A bounty of birds in the garden plus one reptile
The bird life in our garden seems to have moved up a few notches in the activity levels in recent days. With the extended period of dry, warmer weather – more spring-like than winter despite what the calendar says – birds are becoming quite active. I haven’t taken the time to explore through all the trees and bushes around to see what is nesting, but I am sure that there is plenty of it happening already around here, and plenty more to come.
On top of that we are having visits from a few species we only see occasionally. For example, yesterday morning when we arrived home from visiting friends, we were delighted as we walked from the car to the house. A Peaceful Dove was calling in the trees by the driveway. This species is not resident in our garden but is a very welcome visitor from time to time.
Next we heard some White-browed Babblers calling from the scrub along with a Mistletoebird calling persistently in the trees.
A solitary Nankeen Kestrel flew overhead and both Yellow-rumped and Striated Pardalotes were heard calling as they fed in the trees. A few minutes later two Pacific Black Ducks flew off startled from the swimming pool (it is still too early to clean Le Swamp). At the back of the house two Blackbirds were feeding in the company of several Crested Pigeons and Common Starlings.
A surprising visitor yesterday was an Adelaide Rosella. These are more common in the Adelaide Hills further west from Murray Bridge. A small group of up to four birds has been seen over recent weeks. Later I heard several Weebills feeding in the trees along with a small family of Yellow-rumped Thornbills.
And the reptile?
The most surprising sighting of the last 48 hours was a half grown Brown Snake sunning itself in the driveway. It was probably about 75cm long and still had the features and markings of a juvenile. I guess it is coming into its second summer this year.
Normally we do not see too many snakes around our property even in the heat of summer, and those we do see we always give them a wide berth. I am not keen on chasing after even a small one like that seen yesterday; it can still turn on one and inflict a deadly bite. What amazed me was the fact that it is August – still winter according to our calendar. In December through February we always walk cautiously around the garden and scrub. I guess we should always be vigilant.