A Rufous Whistler in the garden
Over the last few days we have been enjoying the beautiful song of a Rufous Whistler in our garden. The whistlers are aptly named – their songs would be amongst the most beautiful in all of the Australian birds. I enjoy hearing this species calling just outside my ofice window at home. Unfortunately they are not here every day. It is an added bonus when they do decide to visit.
We also get visited by the Golden Whistler. The male of that species is not only a wonderful songster, he is also very beautiful.
Over the last few days we have been hearing several whistlers in our garden. Yesterday afternoon I finally obtained a good view of the male Golden Whistler – in all his beautiful plumage. All afternoon he had been calling, one of the delights of having this species in our garden.
As I observed him another whistler was skulking in the foliage nearby. I didn’t have my binoculars with me, and I only saw a silhouette of this second bird, but it certainly looked like a female. The male seemed to be calling to her and also displaying his best side to the female.
Bossy New Holland Honeyeaters
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
Yesterday I wrote about the male Golden whistler I tracked down in our garden. I showed a nice photo I managed to get of this beautiful bird. A few seconds after taking that photo the whistler was swooped by one of our resident New Holland Honeyeaters. This species can be very aggressive towards other bird species. In my opinion they are second only to the Red Wattlebird as far as their aggressiveness goes.
Well, the male Golden Whistler was not going to take this affront lightly. I managed to capture the moment on my camera. The head of the honeyeater can just be seen in the lower right hand corner. The whistler, on the other hand, is showing signs of being somewhat upset. It has raised the feathers on the top of its head – almost like a crest. It has spread out its wings and the beak is wide open giving a harsh warning call to the aggressor.
Although the shot is not the best photo I’ve ever taken, I am quite pleased with the result. It is not often one is able to catch moments like these. A split second later would have seen a totally different scene as the honeyeater flew off.
Earlier this week we were just finishing our lunch when my wife saw a male Golden Whistler skulking in the bushes near our sun-room. I raced for the camera and stealthily went outside to track it down.
It was still there, feeding in the bushes. I managed to get quite a nice collection of photos. Below is the best of them. (Click on the image to enlarge the photo.)
I have found that the Golden Whistlers we have visiting our garden are generally rather quiet, feeding happily with little fuss in the various native bushes and trees in our garden. They rarely give their strong, beautiful call, but when they do, it has a rich quality that makes one stop and listen.
I am so pleased with this photo I think I might print it on good photo paper and mount it in a photo frame visitors to admire – and for my own pleasure every time I look at it.
Golden Whistlers in the garden
We are having some lovely autumn weather at present. What a contrast to the severe heat waves of the summer just past. It would be perfect if it rained one day; in fact – we need many days of good soaking rain in our area.
A few days ago I was relaxing in the garden reading a book. My daughter was sitting nearby also enjoying a book. A sudden burst of song a few metres away sent me scurrying for my camera. “Whistler!” I called as I disappeared inside.
Emerging with the camera I was pleased to get several reasonable photos of both a male and a female. There was another uncoloured juvenile male hanging around too.
It had been quite a few months since the last visit by this species to our garden.
It was an added delight on a thoroughly delightful day.