May marches on

May has certainly flown by. There has been much to do as the season marches on. So far this month there has been a change in the weather, from warm to cool to some cold nights. The rain came with a huge deluge bringing about some minor flooding around the place. The Autumn seems to herald new birds and a change in the guard of who owns what tree or bush. Soon the cold weather in the mountains will send the Currawongs down to my place and also the Satin Bowerbirds will arrive to chatter among the branches, building bowers, decorating with all sorts of bits of blue and to dance for their females.

The change in the colour of the leaves always lets us know that the cooler weather is on its way.

autumn colours_named_home-may 2015

I drove over to Newbold Crossing to see how much the Clarence River had risen. This is what around 130,000 megalitres looks like at 6 meters. The next day the river had risen to 10.4 meters!!

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Some paddocks had water on them for days after but the ducks didn’t seem to mind.

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In some parts of the valley it was standing room only. Every fence post was occupied.

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One morning I saw a hornet buzzing around the garden and just land on the leaf and walk about for a bit. I wondered what it was doing.

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Then it went around the leaf.

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It was then I found out what it was doing…just getting a drink!

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The dragonfly was rather shy.

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I am going to have to rename my bird bath by the looks of it. Even butterflies like to get a drink every now and then.

small green-banded blue_named_home_april 2015

There has been some flowers showing their colours this May as well. I found this flower growing on the side of the road.

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Whereas this little flower, a murrdannia-graminea, was growing in the bush at my place

murrdannia graminea_named_home_april 2015

While on the road to Newbold Crossing to see how high the water had risen in the Clarence, I came across all these little birds, Black-fronted Plovers, running along the road and then flying off only to land on the road behind my car. They were so fast I couldn’t get a good photo. Plus it was late in the afternoon.

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The branches had many birds coming to find their last snacks for the day or find a roost for the night. The Crested Pigeon just flew in and sat.

lilydale_top knot pigeon_named_may 2015

The magpies were having a great time swooping around chasing each other and then stopping to survey the scene before whizzing off again.

lilydale_magpies_named_may 2015

In the garden, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have taken ownership of the Honey Gem.

yellow-faced honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

They do have to share at times with the Brown Honeyeaters.

brown honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

The Bottlebrush around the back is also a favourite spot.

brown honeyeater01_named_home_may 2015

And make a show of fancy eating techniques.

brown honeyeater02_named_home_may 2015

The Eastern Spinebills have also set up home in the garden this Autumn.

eastern spinebill_named_home_may 2015

They too don’t mind how they get a snack

eastern spinebill01_named_home_may 2015

The Golden Whistlers have introduced new sounds into the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

They also add a splash of colour to the garden.

golden whistler02_named_home_may 2015

But best of all was the sighting of a new bird into the garden. Another flash of yellow was the give-a-way as the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater dropped into the Honey Gem for a quick snack before going on its way again.

yellow-tufted honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

That’s a good start for May but there has been lots more going on. Hope you can stop by for the next “installment” of May.

So far this year…..

Some things have been found so far this year that have not been in my view before, either been too deep in the bush or rainforest only to be heard or too quick for me to capture in the lens or just plain never ever seen before. Oh yeah, happy new year hope it has been a fun and wonderous 2014 so far.

When sitting around because it’s too hot to do anything outside or just having a cuppa on the verandah where a breeze cools and a bit of reading can be done in comfort. Everyone likes to catch that breeze.

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I always have one eye on the outside, catching any movement, big and small. Even when the temperature on the verandah boards is very warm underfoot, the ants still scurry about on their most important business. Occasionally they will stop. Probably to let their little feet cool or catch their breath. Then they are off again to join the constant stream going to and fro.

This bloke seemed to stop more than the others.

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They look so golden when the light catches their tiny bodies. While the ants were trudging about, this weird blue flash kept going past me, landing on a verandah post, sort of half hopping and flying around and up and down. It finally decided to stop for enough of a millisecond for me to have a bit of a look.

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The little blue bugs shadow sort of looks like an elephant don’t you think? In the mornings, among the small forest of coastal pines plants almost 100 years ago as a wind break, there is the strange calling of Catbirds. I have never been able to find them until this year.

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While that one was preening, another was nearby having a bit of a call.

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Ever heard a Catbird call. Listen here courtesy of Birds in Backyards  http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Ailuroedus-crassirostris Later on in the day in another pine, a Wonga Pigeon was taking a breather out of the heat.

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While at the bird bath it was almost not stop action…..OK, this was over two days but when it is warm, the birds love the birdbath not only for that refreshing dip to get a bit of water in all the right spots, but to have a cool drink. The most amazing thing was in the morning, all the magpie babies came for a bath at the same time. I have never seen so many young in the one spot. One of the parents came for a brief moment. Probably realised that it was the only adult among the kids and took off so it wouldn’t be the one that the young ones chased to beg for a snack.

