Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit friends in Blackwood in the Adelaide Hills. They have an extensive collection of native Australian plants grown over many years. They are about to downsize by moving elsewhere and my wife was invited to come and get whatever cuttings she wanted. She loves opportunities like this and uses the cuttings to propagate more plants.
The weather was bitterly cold, overcast and blowing a gale – when it wasn’t raining. Not a great day for birding, you’d think. Well, the list I made was rather short but made up for by getting great photos of a pair of Tawny Frogmouths in a neighbour’s tree. It was close to the fence and easy to get some great shots. I am confident in calling them a pair as our friends told me that they have successfully raised several broods in recent years.
The nesting boxes in the tall gum trees in their garden have also had the following nesting in them in recent years: Galah, Eastern Rosella, Adelaide Rosella and Brush-tailed Possum.
On the weekend I bought another book to add to my already vast collection. (Can one ever have too many books?) This one is a very practical book; it says so on the cover!
- Nest boxes for wildlife: a practical guide by Alan and Stacey Franks (2006, Bloomings Books, Melbourne)
We already have quite a few species of wildlife nesting in hollows on our property. At times however, the competition seems to be intense. This has been worsened in a the last few years by the large numbers of the introduced European Starling taking over many of the suitable hollows. They have forced some of our native species to look elsewhere. Over the next few years I intend giving some of our native birds and animals a helping hand by providing some nesting boxes. We have enough suitable trees for several dozen such nest boxes.
This new book of mine has plans included for some of the more commonly constructed nesting boxes. These plans include many different birds as well as boxes suitable for possums, gliders and bats. Of course I could have gone ahead and bought some boxes, but I enjoy making things with timber so I’ll have a go at them myself. It’s a bit late to be putting up these boxes this year because the breeding season is in full swing. I plan to have some ready for next spring.
I’ll keep you posted.
Special Note: this book deals only with Australian fauna. For suitable nesting boxes for your country, please look for publications dealing with you local fauna.