This week I’ve migrated from my office to our sun room because of the heat. The office isn’t air conditioned and the sun room is lovely.
This gives me the opportunity to keep an eye on several of our bird baths. During the hot weather the bird baths play an important role in attracting bird life to our garden.
Yesterday I had excellent views of one of our resident Mallee Ringneck parrots. It had come in to have a good drink. This one didn’t have a bath as they sometimes do. Quite a few species really start splashing the water everywhere, just like a mini-sprinkler. Don’t they know we have strict watering restrictions here in South Australia?
Eastern Rosellas are one of the colourful parrot species to be found here in Australia. It is a relatively common parrot found in south eastern Australia and Tasmania. It has been introduced into the Mt Lofty Ranges and Adelaide region of south Australia as well as New Zealand.
Here in Murray Bridge I’ve only recorded it once several years ago. On that occasion it appeared to be an aviary escape. The nearest naturally occurring birds are some 60 kilometres to the west.
Over recent days we have had a single Eastern Rosella flying around our garden. This is a new species for my garden list. It does not appear to be a cage bird as it is very flighty. I struggled to get close enough for a reasonable photo. The photos on this post have been enhanced – zoomed in and brightened to show the beautiful colours. Consequently they are not top quality shots.
The behaviour of this individual was interesting. We have several Mallee Ringnecks resident on our property. Recently they produced two young ones that follow them everywhere and beg to be fed. The Eastern Rosella tried to adopt this family who were having none of it. They tried to chase it away but it was most insistent and would fly up and sit close to one of the ringnecks. The ringnecks would then attempt to chase it away again. This continued for about twenty minutes before the rosella gave and flew away. It has been back several times so I don’t know whether it intends taking up residence or not.
It would be a very colourful addition to our garden birds.
Almost every day we have two or more Mallee Ringneck parrots in our garden or nearby. We love to have these colourful parrots flying around and feeding in the trees, grasses and bushes around our house. The only time they are not welcome is when they take to our ripening pears and other fruits. In many cases they eat the unripe fruit, so I hope they gets some pains in their little stomachs for damaging our fruit.
In recent weeks two of them have been hanging around one of the trees near the garage. This is an old growth mallee which could well be over a century old. Being so old it has developed several hollow branches. They have been fussing around one of the larger hollows, sitting on the branch, walking along a nearby branch, entering the hollow and sitting in it. Are they a pair? And are they preparing to nest in this hollow?
We can’t be certain that this is a genuine breeding attempt. We will just have to keep an eye on the situation – and have the camera at the ready.
My wife and I had a good laugh a few mornings ago. I was still in bed and about to rise. My wife had just opened the curtains. A heavy frost had settled overnight. I had second thoughts about rising, considering snuggling back into bed as a very viable option.
My attention was grabbed by our resident pair of Mallee Ringneck parrots as they flew over the driveway and landed in the tree next to where the car was parked. Because of the frost the car was heavily encrusted in ice. One of the parrots decided to investigate. Naturally he slid straight off the top of the car and down the sloping back window.
Hey – that was fun. He repeated the action several times. Even his partner joined in the fun. They both had a slide on the ice four or five times before flying off. I guess the ice against their backsides may have been a little too cold.
I wasn’t quick enough to get the camera out so I’ve included a photo of one of the ringnecks on a much warmer day.
I’m recovering from a severe bout of influenza. Worst I’ve had in many years – possibly worst ever. I spent the best part of 9 days mostly in bed.
Fortunately our bedroom window over looks the garden. As I reposed in my sick bed, head aching, sneezing every few minutes, blowing my nose every minute or two (I went through about 6 boxes of tissues – 200 to the box) I was able to occasionally glimpse the bird life outside.
The White-winged Choughs are frequent garden visitors – usually daily. They didn’t disappoint me. It always amuses me the way the strut their way down the driveway looking for all the world like they own the place.
The resident Willie Wagtails are always busy searching out some tasty morsel amongst the plants in the garden. They were regular visitors come to cheer me up.
Several times during my illness the local gang of White-browed Babblers came on sorties through the undergrowth, their calls sometimes making me think we’d been invaded by a pack of meowing cats.
The local Little Ravens are quite vocal at present and are also frequent visitors. Two of them were acting suspiciously, pulling bark from the trunk of a Melaleuca bush. They then flew off purposefully across the road. I wonder if they are making a nest? I haven’t been well enough to check them out.
New Holland Honeyeaters are the most obvious birds in our garden, both in numbers and in noise levels. Even through the cold, wintery, showery weather they are constantly on the go, feeding, flying around and generally bossing around anything that dares to come near.
The resident family of Australian Magpies has been rather quiet recently. They are still around but I think this is just the calm before the breeding storm. Once they start nesting the Territory Wars begin in earnest.
Our resident pair of Grey Shrike-thrushes are usually quiet and reserved, going about their daily activities with little fuss. On a few occasions while I was sick they would come near to the window and delight me with their rich melodious call. It is enough to cheer even the sickest person.
Most days we have either two or four Mallee Ringneck parrots in the garden. Two of them are constantly checking out a hollow in a tree near the shed. We live in hope that someday they will deem it suitable for nesting. So far this has not happened.
This is just a small sample of the many birds found daily in our garden. My recent enforced stay in bed made me realise how rich the bird life was around here, something I sometimes take for granted.
Happy birding – wherever you are.