Thirsty time for the birds

Mallee Ringneck Parrot

Mallee Ringneck Parrot

We are having another heat wave.

After a very warm summer it was a relief to have a series of much cooler days recently. In fact, some days, and especially the evenings, were decidedly cool. The last few days have seen the return of some really hot days. Yesterday was over 40C and today is shaping up to be another sizzler. Last night was oppressively warm all night and at 6:20am when we went for our walk it was still very mild. As the sun rose the air quickly become warm again.

After our walk I had breakfast. I was fascinated by the constant parade of birds coming to the bird bath in our garden. First came the Yellow-rumped Thornbills – it seemed like there were dozens of them. They were quickly followed by a much larger bird, a single Grey Currawong. This was a new species to add to the list of birds that have come to visit the bird bath. A few moments later a Crested Pigeon came for his turn, and he made way for the bossy Red Wattlebird. Seconds later one of the resident Willie Wagtails came for his drink.

The next shift was taken by a mixture of Yellow-rumped and Striated Pardalotes, each flitting in and out in nervously. A flash of iridescent spots on an otherwise plain bird indicated that a Common Starling had arrived, followed quickly by another import, some House Sparrows. Another introduced species, a male Blackbird also skulked his way up the bird bath for a quick drink.

Interestingly, the single Wattlebird was the only member of the honeyeater family to pay a visit this morning. Usually the Brown-headed Honeyeaters, the New Holland Honeyeaters and the White-plumed Honeyeaters come in wave after wave of splashing excitement. But not today. Maybe they were at the bird bath earlier – while I was still on my walk.

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4 Responses to “Thirsty time for the birds”

  1. Brenton says:

    Interesting article as always. The drought is an ongoing problem for us all and ofcourse to our bird populations. The birdbaths that I provide have a constant number of visitors. The White-plumed honeyeaters become quite frantic and agitated if water levels in the birdbaths are low. The Adelaide Rosellas also love to indulge themselves of a drink. I have noticed White Ibises in various parks around Adelaide, where I have never seen them before, searching for whatever spot that grass may be still watered, with hopefully some food to be had. During the heat in January, I noticed 3 Black Swans standing in the shade of the Elder Park Rotunda during the heat of a late afternoon. Nature has to utilise what it can to survive until the rains and cooler weather come again.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the encouraging comments Brenton.

    We rarely get Adelaide Rosellas here in Murray Bridge but we have plenty of Mallee Ringnecks (who have taken a liking to our pear crop despite all the shiney things dangling from the trees). The Ringnecks also love the bird bath and get thoroughly soaked when bathing.

    That is an interesting observation about the White Ibis. I guess times are tough for some species. Here they tend to congregate on the dairy flats and other irrigated pastures along the river.

    Are you sure about the Black Swans? Perhaps they were just waiting patiently for the next recital and reserving their spot close to the action. (Maybe “Swan Lake” was scheduled!!!)

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