Some easy words, so Paula says, for this months Pick a Word. How would you go?
Some easy words, so Paula says, for this months Pick a Word. How would you go?
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The letter W with 2 vowels
The Whipbird at my besties enjoy going to the bird bath. I hope you enjoy this short tale of the Whipbird having a bath
I am ready for my bath
OK. I am going in.
This is great.
I really enjoyed that bath.
I hope my feet are clean.
Well………how do you look after your bath?
Of course Part Four would have to be the birds of October.
On the Queensland expedition we came across a huge flock of Cormorants and Pelicans on the edge of Somerset Dam.
On a bit of a chilly day the Cormorants were a bit sleepy in Ballina.
So were the Pelicans
The Satin Bowerbird has been busy collecting his blue bits and pieces to decorate his Bower. This is the fifth year this Bower has been used in the bush at my place.
Of course who could forget Brendan the Bush Turkey. Here he is on his mound he has built for the females to lay their eggs in. The mound is about 2 meters tall. Brendan does a great job of raking the leaves.
A Figbird sits high on a branch keeping an eye on the goings on in the garden.
The Laughing Kookaburra was on the other side of the garden.
This bloke is more of a smiling Kookaburra don’t you think? He likes the sitting branch which is the most popular in the garden.
The Eastern Whipbird sends his call down the gully This is what a whip bird sounds like here
The Pied Currawong was always around the garden.
This branch is a favourite sitting spot in the garden.
The Pied Currawong is sitting on the eggs in the nest at my besties place.
The Noisy Friarbird on the famous sitting branch
Another stand off in the Honey Gem Grevillea between the Blue-faced Honeyeaters and the Noisy Friarbird. Check out the fight here from last year
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater was wondering what the fuss was all about.
Check out my pink feet said the White Headed Pigeon.
The King Parrot having a snack of wattle seeds.
The Eastern Rosella high in the old Fig Tree wondering what I am doing.
The Olive-backed Oriel took his turn in the bird bath.
There was a Rainbow Lorikeet queue at the bird bath.
“Hey Stan……are you in there?”
“What do you want?”
Well that’s the end of This is October. I hope you got through the Four Parts.
September, the first month of Spring but still no rain. The last drop of rain I have had was 6mls on the 6th July. Good news is there was 21mls over the last weekend. The dry Winter and September didn’t stop the Grevillieas from flowering. I didn’t include many Grevilleas in this or the next blog. You can see them here from a previous blog. But I digress. This part of This is September is just the birds. The next blog is everything else as I looked at the number of photos and there are too many for one blog. I didn’t want your cuppa to get cold scrolling through or fall asleep before the end.
Ready……..lets get going.
The first lot are birds who are not very good at hiding, although some were just sheltering from the heat of the day probably.
The Australian Raven gave the game away by incessantly calling.
The Noisy Friarbird was in the Sweet Pittosporum
The Little Friarbird was hiding behind the Mago
The Striated Thornbill was hiding in the Hibiscus
Can you spot the White-throated Treecreeper?
The Figbird was trying to be inconspicuous
Little Friarbirds don’t hide very well do they?
I love seeing the Variegated Fairy Wrens hopping through the garden. They usually come in small flocks looking among the bushes and flowers for insects or heading to the birdbath.
The females are hard to see aren’t they?
Whereas the males really stand out
They are so cute when they sit together
As the weather has been very warm, almost Summer temperatures, the bird bath was the place to be. The Little Friarbird came for a drink.
Looking about before having another drink
A Spangled Drongo seemed to have a gargle
While a White-throated Treecreeper jumped in and splashed about
Sometimes you can emerge from the birdbath looking a bit bedraggled like this White-throated Honeyeater
Eastern Whipbirds love the birdbath
Almost ready for another dip
Lewins Honeyeaters like the mosaics of this birdbath
Of course there are birds who live in the water. Darters enjoy a swim
While other birds prefer to be in the trees. Blue-faced Honeyeaters enjoy lunch
Figbirds wonder what other birds are doing
Yellow-faced Honeyeaters like sitting on sticks
A regular Spring visitor is the Rufous Whistler who sing their little hearts out during the day
The Square-tailed Kites have come back to their nest from last year to raise more chicks
Other birds don’t mind a stroll about. A Grey-shrike Thrush hopped about the leaf litter
On their regular patrol around the garden, the Wonga Pigeons stopped for a drink.
