its call.
Last year we had one roosting during the day time in a hollow limb of a tree near our house. It would come out most days about mid-morning to sun itself in the opening of the hollow. It would call several times before retreating back into the hollow. This daily habit enabled me to eventually get a reasonable but not brilliant photo.
It is nice to know it is still around.
Yes – it’s that time of the year again.
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY.
Had a very quiet day and didn’t do much. Bought a couple of novels to read as a treat and had a few friends visit in the evening. Didn’t go out birding despite a much cooler day after our unseasonal heat wave of the last 8 days. So I thought I’d treat everyone to a few of my favourite bird photos of the last year.