This is my August

August. The final days of winter and the early spring flowers begin to emerge. The weather has been so nice, typical north coast days of mid twenties with cool nights. The nights are cool at my place especially as the cold breezes blow down the Gibraltar Ranges bringing quite chilly evenings and mornings. Didn’t get below zero degrees at the house this winter but there were frosts in the lower part of my property.

As usual, we have been driving around just checking out our world, discovering new things and rediscovering stuff. On one such drive-about, we came across some little Brown Quails warming in the afternoon sun by the side of a back road near Billen Cliffs

brown quail group_named_larnook_aug 2016

Quail are such funny looking birds but have a certain amount of cuteness that makes you smile when you find them bustling about.

brown quail01_named_larnook_aug 2016

The sun was almost set when a cacophony started heading toward us as we stopped at my besties house. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos had come from the pine forest and up to the gums around the house to roost for the night. There were around twenty to thirty birds squawking in the trees. It was getting dark and I was surprised that I managed to get a photo.

yellow tailed black cockatoos_named_binna burra_aug 2016

At my place, there has been activity among the trees as some of the eucalypts, Tallowwoods and Bloodwoods, are flowering. Most of the birds are here nearly all year round. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters can be heard chip chip chipping away during the day.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_aug 2016

It seems like I have a photo of an Eastern Yellow Robin in most of my blogs but they are such a lovely little bird. This time here is a rear view for a change.

eastern yellow robin_named_binna burra_aug 2016

The Grey Fantails are so busy swooping around the garden.

grey fantail_named_binna bura_aug 2016

I was sitting in the study when a bird flew up and down the verandah. It didn’t sit still for very long (I have another entrant in “this is where the bird was a second ago” photos). The Spotted Pardalote sat still long enough for a photo through the glass door.

spotted pardalote_named_home_aug 2016

The King Parrots always drop by and have a look through the door to see what I am doing!!!

king parrot_named_home_aug 2018

My besties bird bath has been the source of so many bird photos. The little Striated Thornbill looks like it saw me as it landed on the bird bath.

striated thornbill_named_binna burra_aug 2016

One drive took us to Ballina where a late lunch of fish and chips by the estuary near where we have a swim in summer. The tide was out and there were a number of waders way out sifting the sand for their lunch. This Masked Lapwing patrolled the area of sand in front of us, wandering up and down. It was funny to see it on the sand and not walking around the grass in the park.

masked lapwing_named_ballina_aug 2016

The White-faced Heron was always finding something to eat as it wandered with purpose on the sands.

white faced heron_named_ballina_aug 2016

In a nearby tree, a Little Cormorant gave me a suspicious look, but still sat looking over the estuary.

little pied cormorant_named_ballina_aug 2016

The butterflies are just starting to be a regular sight in the garden. Don’t you think that the Orange Streaked Ringlet looks rather angry? I liked the colours as it sat on one of the garden ornaments.

orange streaked ringlet_named_binna burra_aug 2016

One morning the sun filtered through the trees and highlighted some spider webs in the garden. I just had to stop washing up and grab my camera.

spider web01_named_aug 2016

I don’t normally have such luck with spider web photos but these two really made my day.

spider web02_named_aug 2016

One afternoon driving home along the Gwydir Highway, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye as I went over the Tindal Bridge. I was sure it was Wedged-tailed Eagles but they were sitting on the ground not far from the edge of the road. See my last blog on the Wedged-tailed Eagles if you haven’t already seen it. When they took to the sky it was a magnificent sight.

wedged tailed eagle_named_ramornie_aug 2016

At my place, the Red-necked Wallabies are always hanging around. This morning, the young Joey was being brave, until they sensed I was watching from the kitchen window. Some days they Joeys have a great time hopping about. A while ago this Joey was having a great time.

red necked wallaby and joey01_named_home_aug 2016

“Is he still there Mum?”

red necked wallaby_joey04_named_home_aug 2016

“Oh dear. I better hide so he won’t see me!”

red necked wallaby and joey02_named_home_aug 2016

The Joey finally decided to sit in the warming morning sun to contemplate the day ahead.

red necked wallaby_joey03_named_home_aug 2016

The Bottlebrush had so many flowers this year, it was a magnet for the birds. The Friarbirds had taken over the garden and spent a lot of time chasing the other birds from the Grevilleas and this Bottlebrush. The bees in the Bottlebrush made the garden buzz

bee_bottlebrush_named_home_aug 2016

Guess who came in for a snack?