A Common Bronzewing takes a walk along the road
I like the first signs of Spring when the Rufous Whistler and the Spangled Drongos arrive at my place. Did you have a favourite bird?
It may be Winter, but here, it is the time when birds drop in on their way north to build their strength for the next part of their journey, or stay for the winter in the warm days on the North Coast. The nights can get cold but the days are usually in the low 20’s C with the warmth of sunshine and the number of plants that flower in late Autumn and Winter makes it a good place to stop off. This is not a complete record of birds as there have been birds who I haven’t managed to get in my lens plus there has been some who have just been to fast for me to photograph. Yes I have quite a number of photos of empty branches!!!
This first gallery of photos are the birds from my place.
The White-throated Honeyeaters arrive in the morning and in the afternoon with their chirp chirp chirp as they set about diving into the birdbath or pool to have their bath.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters arrive from down south, some stay while others in the flock fly further north.
The Blue-faced Honeyeaters come and go all year depending on what food is available. The Honey Gem Grevillea has finally started to flower after a long dry hot Summer. Look at the pollen dust on his head.
The little Eastern Spinebills are here with the distinctive clicking of their wings as they zip around the garden and their calls echoing in the gullies.
You can judge their size by comparing with the Blue-faced Honeyeater and Grevillea flower above. They really stretch to reach the blossoms at times.
Their plumage is quite pretty don’t you think?
I don’t include many photos of the female Golden Whistler but this one is so cute. They are around the place all year round with their repetitive call which can sound like a squeaky wheel, at times up to twenty single notes.
They also like to land on the side of trees and have a look around.
As do the White-throated Treecreepers who just hop up and down the trees looking for insects under the bark. They have a similar call to the Yellow Robins but not as persistent.
They also like to defy gravity as the give the trees a very thorough checking over.
The tiny Red-backed Fairy Wrens like to explore the lower parts of the forest eating grass seeds and insects foraging among the grass stalks. The Jenny Wren has good camouflage.
The Silvereyes are migrants who stop for a few weeks to gather their strength for their next leg of their journey north.
They are another of the tiny birds around here.
The Red-browed Firetails are another constant visitor to the bush as they move about in small flocks looking for grass seeds. This is a young one as the red brow isn’t as prominent as the adults.
The tiny Striated Thornbills are always around the garden and in the gullies around the house.
They love the birdbath.
Someone who I haven’t seen for quite a while has turned up this month and has been around the garden early in the morning and in the gullies during the day. The Spotted Pardalote digs a tunnel in the side of the gully to make it’s nest. They are so pretty aren’t they?
I think this one saw me as I snuck along the verandah for a better photo.
They can be quite vocal too.
The sounds of Kookaburras signal the start and end of every day. There are about three families that live in the bush around the house and sometimes the cacophony of up to five or six Kookaburras can be quite deafening.
After I took this photo I noticed that there was another two sitting nearby in separate trees. All of a sudden they all flew off into the forest disappearing among the trees.
This next gallery are from my besties place.
The Lewins Honeyeater is the boss of my besties garden. They swoop on most other birds that dares to come into the garden. The Lewins at my place aren’t as bossy.
Can you spot the Varied Triller?
The Grey Fantails are always doing their acrobatic flying around the place catching insects on the wing. A very serious looking bird.
The Golden Whistler is always around the garden and nearby rainforest singing its lovely song.
My besties place is surrounded by rainforest so she has more doves and pigeons than I do at my place. The White-headed Pigeon has a deep sounding whoomp whoomp call. They also fly about in large flocks.
The Brown Pigeon didn’t want its photo taken.
There is always up to ten bar-shouldered Doves foraging on the ground in the garden looking for pecans that have fallen from the tree.
The Whipbirds also enjoy foraging among the leaves for pecans.