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It is always a family affair when the Red Browed Finches have a bath.

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I can never understand why people want to have these wonderous little birds in cages.

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I just love this photo.

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IN the other bird bath, the Eastern Yellow Robin shot daggers at the Lewins Honeyeater when it just breezed in for a drink while the Robin was about to hop in for a good bath.

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There is nothing worse than being followed inside by a March Fly. This one thought it was safe to follow me into the bathroom.

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I was surprised that a spider that small would be able to hold on long enough to be able to sink the fangs. You can see the flys biting proboscis. Come to think of it, the spider is a wrestler and has the fly in a Step Over Toe Hold.

I came across this butterfly while down visiting Mrs Flowers.

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It took me a while to work out it was a Tailed Citrus Swallowtail. It is an old butterfly and most of its tail is missing. You can just see the black and orange spots. There is usually three spots across the end of the wing. While we were there we picked some Davidson Plums.

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Which went from that to this.

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And to this.

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Just near the door the fuchsias have been blooming, such a pretty dainty flower.

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I hope I can find a lot of different and new stuff this year.

brian

Wandering on the Weekend

Most weekends I can be found roaming around with my camera whether around my property or somewhere on the north coast of New South Wales. There is nearly always something that I see that needs to be photographed as I wander around the bush or in my besties garden. Her garden has so many interesting things happening. The huge variety of birds and insects plus the flowers has me out there whenever I get the chance. There is sometimes a chance to happen upon a bit of sex as well…..

On the way, I cross a causeway which on the occasion has a bird or something that makes me stop and, hopefully, I am able to get a photo. Last time there was a Long Necked Tortoise on a rock that is known locally as Turtle Rock. You will see why…

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The hipeastrums are in flower at the moment, the orange ones are quite lovely

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The variety of flowers and colours are fantastic…some are in the garden…

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Some are in pots…..

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But the colours sometimes just burst out…

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While we were sitting outside, doing a bit of chook watching, two of her chooks disappeared recently – I suspect an eagle as the Wedgetailed Eagles often ride the currents in the valley, I spied so many things around the yard. Anyway everyone should do a bit of chook watching in their life as chooks are quite comical as the go about their busy lives with their fluffy pants…

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She spotted Mr Tawny Frogmouth keeping a close eye on us from a shrub close to where we were sitting

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Looking around, I found Mrs Tawny Frogmouth sitting on the nest. Nest is an exaggeration of the word as it is just a pile of twigs stacked in its precarious location

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And as for the Magpies nest….a rather ramshackle affair. Notice the embarrassed lift off…didn’t want her face on the internet…

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Something was fluttering about us so I decided to see what it was. Of course as soon as I got close off it went again so I had to make do with the Lacewing hidden among the greenery of the garden

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The ant was doing everything it could to not get photographed but walking into the wall soon stopped him

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Luckily the butterfly, a Common Ringlet, was quite content to sit around

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Did I say there was a possibility of a bit of outdoor sex…..

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Some weird bug was walking around flicking its orange antenna

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Inside of a pretty yellow flower, I found someone looking back at me

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The bird bath has its usual Scrub Wren splashing about or just sitting to cool down its little butt

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I heard a knocking in the trees above. Looking up I saw a Fig Bird

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But he wasn’t doing the knocking….it was his mate with something in her beak

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We wondered what she had. A bit of a walk over the other side of the hill the answer was quite obvious why the Fig Birds were hanging around

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The best way to finish of a great day of discovery

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I hope everyone’s weekends are as fabulous as mine….wandering about making great discoveries with my  bestie

Another day at the bird bath: Who splashes the most

I love watching the birds when they come in for a quick dip or a good long wash. Some just zip in for a quick wash while others really take bath time seriously. There are the birds who like to be alone when bathing, some make it a family affair but it is always a lot of splashing around.

The magpie just wanted to dive right in.

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And once he was in, he just tossed beakfuls of water all around.

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The Lewins Honeyeater liked a quick dip, a bit of a drip dry and then was off.

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The Spangled Drongo often just sits and waits before diving in.

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Inevitably someone else thinks its bath time as well, much to the Drongos disgust the Noisey Miner had bath time on its mind.

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The Wattlebird also tried to extend the Drongos bathtime by just diving right in.

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Usually the Wattlebird makes sure there isn’t anything in the water before venturing in.

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The Noisey Miners are some of the birds who like to make bath time a family affair.

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They just love to splash about.

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But the best of all the bird bath splashers would have to be the Eastern Whipbird. After a bath, he liked to have a good shake.

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But in the bird bath………

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The Eastern Whipbird, I think, is the best splasher in the birdbath…what about you?