Birds of Geranium
Last weekend we attended a native plant sale at Geranium. This is a small town of only about 80 residents. It is about an hour drive from Murray Bridge and is situated in the heart of the Murray Mallee. It is set in a wheat and sheep farming district and so much of the land has been cleared for this purpose. Along the road sides, however, there is a rich remnant vegetation strip and this provides a reasonably adequate habitat for a range of mallee loving birds, especially when it is in flower.
The area is dominated by honeyeaters. Over the last decade I have recorded the following honeyeater species in or near Geranium:
Brown Headed Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
White Plumed Honeyeater
White Eared Honeyeater
Yellow Plumed Honeyeater
Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater
Purple Gaped Honeyeater (rare)
The common birds of prey include the Black Shouldered Kite, Nankeen Kestral, Little Eagle and Australian Hobby. I am not sure of the status of the magnificent Wedge Tailed Eagle in this district. Down through the years since settlement this species has been seen in a negative light by many farmers who have shot them to prevent loss of lambs from their sheep flocks.
The Crested Pigeon is very common throughout the region as is the Common Bronzewing Pigeon where the habitat is suitable. The delightful tiny Peaceful Dove must also occur in this region but I have not personally recorded it. Around the town, especially the wheat storage silos, the introduced feral Rock Pigeon is present in the hundreds. They are also present around farm sheds.
The most common parrot in this area would have to be the Galah. Flocks of hundreds can often be observed throughout the Murray Mallee districts. Little Corellas may also be present though I have not seen any near Geranium. The large Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo may also be a vagrant but not resident due to a lack of suitable food trees. Sulpher Crested Cockatoos may also occur in this district but I haven’t seen any. Purple Crowned Lorikeets are common, and Rainbow Lorikeets have been recorded. Other parrots resident in or near Geranium include:
Red Rumped Parrots
Blue Winged Parrots
My total number of species for this area stands at 56 species. Here is a list of some other birds I have recorded in the district:
The most unusual sighting I have made in Geranium is a single Cattle Egret feeding on the school oval.