While high in the trees the Figbirds look for seeds as well as pecans. This female Figbird found the seeds of an Umbrella Tree.
The male Figbird was more interested in pecans.
The Green Catbird is also interested in pecans. Not long after this photo was taken, so was the pecan.
Another recipient of the fallen pecans is the large Brush Turkey. His strong beak breaks open the pecans and often leaves small pieces behind for the other birds to eat. This one we call Brendan who has taken over the garden and has a mound nest almost one meter tall in the front garden. One day I’ll try to get a photo of Brendan and his mound.
The most exciting discovery was finding a Regent Bowerbird just on the edge of the garden late one afternoon. I only managed to get a couple of bad photos but had to share in my excitement.
We went to Byron Bay one day to shop as we haven’t been for ages and Winter is a good time as the number of tourists is halved at least. The Golden Pendas are in flower and the Rainbow Lorikeets were having a great time screeching at each other.
And of course there are always chooks foraging around both our gardens.
That is a snapshot of some of the birds around here in June. My June photo round-up probably won’t have any birds this year. Hopefully I’ll get to that by next week.
I love black and white photos possibly because that is all I could afford to get processed when I had my first camera.
The ant guarded his nest. This actually can be in both A (for ant) and B (for bullant)
The Eastern Whipbird had a splendid time in the bird bath
My photos for the Black and White challenge A or B
December has been quite warm to hot and I wish it would rain. The birds are coming into the garden for the watering places I have set out for them. The garden is getting drier but most of the plants are hanging on.
The Red-necked Wallabies are hanging around the house. Some have taken to the cool under the house or in the shade offered by the house and sheds.This bloke just hopped into the garden and lay down for a rest.
The Pink Lilli Pilli had a fantastic flowering this year, and the insects and birds made the most of what was on offer. The bees were buzzing around and sampling the Lilli Pillis wares.
I never get tired of watching Blue-banded Bees scrunch into the Blue Ginger flowers so their blue bums are on show.
When the Crocus flower, the Stingless Native Bees come flying in the early morning when the flowers first open for the day. How much more pollen can a bee fit into its pollen sac?
First off, I must apologise for the poor photo of this Planthopper. It was in the kitchen late one night and I have never seen one at my place before. It wouldn’t sit still enough to get a good photo. The black with stunning orange spots and those eyes!!!!
On a hot day the Australian Painted Lady came onto the verandah. The colours are far more prominent than the other Australian Painted Lady butterflies I have found.
The hanging pot bird bath, the subject of so many bird photos, also hosts insects as well as birds looking for a drink.
Yes it is hot. The little White-throated Honeyeater does look he needs a drink doesn’t he?
“Well George, do you come here often?”
On a hot day, everyone has to share. The Scarlet Honeyeater and White-throated Honeyeater both enjoyed a drink.
The female Scarlet Honeyeater thought it was a good time for a bath. A quick dunk in and out.
Meanwhile at the other bird bath, the King Parrot enjoyed the bird bath to himself.
At my besties bird bath, the birds who arrive in the afternoon for a quick bath and drink are different to the ones at my place, although the Eastern Yellow Robins are at my place too.
A very fluffy Eastern Yellow Robin after a number of dives into the water.
A view from the back shows the yellow feathers aren’t just on the chest of the Eastern Yellow Robin.
The Eastern Whipbirds always look at their legs and feet when they get out of the water!!! Remember this blog
The Red-browed Finches come to the bird bath in a large flock. Some have better eyebrows than others lol
The Superb Fairy Wrens arrive at the same time as the Finches. They are such delightful birds.
The males are so different to the females. I like the Jenny’s eye make-up.
It’s the same with the Scarlet Honeyeaters. The females are so different.
I think this one may be a juvenile male just starting to get his scarlet colours.
Soon he will be as striking as this Scarlet Honeyeater male.
Meanwhile, from high atop the gum tree, a Peaceful Dove watched what was going on in and around the chook yard.
My poor Flame Tree gave it its best shot this year. The dry resulted in sparse flowers but the Little Friarbird still enjoyed what was on offer.