rainbow lorikeet03_named_home_aug 2016

The Rainbow Lorikeets certainly add a splash of colour to the garden.

rainbow lorikeet01_named_home_aug 2016

The Friarbirds look so prehistoric don’t they?

noisy friarbird_named_home_aug 2016

The little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were also chased about by the Friarbirds.

yellow faced honeyeater_bottlebrush_named_home_aug 2016

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters didn’t care either way when the Friarbirds carried on. At the Honey Gem Grevillea, their don’t care attitude was evident in The Battle for the Grevillea

blue faced honeyeater_named_home_aug 2016

Well the sun is going down……….

sunset_named_binna burra_aug 2016

…….and the Moon is on the rise. Thanks for reading

moon_named_home_aug 2016

 

Wedged-tailed Eagles having lunch

One afternoon I was driving home when I saw, on the side of the road, two shapes being very busy. Of course, I had to turn around and see what I thought I saw. Much to my delight it was two Wedged-tailed Eagles just sitting on the ground near the road, one looked like it was eating something.

The Wedged-tailed Eagles are often sighted between Ramornie and Jackadgery. Sometimes it’s all three and this time it was just two. I just started to take photos as most times they are very wary and take off even if they have some food they are eating.

This is the story of my encounter with the two Wedged-tailed Eagles who were having lunch.

I stopped the car and took a few photos after I opened the door and hid behind it to get a few photographs. The long grass on the side of the road hindered my view but I was too afraid that if I moved they would fly off.

wedged tailed eagle01_named_ramornie_aug 2016

It looks like I have been spotted by both eagles. The younger one waiting to eat and the parent with a bit of blood on the beak.

wedged tailed eagle02_named_ramornie_aug 2016

“It’s OK. I’ll keep an eye on this bloke while you eat.”

wedged tailed eagle03_named_ramornie_aug 2016

The other one started to tuck in to whatever was on the menu, and while it looked like the lookout was distracted I made a move to see if I could get some better photographs.

wedged tailed eagle04_named_ramornie_aug 2016

Oh dear, it looks like I was spotted trying to get to a better vantage point.

wedged tailed eagle05_named_ramornie_aug 2016

Yep!!! It was a case of “Let’s get out of here”

wedged tailed eagle06_named_ramornie_aug 2016

“Hey wait for me I’m coming too!!!”

wedged tailed eagle07_named_ramornie_aug 2016

While the Eagles were eating, there was a pesky Magpie swooping as they ate. The Magpie didn’t like me being there so didn’t move while I was taking photos but once in the air, the Magpie resumed its attack. It was once the Wedged-tailed Eagle was in the air I could see what it was eating. Perhaps it was a Goanna that was hit by a vehicle or maybe it was a was a Water Dragon.

wedged tailed eagle08_named_ramornie_aug 2016

Everyone was in the air, one Eagle hanging onto lunch with the Magpie still in pursuit.

wedged tailed eagle09_named_ramornie_aug 2016

The Magpie didn’t care which Eagle it chased and this Eagle, keeping a close eye on the Magpie, wheeled around to try to see the Magpie off.

wedged tailed eagle10_named_ramornie_aug 2016

With lunch still well gripped the Eagles flew higher and higher making it harder to get good images.

wedged tailed eagle11_named_ramornie_aug 2016

So a quickly as it started, they were soon way up in the sky and wheeling away from where I stopped the car. One last chance for a photo and it was over.

wedged tailed eagle12_named_ramornie_aug 2016

I have been hoping to get some photos of the local Wedged-tailed Eagles for ages and this time I was very lucky don’t you think?

A mixture of many things

So much has happened since my last blog. I am no longer employed and have time to try to sort out my photos and other stuff. I am not able to do all that much as my hips are hurting a bit especially when I bend down. It’s quite amazing to discover how clumsy I am, I seem to drop so many things which leads me into decision-making. Do I leave whatever I have dropped there or do I really need to pick it up!!!

Enough of that and onto some of the wonders in nature I have come across as well as other things that I have thought was a bit special and hope you do too.

