The birds of squares

Becky’s Square Photo Challenge: Past Squares

I don’t know what to post so how about a selection of birds in squares?

How a lot of photos end up

A quick square gallery

My ordinary life

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #169: Ordinary

My ordinary, commonplace or standard, of what I see most days. Included in this post is what is seasonal as well but as the seasons roll on it all becomes ordinary for me.

From my front door……

Something to listen to as you scroll through my ordinary world

Looking out of the kitchen window

Through the garden…….

Into the bush…..

or a place to relax in the garden to watch whats going on……..

Maybe watch a sunset

*Disclaimer: Not a sunset from my place. This is what sunset looks from my place

This is September 2021

This was a dry month, following a dry August, a month of wanting rain to fill water tanks and dams which are so low – not enough to water gardens for the next few months. Last night the first good rainfall happened, 17mls in a storm which has made today a smiling day. The garden is happy. With a growth of grass around my house the Red-necked Wallabies have returned to graze which is a lovely sight to see.

I was quite amazed at the amount of flowers in the garden which bought in the birds. The butterflies are yet to arrive in numbers, there are a few small ones here and every now and then a bigger butterfly flits through the garden.

As you will see the warm weather has bought out many animals including a few reptiles. So let’s get into what I found in September.

One of my favourite September songs for you to scroll to

I put together the photos and thought that I would start with a sunrise. I don’t see much coloured sky living in the bush but sometimes the colours get above the trees. After looking back I now realise that this is really a sunset. Oh well the pastel colours above the blazing reds and oranges looked great.

Here is a lone butterfly photo drinking from a Lavender flower.

My bestie has started a new garden bed and is slowly adding soil, mulch, compost and plants. The Poppies are the best flowering for a while.

Remember last month when I was able to photograph the Gymea Lily that was still in bud? Well the flower was still around when I finally was able to get there after Covid lock downs. The flower is just starting to fade.

This is the first flowering of the Pink Trumpet Tree, an Australian rainforest tree, and now the tree is covered in flowers after a bit of a false start in August.

The Bottlebrush are also having the best flowering for years.

I thought that I had lost the Champagne Pink Bottlebrush but it was just slow to flower.

I love the grass seed heads and flowers, so do the bees.

and the Galahs do as well

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters have taken over the garden making sure that no one else gets into the various grevillea flowers. Always keeping watch as you have a snack, even upside down.

The Paperbark trees are flowering as well much to the delight of the Scarlet Honeyeaters.

The Satin Bowerbird was always in the garden as he set up the bower to attract the females. He didn’t scare off easily much to the vocal displeasure of the Blue-faced Honeyeaters.

Here is the contents of his bower. This is the fifth bower he has constructed in the garden carting most of his treasures from place to place. This site is one of the same places he used last year. What can you see?

Here’s a closer look. I have no idea where he collects his treasures from as none of the contents are from my place, except the snail shells possibly. I don’t know whose blue feathers they are either.

I love the Spangled Drongos shape outlined against the morning sky.

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters mad a nest just outside of the sun room. The nest was well concealed and I had to wait until the babies were out of the nest to have a look at them.

There is always someone looking in the office window to see if I have any snacks. This is a female King Parrot and is Tiny’s mate.

and this is Tiny trying to get my attention.

We went for a drive and on the way home we stopped off at a wetland towards my besties place. In one part of the wetland, two Black-necked Storks were standing around. Here is a back and front photo of them, possibly a male and female.

On the other side some Australian Pelicans were settling down for the night.

Over the month sometimes the sky looked rather spectacular. I love clouds. These were at my place

These were at my besties

With the warm sunshine starting, the Water Dragons were around sunning themselves.

I had to chase this Goanna from the front of the house. I think he wanted to come inside.

A Carpet Snake was sunning himself on the warm gravel of the driveway until I came outside and he headed off. I think he spent most of the winter in the roof space of my house as I heard shuffling every now and then.

OK I know how much some of you have just sped by the reptiles so here is a bit of cute. A Red-necked Wallaby Joey just hanging in the garden, warming in the morning sun.