The Satin Flycatcher likes to visit as you saw in my last blog. Here is his lady who was peeping out from the bushes.
For the first time a gang of Grey-crowned Babblers came into the garden and had a quick snack in the fig tree. They are normally in the forest away from the house and in the semi-open country under the power lines. It was lovely to see them forage around the garden with their constant chatter..
The last full moon, my bestie and I were lucky to be home to see the Moon Flower bloom. In the afternoon she said that the bud looked like it was ready to open so late that night we went into the garden to see this amazing flower.
We used torch light to get the photos.
The Moon Flower is so alien looking when you look deep inside the bloom.
Thanks for stopping by and looking at what I have found this December. I love taking photos and sharing.
See you next year
I love it when I have a mixed lot of photos I have taken. This blog does contain a lot of birds and things that have been previously in past blogs but they keep doing things that are different or I just like the photo and hope you do too. There is one photo that has something different from the usual photos, can you spot it?
The weather over winter and early spring has been dry with some hot days and some windy days. Since 1 August to end of October there only a couple of days where there was good rainfall, but only 14 days of rain over 3 months. Some of the flowering plants have enjoyed the dry. This year the bottlebrushes and paperbarks have had the best flowering ever.
One of the things I like to photograph is when I can see faces in things. These are a couple I have seen lately. Can you see the faces too? The first on was taken at the beach during a walk after a North Coast Landcare get together.
Can you see a dog?
Sometimes the faces can seem rather scary. I had a feeling that someone was watching me.
The Red-necked Wallabies have had a bumper Joey season this year, so it may indicate that the grass in the paddocks will soon turn green and there will be a good summer. These two were eating beside the veranda where there are patches of feed. The Joey may be too big for the pouch but still likes to get a drink from Mum.
One plant that has had a fabulous flowering this year has been the Native Frangipanni. The birds and insects are always around the tree in the early morning and late evening.
My besties garden always has flowers as the rainfall there is much better than at my place. I love the way that this flower seems to explode towards you.
The colours of this small flower are stunning adding a splash of colour throughout the garden.
My hanging pot of bromeliads have never had so many of these striking red flowers. I counted six flowers around the hanging pot. Yes that is a bird’s nest I found on the ground and was placed in the pot.
I wanted a few flowers around and planted some Alyssum seeds and they all came up giving cascades of white flowers from the many pots they were planted in. There were bees and this Hover Fly (I think) buzzing around. What a golden coloured fly!!!
Other visitors to the Alyssum flowers were small butterflies. I managed to get a photo of the Ochre Butterfly before is zoomed off to another flower in the garden.
You can see how dry the ground was when I took a photo of a Meadow Argus. They prefer to land on the ground. The underside of their wings seem fluffy and dull…..
….but the inside wings are very colourful.
In late October the Caper White Butterflies started to fly through my place on their migration to SE Queensland. They have been constantly been in the garden since then. The Pentas is a great butterfly attracting bush.
While walking around Grafton we spied some bee activity around a large Camphor Laurel. I am glad they were too busy to notice me trying to get some photos. When we went back a couple of weeks later there weren’t many bees around at all. Sadly I suspect the Council may have sprayed the nest.
The coming of warm days brings out the insects. There are a good number of varieties of flys at the moment. This brown fly spent some time walking around the rim of the jug on the window sill.
While this insect preferred the window to walk about.
The garden also has its share of insects and bugs. I love the colours on this beetle, don’t you?.
The Dragonflies are swooping around the garden and the dams. This is the blue variety. I think will do a blog just on Dragonflies as I have some other varieties.
I just had to include another White-throated Honeyeater and the hanging watering come small bird birdbath pot. He looks to be saying “Ok mate, where’s my water!!!”
On the walk along the beach I spotted some birds sitting on some rock off the shore. The Pied Cormorants were doing their washing.
Here is bird number 91 I have identified on my place. (I say “I” but has been a team effort from lots of people in my network.) The Common Bronzewing was just strolling along but I managed to get a not very good photo.
