Yesterday while having breakfast I observed a thornbill sized bird flitting around and on one of the birdbaths in our garden. I reached for my binoculars – they are always in easy reach from where we often sit to have our meals – and quickly identified it as a Yellow Thornbill. This is one species I don’t observe every day in our garden, but suspect that they are actually a resident breeding species, that is, they are present every day and nest in our garden.
More common is the Yellow-rumped thornbill which seems to be all over the garden at any given time on any given day. On sunny, still days the air can be filled with their twittering.
The Yellow Thornbill – also known as the Little Thornbill – is a widespread species found in eastern Australia, from southern Queensland through much of New South Wales and Victoria and into south eastern South Australia.
The most common thornbill species in our garden is the Yellow-rumped Thornbill. This is a resident breeding species and we see small flocks of up to 20 almost every day. If we searched our whole property we would probably see them every day.
Less common is the Yellow Thornbill shown in today’s photos. This species, also known as the Little Thornbill, is a regular visitor. On a recent hot day a small flock came hesitatingly to our bird bath. Some of the larger birds such as the honeyeaters can be quite bossy and this makes this tiny visitor nervous and flighty, so I was pleased to get a series of close up photos.
As an added bonus, I managed to catch one of them landing but still in flight – check out the last photo below.
We are in the midst of a heatwave this week. On Monday it reached 40C (104F), yesterday 45C (113F) and it looks like another 40+ day today.
Our poor garden birds – along with birds everywhere, suffer greatly during such extreme temperatures. I try to keep the supply of water in the bird baths up during these times, something they much appreciate if the constant stream of birds is anything to go by.
During the worst of the heat yesterday I was working in my office. I was being kept cool by the gentle flow of cool air from our evaporative air conditioner. This type of cooler needs an open window to create a flow of cool air into a room. The window alongside of me was ajar a few centimetres.
I was suddenly aware of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill cooling itself in the flow of air escaping from my office. He twittered in appreciation for about five minutes, wings held out to catch the refreshing air, before flying off to catch afternoon tea.
It was a lovely interruption to my afternoon of writing.