Even if you think you are a big boy, Mum always knows you need a good wash. Despite some protests, the face washing went on for a while.

One day we went to Ballina just to get out of the house after the Covid seven day lock down had finished. By the afternoon the sky looked ominous and the seas were quite rough.

It must have been a bumper season and the pink marshmallows are stacked and ready

OK it’s time to head off into the sunset. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found a favourite or two.

Also for the Changing Seasons which I am co-hosting with Ju-Lyn. Here is Ju-Lyn’s Changing Seasons


Also for Cee’s Mid-week Madness Challenge September: Autumn or Spring
and Terri’s Sunday Stills: #Signs of…. Autumn? Spring?

This is August 2021

Welcome to Changing Seasons for August 2021. Ju_Lyn at Touring My Backyard has already posted her changing season and I am a bit late for the southern hemisphere but may just squeak in for you northerners. It’s never too late for you to post your Changing Seasons and we would love to see what happened in your part of the world.

Here we are again in Spring saying goodbye to Winter. It really wasn’t a Winter as a lot of last month the day time temperatures were in the low 20C although the fire was lit at night as the temperatures went down to single figures 1 to 4C. A lot of the photos are from home as we went into a statewide lockdown mid August and am still there for another week. Lockdowns’ downside is I can’t get to see my bestie and travel around to different places sampling cafes and the shops and of course taking photos.

Lets get going with a tune to scroll to

The last time we were able to get around in Lismore taking Teddy for a walk along the riverbank and through the park, I took quite a number of photos some that have already been used in posts. This is looking along the rock wall which is also part of the levee system.

Can you find the cat among the moss or what can you see? This was a find by my bestie.

I love this stand of Fig Trees helping to hold the riverbank together.

I love this old sign on the Bowling Clubs flower bed. At the time there weren’t any flowers.

First up is a few flowers. I have another lot of flowers which will be another post once one flowering bud opens but it is taking its time. The Sydney Rock Orchid, Dendrobium Speciosum, flowered this year. Even the buds looked good.

When the flowers opened it was a mass of white cascading down from the top of the plant.

The flowers looked best in the afternoon light. Such a delicate flower from the leather hard leaves of the plant.

Late in the day, the sunset made the red Grevilleas really stand out.

This is the only close photo I have of the Gymea Lily at my besties place. It takes a while for such a big flower to open and I couldn’t get back to see the open flower. The flower is on top of a three metre spike.

The Iris have flowered already and these are the first ones to open.

I have Sweet Pittosporum trees in most of the gardens around the house. They flowered about a week ago and the fragrance throughout the house in the early morning and late afternoon is heavenly. This also shows the wonderful blue skies that were in August.

The Pittosporum flowers are full of bees and butterflies and the bee buzz outside is constant. Even the little Stingless Native Bees were onto the flowers. A rear view of this bee shows how much pollen he has in his pollen sacs on his rear legs. They are the yellow dots, one under his body and the other just to the left.

I followed this Orange Ringlet around the tree for a while.

Growing out of the mulch on a sheet of lichen a little cap popped up. I still have it on the bricks waiting to see if anything happens.

The Bottlebrush have been flowering non-stop for quite a while and the birds just love the flowers. A bit of contorting for the Yellow-faced Honeyeater.

An Eastern Spinebill had to reach to get the best spot

The Scarlet Honeyeaters have been in the Bottlebrush all day for weeks now. A Female Scarlet Honeyeater looks to see which flower would taste the best next.

The male Scarlet Honeyeaters are so hard to find among the red flowers. The other day I counted five having afternoon snacks, even if you have to do it upside down.

The Noisy Friarbirds have taken over the front garden and the Honey Gem Grevillea in particular giving anyone the evil eye if they dare come near the flowers.

Taken from my office through the glass door, I saw a bird land in the Ivanhoe Bottlebrush, which has flowered for the first time, and saw a bird I have never seen in the garden before. Unfortunately it was a quick visit as my movement inside was spotted and the Little Wattlebird flew off. Maybe it will come back today if the Friarbirds don’t scare it away.