Back at the beach walk, on the way down to the beach through the dune I saw a New Holland Honeyeater gathering material for the nest.I’m sure the spider didn’t mind a bit of web taken.
Isn’t it funny how birds can have their heads looking back. The Brown Pigeon was certainly keeping an eye on me.
Amongst the vegetation, chit chatting away the Eastern Whipbird foraged for insects. Their distinctive whip crack call (from You Tube by Linda Hansbauer) many people know but when they are on the ground bustling about the have an insane cackle going on.
The most elusive bird at my besties is the Green Catbird and I am always excited when I find a Catbird amongst the foliage.
In Spring, the Figbirds arrive at my place. Late one afternoon I found this pair cosying up for the night among the branches of the fig tree.
Of course you have seen lots of Blue-faced Honeyeaters on the Honey Gem Grevillea in my previous blogs but the way they can have a snack upside down always fascinates me.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is contemplating the first flower on a Grevillea I planted a few years ago. I will have to try to find out the name of this Grevillea.
The Tawny Frogmouth (or it may be a Marbled Frogmouth) has the most basic of nests. Just a few twigs thrown onto a flattish spot in a tree. This bird hatched two babies.
Late in the evening, a walk along the shore at Ballina saw many pelicans coming in to roost. First stopping on the light post to make sure the fishermen weren’t cleaning their catch. It’s almost time to go….
…..the moon is up casting a glow so I must be off. See you next time.
The rain finally came in June. The big dam, which leaks, almost filled which is lovely to see even though it only lasts a few weeks before it’s a puddle again. The frogs certainly liked the water and there were a number of different types of frogs calling.
The frogs were also on this little dam which is more of a wetland than a functioning dam. The animals drink from here as well as some birds. Dragonflies were flitting about on both dams.
As usual, we do our drives around the north coast and one day, as we were heading west out of Casino we came across this Long-necked Tortoise in the middle of the road with cars and trucks speeding by. A quick rescue mission unfolded and it was taken to the dam up a side road not far from where we picked it up.
At my besties one of the old farm sheds, this one was a piggery, we have created a studio space for art exhibitions and rent the Lady Shed for workshops by all manner of people. We love rearranging and decorating the Lady Shed with all sorts of things found or created
I love this owl!!!
Quite often when pillows or things are moved there are skinks that scurry away. This day it was a bit cold and some of the skinks were a bit too cold to move too fast.
Spiders are also disturbed as we do a bit of a cleaning and moving stuff around when there is someone else going to use the Lady Shed Studio. I have lost my spider ID book so I can’t tell you what is this one.
There is a lovely cane light shade in the Lady Shed Studio. We always check to ensure that no one has decided that the light shade would make quite a nice house. Most times a spider or two is moved on or a mud daubers nest is removed. This time a little micro bat with only a face a mother could love had taken up residence. Luckily it had gone the next day before the workshop has started. I think it may be a Lesser Long-eared Bat.
In the insulation, just under the corrugated iron, lives a Carpet Snake. It is a lovely warm place for a snake to spend winter. This Carpet Snake has been living in the Lady Shed Studio for ages and sometimes can cause a bit of angst among the workshop participants.
One afternoon I was driving home from work when I spied a Black-necked Stork patrolling after the rains had replenished a wetland. When he saw me he just casually walked away.
On the drive west of Casino in a place called Piora, we came across a little watercourse that had a couple of Spoonbills, some ducks and a Heron. The Spoonbill was the only one who didn’t move off when the car stopped.
As it has been very dry at my place with only occasional showers and 2 days of good rainfalls. The normally abundance of birds has deserted the garden and surrounding bush. The Lewins Honeyeater has stayed waiting for the blossoms to appear. The rain bought out the Honey Gem flowers.
The Satin Bowerbirds have also stayed around as they steal snacks from the chook yard. They also have a been stealing all manner of blue things from the surrounding properties.
The number of Satin Bowerbirds usually increases when it gets a bit cold in the Gibraltar Ranges. This day when I took these photos the trees were full of the mad chattering of Satin Bowerbirds.
