Archive for December, 2012

Move over fellas

Crested Pigeon, Murray Bridge, South Australia

This afternoon I’ve settled with my laptop in the sunroom to do a little writing. It’s a lovely post-Christmas summer’s day: around 30 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze coming in through the window near to my left elbow. After all the food in recent days – we’ve had two family gatherings with lashings of food and plenty to drink – I’m not sure how long I will last doing some writing. The eyelids are rather heavy, and the more comfortable chair about two metres away is very tempting. So is sleep. A grandpa nap beckons.

Just as I was getting comfortable at the keyboard (and NOT in the easy chair) four Crested Pigeons (see photo of one above) came to one of our bird baths just outside the window. The four of them jostled and flapped for position. Fact is, there is not enough room for all of them on the one bird bath at the same time. They are sure to topple it over, spilling the contents in the process.

So, like all well behaved and courteous birds, they took it in turns to alight for a drink. So civilised, despite all the flapping. And when all had drunk their fill, they all flew off together to another part of our property. They headed for a spot where there are a few trees and many thick, scrubby bushes.

I wonder if they are nesting again.

I might have enough energy to check them out later – after my nap.

Christmas Greetings

Family of Pacific Black Ducks, Clare, South Australia

Christmas greetings to all of my regular readers – and to those visiting for the very first time. Christmas in Australia is usually a special time of family gatherings, some people travelling long distances to be with family.

This Christmas we had the delight of having all of our little family together, something of a rarity as my son lives interstate. It was delight to see our two lovely grand children excitedly opening their gifts.

Because I was distracted by playing with my grand children, I didn’t get out to do any birding today. A few weeks ago, however, I took the above photo of a family of Pacific Black Ducks on the lake next to the golf course in Clare in the mid-north of South Australia.

One wet Galah

Wet Galah after rain

Last week we had a persistent three to four hours of rain. It was quite welcome after a long, dry spell and some very hot days. The cooling effect was noticeable.

We always enjoy having good falls of rain as it helps the trees in our orchard and the many native Australian plants we have planted over the years. The rain also tops up our rainwater tanks.

I know that the many birds resident in our garden – as well as some of the visiting species passing through – enjoy the rain as well. I was amused by the individual Galah shown in today’s photos. This bird looks quite wet and took to a branch near our sun room to dry out – and have a little nap at the same time.

Wet Galah after rain

Attracting birds to your garden

Flower in our garden

No bird photos to show today, but something just as beautiful. I recently took these photos of some native flowers in our garden. It made me think about ways of attracting birds to your garden. I’ve written articles on this topic before, including this one.

Planting Australian native plants is the best way of attracting – and keeping – birds in your garden. This rule can be applied in most parts of the world; find out what local plant species grow in your area and add them to your garden.

In Australian gardens, plants like grevilleas, hakeas and banksias will not only look delightful when flowering, the honeyeaters, finches and many other species of birds will love them – and you. You can learn more about Australian native plants on my wife’s site here.

Providing clean drinking water is another sure way of attracting birds. In our hot, dry summers the birds will flock to a bird bath, dish or bowl put out for them. Place the water containers near a window or glass door so you can watch the parade of birds without scaring them.

One more tip: keep your cat inside. They are hunters and have no place in the Australian environment.

Flowers in our garden

Flower in our garden

Nothing like a good scratch

Australian Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringnecks, a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck parrot, is a resident breeding species on our 5 acre block in Murray Bridge, South Australia. We see them every day, and they bring great delight to when we see their bright colourful feathers lit by the sunlight.

On the other hand, we are not delighted when they chew on our pears before they are ripe. Next week we are planning to cover the fruit trees with bird netting to avoid having angry humans. This might end up in having a few angry birds hanging around.

A few days ago I photographed two of our local birds preening their feathers in the early morning sunshine.

There’s nothing quite like a good scratch.

Australian Ringneck parrot

Australian Ringneck parrot