The Firesticks Grevillea is a hit with some of the smaller honeyeaters. The Lewins Honeyeaters especially like snacking over there.

I wondered why some of the Honey Gem flowers looked a bit scrapy. The King Parrots like to remove the styles, have a bit of a munch and drop to the ground…….repeat as necessary.

I have quite a number of Laughing Kookaburras in the garden at the moment. There is always one of the five keeping a lookout for food to appear among the plants.

These three Laughing Kookaburras are at my besties place in the tree in the paddock next door late one afternoon, giving the perfect silhouette.

We went to a park in Bangalow for my besties birthday party with family. This Brush Turkey patrolled the grounds in case picnickers had any leftovers.

One day on my way home from town, I decided to take a drive along one of the roads near my place I hadn’t been down for years, just to sticky beak. I saw something run across the road so of course I had to get the camera out and found an Australasian Pipit running in the paddock.

It wasn’t the Olympics but I did see some Synchronised Swimming.

At the same wetland as the ducks diving for food, there is a few Comb-crested Jacanas, one of my favourite water birds. They have very long toes which lets the appear to be walking on water as they get about on the water plants.

It is a pity I can’t get closer to this little wetland patch in a paddock. All the photos have to be taken from the road. It has a lot of variety of birds, these are just a few – a Jacana in front, Pacific Black Ducks in the water and a Straw-necked Ibis.

On one of the last days we could get out we went to the beach at Ballina, had some fish and chips while watching out for any Humpback Whales still passing through and watching the Crested Terns dive into the water as there must have been a shoal of fish.

“Get my good side” the Silver Gull seemed to say as he kept turning this way and that.

Well we’re at the end of another Changing Season. Thought I would end with another cow walking into the sunset to say see you next month.

“What are you still doing here?” “Are you going to say which photo was your favourite?” Drop me a line in the comments

Bye

Roundup

How many reds

Life in Colour August: Red

This is my look at photos from the first “red” (it took a while to work out the easiest way to search for an image – duh!) to the last one posted probably last week, as it’s the end of the month already. My way of saying goodbye to red and hello to ????

The first RED – a Red-necked Wallaby and Joey in March 2012 in my messy looking front yard

March 2012 – RED fungi make an appearance

September 2013 – RED-browed Firetail Finch dropped in for a bath

January 2014 – A random RED flower

February 2015 – A wonderful scented RED Rose

August 2016 – A favourite RED Skimmer Dragonfly photo

March 2017 – lot’s of RED-necked Wallaby photos to choose from

July 2017 – RED Skimmer Dragonflies were keeping an eye on me too

January 2018 – My computer time was interrupted by a RED insect walking across my desk. Assassin Bugs are so cool; see the red hook in the front, they use that to hold their lunch and quietly munch away. Also comes with spiky defenses and camouflage of sort. Size – around 10-30mm If unfortunately stung just a bit of localised pain that doesn’t last long. Remember never poke the insect

November 2018 – One of my favourite RED Dahlia photos

August 2019 – I love RED and yellow Torch Ginger Flowers. They are a haven for small insects.

July 2019 – I love my wheelbarrows filled with RED Hippeastrums

November 2019 – I am getting cuttings of this RED Frangipanni.

November 2019 – This reminds me. It’ll be soon time for Becky’s next #square photo challenge – 33 days. This one was from a Blue or was it RED square photo challenge? This also works for the next Square photo challenge in “October – is going to be a month of Past Squares. A month to share memories, personal favourites, leftover squares and also have fun with themes you have always wanted to try.”

December 2019 – RED Christmas fireworks

June 2020 – another new visitor to the garden in the six months after that fire. The bush was recovering and just around my house was a garden and sanctuary, so the small birds I used to see in the bush but not around the house came around more often like this little RED-backed Wren

September 2020 – A good year for the Zygote Cactus to show their RED flower

April 2021 – the end of a particularly warm Autumn day…

….and this final RED adventure. The Header from April 2021 – RED Callistemon (Bottlebrush) and a Scarlet Jezebel Butterfly

This is July 2021 – Changing Seasons

Last month was the first post from Ju-Lyn at Touring My Backyard for The Changing Seasons. Ju-Lyn and I will be taking turns at hosting The Changing Seasons that Su from Zimmerbitch hosted with great results. We hope you will enjoy, as you have done in the past, and keep posting your Changing Seasons with us. Just add your link in the comments or pingback to this post for your Changing Seasons.

I have had an action packed July with my camera being able to get around the local area despite the Covid restrictions that the state of NSW is currently under. There has been a couple of “incidents” on the North Coast from people coming from Sydney Covid positive. A lot of businesses are starting to not allow customers from Sydney into their premises.

Enough of the doom and gloom, something I am not used to posting on my blog. Let’s start with an Aussie song you all should know to get you through the photos.

I thought we should start a bit bright and cheerful with some flowers.

My Bromiliads flowered with such unusual flowers

My besties Gymea Lily sent up a spear. It’s about three metres tall.

The flower is yet to open and as I haven’t been there for almost two weeks, I hope it waits until I can get there to show you the flower.

A while ago I was talking about my poor sad Peach Tree. It seems to enjoy July don’t you think?

The flowers have a lovely deep pink colour. I know a couple of people will love this colour.

The bees love the flowers too.

Just beside the Peach is a Nectarine Tree and the Stingless Native Bees are loving the blossoms of light pink petals with a rosy centre.

There has been a few Black Jezebel Butterflies in the garden too.

It’s not just the insects who love the flowers. The Brown Honeyeater enjoys snacking on Lions Tails flowers.

The Rainbow Lorikeets flock to the Honey Gem Grevillea in the morning.

Lewins Honeyeaters like to pick the centre from the Ornamental Ginger flowers

Can you count the number of King Parrots in the red Bottlebrush? I have lot of King Parrots in the garden.

This female King Parrot was watching me as I was walking in the garden.

There is always someone peeking through the window to see if I am home.

or peeking over the gutter

Or sitting in the tree where this Pied Currawong was outside of my office door.

One wonderful thing is that a Chatter (yes that’s the name for a group of Choughs) of White-winged Choughs have increased in number and often cackle away while picking their way through the garden.

Driving home a few days ago I heard the sounds of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flying overhead. I saw them start to land so jumped out of the car camera in hand. Of course they decided to fly off to a distant tree. There were a lot of Cockatoos in the flock. This is just a few as others had landed in other trees further away.

Getting out to the beach was good way to spend the day even though it was very windy.

I think that there is a system of ownership of this rock. The Crested Terns were sitting there as I walked past.

On the way back, the Cormorant had taken over

Pied Oystercatchers were combing the beach for morsels in the sand.

The Sooty Oystercatcher decided the rocks was the best place to find a snack.

A Pelican was taking a stroll along the sand.

and another Pelican enjoyed a cruise on the Clarence River

Overhead it was rather busy. A Brahminy Kite scanned the beach intent on stealing whatever the Gulls had found.

A White-bellied Sea Eagle was hovering and circling in the wind right near us looking among the rock pools where the Sooty Oystercatcher was as well.

The brown on the outer side of it’s wings is lovely

At full stretch doing a turn in the wind ready to circle back and scan once more

We were also lucky enough to see the Humpback Whales on their northerly migration even though they were not very close to the shore.

It was an amazing sight to see hundreds of Ibis heading west to the wetlands where they will spend the rest of Winter and in Spring, raise their hatchlings.

One afternoon in the grey afternoon sky, a pair of Ibis were heading to roost.

Speaking of roosting. Down at the beach there is a colony of Red-Headed Flying Foxes who were squabbling over the best places and getting ready to fly off for their nightly foraging.

While in the trees, for Becky’s July Square Trees photo challenge, I posted the avenue of Fig Trees but from one end, I commented to Becky that I should have taken a photo in the middle. Yesterday in the late afternoon I did just that – and it’s even square.

Sitting in the garden the sun reflected off something that caught my eye. It was a rather ragged spiders web which had the most amazing colours.

Only a little bit of rain for July but thee is always the opportunity for a water drop photo.

One thing I like to photograph is rusty things. The steel and the rivets plus their shadow on the Grafton Bridge.

While looking on the other side, the setting looked rather idyllic

I love clouds and these in horizontal layers with varying colours one afternoon looked wonderful.

OK folks it time for sunset and to reach the end of my July and Changing Seasons.

I hope you enjoyed a scroll though my July and enjoyed the sunset as much as the cows do.

Did you have a favourite photo? See you next month for This is August 2021 and Ju-Lyn will be hosting The Changing Seasons

H is for bird

The Bird Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds Beginning With a “H”

I don’t have an abundance of H birds just a few Herons……

White-faced Heron

Pacific Heron

There are a lot of Honeyeaters starting with the striking Blue-faced Honeyeater

This is an Endangered Honeyeater I was very lucky to have in my garden for a few minutes, a Regent Honeyeater

Little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters are rather feisty when they have to be

Brown Honeyeaters are very quick as they decide what flower to try next

Three White-throated Honeyeaters at the hanging pot birdbath.

Lewins Honeyeaters are quite common

Fuscous Honeyeaters come to the waterhole on my place to drink

New Holland Honeyeaters are easy to spot with their black and white stripes and yellow wings

Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters are very pretty

The red flashing jewel that flies through my garden, the Scarlet Honeyeater, the smallest honeyeater

This is June 2021

Here we are at the half way point of the year. June has been one of rain and dry, Winter arriving and the night temperatures dropping into single figures but the days here were 20 – 24C Just lovely when it wasn’t raining, well that was more like drizzle which was annoying but the garden loved it.

The worse part of June was the number of mice I had at my place. I probably caught between at least two to five mice every night. It was no where near the plague that was west of the mountains but I needed a mouse trap that would get more than one at a time as conventional mouse traps do. I made a couple of traps. One was using a small kitchen tidy bin with a ramp and peanut butter on the lid. The mice just dropped into water in the bottom and drowned. The first trap I made took several variations before success. It is a bottle and a bucket. I had to also make it possum proof as they licked all the peanut butter off the bottle. The mice walk on the bottle to get the peanut butter, the bottle spins and in they go. Here is a result after the first night of model number three. Look away if you may be a bit aghast at viewing dead mice.

I did manage to get out and about a bit. I went to a State Landcare meeting in Dubbo which meant an eight hour drive with the Clarence Landcare Coordinator Debbie driving us in her seven seater van. Debbie and I stayed in an Airbnb with two other women coordinators from up in the Border Ranges. I managed to get out and walk about while the women did a bit of work. The benefit of being a Committee member. Enough of me walking around. Later on I’ll show a few photo I took.

Here is your song to scroll to while you have a look at what I found in June.

One of our favourite places to get to is the Mallanganee Lookout situated on the peak of the Richmond Range. Over the mountains in front is Queensland and to the right looks towards the coast. It was a sometimes rough drive on the Hogarth Range Road, an unsealed road, to get there.

The railway line that goes through Dubbo has interesting infrastructure. It is in a grain growing region and flour mills are right beside the railway tracks.

I loved this iron bridge over the Macquarie River. The grain trains wagons must bump a bit as the train goes over this part of the track as the Sulpher-crested Cockatoos, Pigeons and Sparrows enjoyed a meal

This is one of the iconic Australian trains I saw at Casino on my way to my besties, the Southern Aurora. I used to watch this train as a kid go through the station where I grew up. The rear carriage used to have a neon sign, a copy from thnsw.cpm.au is below

I love the lettering on the carriage

I really liked this door hinge on a church in Dubbo

Here are a few flowers I found. This is a Forest Boronia which grows quite well on my youngest daughters property. I will have to get a cutting and see if I can grow it here in my garden.