The succulent that is growing among the rocks in the garden, possibly dropped there and started to make a home for itself, has flowered. So many tiny flowers that only were around for a couple of weeks but added a drop of colour in the garden.

succulant flower_named_home_july 2016

The Grevillea, Yamba Gold is flowering for the first time. The rains in July were a life saver for the garden which had a flush of life.

grevillia_yamba gold_named_home_july 2016

I gave the nectarine tree a severe trimming and this year it has been covered in blossoms.

nectarine tree_named_home_july 2016

The bees have been visiting the tree. The buzzing, as I walked about, was very loud.

bee_nectarine blossoms_named_home_july 2016

The Stingless Native Bees have also discovered the tree.

native bee_blossom_named_home_july 2016

Both bees decided to visit the same flower at the same time. It looks like a face off doesn’t it?

bees_nectarine blossom_named_home_july 2016

I love finding a Praying Mantis slowly swaying as it makes its way around the garden. Just after this photo, it decided to jump onto the camera and wander about. The photos of the Praying Mantis on the lens didn’t come out as good as I thought they would.

praying mantis_named_binna burra_july 2016

One evening in July, it was rather warm so I had windows open and in flew a fly. The fly just buzzed around me while I was trying to do stuff!!!

fly_named_home_july 2016

We had a few days away and while we were sitting outside enjoying the late afternoon and the sunset, this cloud caught my eye. I immediately thought it was Micky Mouse. What do you think?

micky mouse cloud_tweed_named_july 2016

All of a sudden there was a loud flapping of wings and the Brush Turkeys headed to their roost high in the Norfolk Island Pine.

brush turkeys_roost_named_tweed_july 2016

The Eastern Spinebill hung around the garden all through the dry period and took over ownership of my favourite Honey Gem Grevillea. They did allow the Silvereyes to enjoy the flowers as well. The Silvereyes dropped in on their way north as they usually do in July.

eastern spinebill_silvereye_named_home_july 2016

The Silvereyes stayed around for a week or so before going on their way. Such a pretty little bird.

silver eye_named_home_july 2016

Late one afternoon the light was just amazing. It changed the whole colour of the Honey Gem making the greens so vivid.

eastern spinebill_named_home_july 2016

There was a bit of competition at my besties bird bath. The birds have a bit of a bath or a drink.

thornbills_named_binna burra_july 2016

Early one morning the Little Wattlebird Olive-backed Oriole (thanks for the ID @carolprobets ) wondered if the water was too cold to have a bath.

little wattlebird_named_binna burra_july 2016

I went onto the verandah and there was a flurry of activity as around 20 Red-browed Finches flew out of a patch of long grass where they were feeding on the seed heads. Some flew into the trees whereas others just popped onto the garden edges to watch what I was doing.

red browed finch_named_home_jul;y 2016

The palm frond made a good perch to wait until I went away so they could continue with their seed eating.

red browed finch_palm_named_home_jul;y 2016

The Wrens make a splash of colour as the hop about the garden looking for things to eat.

superb fairy wren_named_binna burra_july 2016

Down at the beach I am always on the look out for birds of prey in the sky. This time the White-bellied Sea Eagle Brahminy Kite (thanks for the ID @carolprobets )soared high in the sky, occasionally dropping lower to investigate a possible meal.

white bellied sea eagle_named_lennox head_july 2016

The unseasonal rainfall and warm weather produced so many fungi. The tiny orange fungi were all through the leaf litter.

fungi_tiny_named_home_july 2016

These dimpled fungi pushed their way out of the soil in the morning sun.

fungi01_named_home_july 2016

I found this silver looking fungi under the tank stand. The red centre looked a lot redder than the photo shows.

fungi_white_named_home_july 2016

These larger orange fungi were scattered in small clear patches throughout the bush.

fungi_gold_named_home_july 2016

Now come the tale of woe. During the few days I spent away enjoying myself at the resort in Kingscliffe, mayhem was happening at home. I came home to find that all of my chooks had been killed by a dog or perhaps two. I was devastated. There were four dead chooks in the chook house, a few piles of feathers in the bush and one pile of feathers on the road about 60 meters from the chook yard. When I saw those feathers on the road as I drove home, I had a sinking feeling. Speaking to some neighbours, I found out that three properties had some of their chooks killed as well. Apparently there had been a stray dog spotted around the neighbourhood.

Here is my rooster who was giving me the stink-eye for disturbing the foraging among the food scraps I just threw down. The six brown hens had only been here for about three weeks. These were the first hens I had ever purchased and they were just settling into the chook yard routine. One hen had just started to lay as well.

rooster_named_home_july 2016chooks_gangofsix_named_july 2016

Sorry to end on such a sad note. I love my chooks and now I am sure the dog has gone, I’ll have to get some more chooks.