I did a bit of a bush walk one day. Just near the dam in the first photo there has been a bower for a number of years. The blue objects were strewn in all directions from the bower up to 2 metres away.
So many blue objects. I have no idea whose place they get the blue bottle tops from as I don’t have any and my recycling is always in a sealed wool bale sack. I do think the strips of blue are from a disintegrating tarp in my building materials area.
The bird bath is always kept with water in it for the birds. Actually I have three places where the birds can get a drink and a wash. This one is one of the favourites. You can always hear the constant call of Eastern Yellow Robins in the bush and they come to the garden for an insect snack or head to the bird bath.
The little Striated Thornbills are regular bird bath regulars. They only stay for a quick wash and drink before they are off.
One day I heard a call I didn’t recognise at the bird bath. At first I didn’t see anyone but then a head popped up whilst the bird was clinging to the edge of the bird bath with its tail in the water. Just then, another bird flew in a sat on the edge. The big feet gave it away. This was the first time I had seen the White-throated Treecreepers in the bird bath.
At my besties there are always Eastern Whipbirds calling and foraging in the garden. This one was muttering to itself while it turned over leaves and small rocks hoping for a bite to eat.
Of course there a the little Eastern Yellow Robins in her garden as well. They are such a cute little bird don’t you think?
Hello May. May has come and gone. We went back to Macleay Island again and I have another new bird that I have photographed. I do get excited when I find something new.
This collection of photos has some birds, mainly that I have put here before, that I have found in a comical situation. OK situations that I find comical and hope you do too.
There is also a photo of a moth just to warn those people who have a phobia about moths. I should have put that warning in the last blog too. There aren’t any spiders or snakes this time.
This poor old Blue Tiger Butterfly was sitting on a leaf catching a bit of sunshine, probably the last sunshine he had. See the hole in the right wing? And the rest of the wings are a bit shabby and colour bleached.
Here is the moth. An Emperor Gum Moth, one of the largest moths that are around here. Its wingspan is around 150mm. I thought it was a Micro Bat when it flew past me.
This year the Cordyline Rubras flowers were spectacular. I have never seen so many flower spikes. There were lots of bees buzzing around. Can you spot one?
Here is a close up of a flower spike.
On the ferry going to Macleay Island, one of the Morton Bay islands, the ferry was followed by a White-bellied Sea Eagle for a long part of the journey. At one stage it swooped off to the other side of the ferry but didn’t catch anything.
The Curlews are back. I am not sure what they were on but I have not seen such a wide eyed expression.
Here is the photograph first for me. The Pale-headed Rosella. They were having a lovely time in the Grevillea on the property next door to where we stayed on the island.
They have lovely markings don’t they? The red splosh under the tail is eye catching.
Back home, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have claimed the sparse flowered Honey Gem Grevillea. The dry weather has reduced the number of flowers of what is usually a shrub laden with flowers. This is what it looked like a while ago
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater are very bossy in the garden at the moment. Taking up vantage points around the garden to chase of anyone who thinks they might get at the flowers. The Eastern Spinebills are the one who seem to be picked on the most.
The Blue-faced Honeyeater has a black chin. I hadn’t noticed how extensive it was before. I have gone through the previous photos and none have shown the honeyeaters chin before.
Hi on the tree, the Eastern Rosella was just hanging out. It seemed to see me with the camera and just posed for quite a while.
Look at me, don’t I look splendid?
After a while it was a case of “See my butt!!” and away it flew.
I love getting photos of Eastern Whipbirds. They never sit still long enough to get good photos. I took this photo as it was just about to take off.
The bird bath is always a place to get some birds. The White-throated Honeyeaters swapped from the small hanging pot to the bigger bird bath.
Although it doesn’t look like the water was to this ones liking. Don’t honeyeaters have long tongues?
I love it at this time of year. There is always someone new in the garden. The little Rose Robins are so cute.
Driving home one afternoon, I spied a Wedged Tailed Eagle feasting on a bit of road kill. Despite getting into my best sneaky mode, the eagle flew into a nearby tree to wait for me to go so it could continue dinner.
Well it’s night time and the moon is beaming down. Goodnight.
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