Not sure what this quite small flower is, also on my youngest daughters property. It has such an interesting shape.

She also has lots of Banksia trees on her property. I love the flowers, Another one I will get from her for my garden.

On the way home, I go on the back roads as it is much shorter, I often stop in at the Ospreys nest to check to see what’s happening. I am always pleased to see the tree is still standing and the nest is OK. Don’t they have a great spot? The Osprey in the background is on a tree overlooking the Clarence River hoping for a fish to swim past.

A Grey Butcherbird surveys my besties garden for a snack…..

……or perhaps it is watching what the Scaly-breasted Lorikeet is up to in the Bottlebrush.

One morning, in my garden, several Crimson Rosellas paid a visit to the Yamba Sunshine Grevillea.

The Gum Nuts from a Eucalypt tree in my besties garden

Her Cumquat tree only planted less than three years ago is laden with fruit. Yesterday she made some Cumquat Marmalade which I hope to taste this weekend.

A young Variegated Fairy Wren regarded me with suspicion before flying off to join the others in the safety of the bushes nearby.

At Mallanganee Lookout we could hear birds and this female Golden Whistler came to see what we were doing.

On a drive round the Clarence Valley, when I saw the Wren, I also came across an Intermediate Egret stalking the shallows.

It has been good to see that the White-winged Choughs have returned to my place. Most afternoons the big troop of twelve wander through my garden bickering over tasty morsels they find. They are interesting birds. They have a tendency to steal other members of family groups to enhance their own. They are one of only two surviving members of the Australian mud-nest builders family, Corcoracidae, and is the only member of the genus Corcorax.

The noisy squawks of Sulpher-crested Cockatoos are unmistakable as they fly overhead.

I love the look and smell of the Lavender flowers in my besties garden.

These are the last of the Roses which had a great flowering this year The red….

…and the pretty pink

This is a wonderful Bottlebrush, Champagne Pink.

The basil flowers are amazing and the bees love them.

Just like Lions Tails, the bees just are in most of the flowers.

On the way to Dubbo, we had to stop in at the Raspberry Lookout so could show Debbie my favourite place. The mist in the valley looked so good.

The yellow Common or Variable Billy Button flowers were everywhere at Raspberry Lookout. Isn’t Billy Buttons a great name? They are between 10 and 25mm in diameter.

I found a Dwarf Eastern Tree Frog asleep under the eaves

The cows on a dairy, not far from the one I usually photograph next door to my besties place, were heading to the milking shed in an orderly line.

It is getting late. An Ibis is heading to its roost to the west as the sunset is in an orange phase.

Later on the sunset turned a lovely red reflected in the Egrets wings as it headed to the East to its roost.

It was a magnificent sunset. So that’s all for June I hope you enjoyed you wander through my June. Did you have a favourite photo?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sunset_red_tree_named_cabiaba_june-2021.jpg

Also for Changing Seasons
Changing Season is now co-hosted by Ju-Lyn from Touring My Backyard and myself, who will be your Changing Seasons host for July. Thanks to Su at Zimmerbitch for doing an outstanding job and letting us take over.

It’s a long tail

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge #52: Birds With Long Tail Feathers

Thanks for filling in for Lisa. Yes a daunting task but you have done quite well. Just love your birds. The Caspian Tern and Glossy Starling are my favourites. Here’s a few from my part of Australia.

Pheasant Coucal

Spangled Drongo

King Parrot

Willie Wagtail

Grey Fantail

Grey-crowned Babbler

Restless Flycatcher

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Rainbow Bee Eaters

Whites of the sky

Life in Colour for June: White or Silver

So far I have shown some white flowers, white fungi and some bits of silver. Now let see what whites I have that may not be all white but predominantly white which should fit the bill.

White-headed Pigeon

White-throated Honeyeater

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Silver Gull

Caper White Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly

Pied Butcherbird

Magpie Geese

Sacred Ibis and Royal Spoonbill

Sacred Ibis

Australian Gull Butterfly