Archive for the 'Flowers' Category

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

Adelaide Rosellas in our garden

Adelaide Rosella, Murray Bridge, South Australia

In our garden and five acre block of land on the outskirts of Murray Bridge in South Australia we have many different species of birds – over 100 in fact. Of those that are resident or occasional visitors we have a good range of parrots.

Perhaps the most abundant would be the Galah, a very common species in the district with flocks numbering in the many hundreds. Another common species is the Little Corella but this is usually a species which only flies overhead, also in large numbers. Other parrots present in smaller numbers include Rainbow Lorikeets, Purple-crowned Lorikeets and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Mallee Ringnecks are a resident breeding species. One individual keeps company with an Eastern Rosella, a species not normally present around here (I suspect it is a cage escape.)

Every month or so we have a short visit from several Adelaide Rosellas, shown in today’s photos. This is a sub-species of the Crimson Rosella of the eastern states. The Crimson Rosella is a much deeper red colour, while the Adelaide Rosella is more of an orange colour. In the northern parts of its range in South Australia (eg the lower Flinders Ranges) the orange colour can be quite washed out.

The birds which came to visit us last week are much brighter red than most Adelaide Rosellas, leading me to think that they may be moving north from the South East districts of South Australia where the more brightly coloured birds occur. Just a theory. On the other hand, I don’t have to travel too many kilometres west to see the typically washed out orange rosellas common in the Adelaide region.

Adelaide Rosella, Murray Bridge, South Australia

Adelaide Rosella, Murray Bridge, South Australia


Portrait of a Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia

Earlier this year we visited the Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington here in South Australia. While photographing the many wildflowers on show I took this portrait of a Willie Wagtail.

The arboretum is about a half hour drive from home and just over a hour’s drive from Adelaide. From a small hill in the reserve one can get a good view of the River Murray a few hundred metres to the west. The arboretum is a collection of hundreds of Australian native plants. I really enjoy visiting this reserve as there is always a good range of wildflowers to photograph. I’ve included several below. This arboretum has been established and is maintained by an enthusiastic group of local plant lovers. It is always open to the public and entry is free.

TheĀ  birding in this native plant garden can be variable. Sometimes the place is full of a wide variety of birds; at other times I struggle to get more than 20 species on my list. It depends very largely on what is flowering although some species are resident breeding birds, like some of the honeyeaters.

Wildflowers, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia

Wildflowers, Pangarinda Arboretum, South Australia

Wattlebirds and grevilleas

Grevillea flowers, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

A few days ago I wrote about our short visit to the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens in southern NSW. We were on our way home from holidaying in Sydney with family. These gardens are small but hold a nice range of Australian and exotic plants. It’s also a good spot to get right off the highway, relax with a picnic or a cuppa, and enjoy the range of birds resident in the area.

On this visit I managed to photograph several of the Grevillea species in flower, and while doing so I also captured a Red Wattlebird feeding on one of the bushes (see photo below). It must have been hungry, for the bird almost completely ignored me and my camera only a short distance away. I guess it also needed to stock up on energy for the cold night which was quickly closing in. It had been a bitterly cold day, quite unpleasant for being out and about.

While my prime objective is to photograph our wonderful Australian birds and showcase them here in this site, I also enjoy getting great shots of our native flowers like the Grevilleas. (You can see more photos of flowers, both native and exotic, on my other site, Trevor’s Travels. Click on the Parks and Gardens category or click here.

Red Wattlebird feeding on Grevillea flowers

Grevillea flowers, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Some birds of the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

On the first day of our journey home we stopped briefly in the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens for an afternoon cuppa and toilet break, a spot we’ve enjoyed on other occasions. The large rural city of Wagga Wagga is worth a longer stay than just a half hour or so. I’d really like to explore this lovely city and the region in more depth one day. We always seem to be in a rush somewhere when we go through this area. [Sigh]

Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

One this occasion it was quite late in the afternoon, still cold and cloudy and we still had about an hour’s drive to our accommodation for the night in Narrandera further west. I didn’t have much time for birding nor photography, though I did get some nice shots of Australian Magpies and Grevilleas (native Australian plants).

Grevillea, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Other birds seen included:

  • Pied Currawong,
  • Rainbow Lorikeets,
  • White-plumed Honeyeaters,
  • Red Wattlebirds,
  • Crested Pigeons,
  • Galahs

Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Juvenile Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens