Some flowers and birds in contrast
Who spotted the bee and the spider?
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
Another hot day has made me think it will be better being inside rather than the baking sun out there. At the moment there is thunder rumbling about. But that happened last night and didn’t result in rain. I hope this lot will as it is dry as anything here.
This is the third year of lower than average rainfall. There has been enough to keep the water tanks topped up but the dams are either empty or very low. The main dam I use for watering the house gardens is about one third full so it is rationing the water to the plants in pots first and then the new plantings (planted in the hope of rain).
From there I feel like the bad parent and water the plants that look like they need water more and the others are left to fend for themselves. Most are OK and I have only lost one or two plants although they may surprise and send out shoots when the rains come.
I am always putting water into the bird baths which is appreciated by the birds who come to my garden for a drink. The hanging pot is usually a favourite for the small birds. Once when I was watering the plants, a White-throated Honeyeater sat in a branch near the hanging pot and almost seemed to say “How about you top up the hanging pot so we can get a drink.” After putting some water into the pot, about 4 or 5 of its mates went to the pot for a drink.
Sometimes a bigger bird will also like to have a drink like this Little Friarbird.
The hanging pot is the best place to get a drink. The female Scarlet Honeyeaters are regular visitors.
The male Scarlet Honeyeaters seem to get on when there’s a drink involved.
This young one waited until everyone else had gone before venturing in for a drink.
Another place to get a drink is an old wheelbarrow which collects water from the car port roof when it rains. Some of the birds love it as it is in shade in the afternoon. You may have seen previous photos of the Spangled Drongos and Friarbirds over there. This time the Lewins Honyeater and the White-throated Honeyeater had a bit of a squabble about who should drink and bathe in the wheelbarrow bird bath.
In early December the lovely Satin Flycatchers drop in for a few days.
The Square-tailed Kites are often harassed by the nearby nesting Friarbirds when they take off from their nest to go and get food for the young ones. I haven’t been able to see the young ones yet but both parents have been busting getting food and coming back to the nest. This Friarbird got very up close and personal.
But eventually the Kite wheeled around and headed off on its mission.
Soon it was circling around getting higher and higher showing its wonderful wing feathers.
Meanwhile, back at my besties bird bath the normally sleek looking Red-browed Finch was looking rather ruffled.
The sounds of Summer in Australia are the Cicadas. There are Cicada shells on most tree trunks or posts and like this one, under the leaf of a Frangipanni.
The Dragonflies are constantly zipping about the garden. This dragonfly seemed to really like the stick and sat there for quite a while.
Everyday there is the buzz of the Blue-banded Bees as the source out the meager flower offerings in the garden.
A new visitor to the garden at the end of November was the Common Albatross Butterfly. There was only 1 or 2, nowhere as many as the Caper Whites.
I have fallen in love with photographing the Caper White Butterflies as they feed on the Pentas. Knowing they will soon be gone, I have been getting some nice photographs while I can.
In this close-up, you can almost see the scales on the wings.
I saw a Painted lady on the road as I walked down the drive to the house and suddenly she flew up and disappeared. It took a while to find where she had taken refuge in the rough bark of the Red Ironbark.
Even butterflies have to do it. These little Lineblue Butterflies even flew about the garden locked together.
Perhaps because it has been so dry, the Agapanthus bloomed so well this year. Spots of blues and whites are dotting the garden.
The Frangipannis are just starting to bloom so this year I am going to take notice of the colours I have planted in the garden.
The shed down the back has these frosted glass casement window I bought when I first moved onto the bush block. They were used in the first shed/house I built and now are in another shed that is underway. As I walked about the garden, it seemed as though someone was watching me. I saw this “face” in the window.
Remember the last blog. I said I was going to try and get a photo of the verandah skinks face. Well he sat long enough in the morning sunshine for me to get a photo. Always try to deliver lol.
Yes. There has been some excitement around my place so far this month. Just sitting on the verandah having a cuppa one morning, the usual bird song od Spangled Drongos, Friarbirds, Fig Birds, Kookaburras and Ravens, just to name a few, changed. There were a few small birds whizzing around the bush near the house as well as a couple of birds who were a bit bigger. But more of the birds later.
The flowers in the garden have had a bit of a lift with some rain at the start of the month. Prior to that I was feeling like the bad parent, having not much water in the dam to do a full garden watering, so I was having to select which plants I think could survive the dry a bit better than others. My best bird attractor, the Honey Gem Grevillea, hasn’t the flowers it normally has but still has bought a few birds in to the garden.
Other plants have stepped up and have made sure the butterflies have somewhere to visit. The Speckled Line-blue enjoyed a rest on the Hibiscus
While the Lemon Migrant seemed to prefer the red flowers
The Cassia has been quite spectacular this year with its drooping bunches of flowers seemingly cascading from the branches attracting bees. The buzzing of the bees made it sound like the Cassia was covered with bees but there was only a handful of big fat bees.
In the bush and around the garden, a little native plant has appeared. I have seen a few before but the dry then the rain seemed to make them grow in many spots in the garden as well as in the bush. The little yellow flower is about 5 to 8mms.
The Duranta has bunches of flowers which are followed by small orange berries. The variegated leaves are a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. Some small birds like to drink from the small purple flowers as well.
The Mistletoe Bird was hopping around the Duranta looking for bits of nesting materials as well as examining the flowers.
When it got a bit too hot, we went down to the river for a soak. On the way back home we came across a Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike peeking out from behind a Bottlebrush
On the road a group of birds scattered as the car approached. The group of Rainbow Bee-eaters flew about the trees, occasionally resting long enough to get a few quick photos in the fading light.
You can see why the are Rainbow Bee-eaters!
Meanwhile, back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater was hanging on as best she could to get a snack.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have been here for a while now since I first saw one a couple of years ago. I love their yellow faces.
The Restless Flycatchers also have made a home here in Summer. They were one of the first birds that came here when I first started to live in the bush.
The Rufous Whistler is singing in the bush, but on this day also dropped in to the garden for a visit.
OK. Remember at the start I said I had some exciting things happening. One of the new birds I have seen this year has been the Fuscous Honeyeater. I always get excited when a new bird appears. Of course the found the Honey Gem.
The Brown Honeyeater discovered another Grevillea in another part of the garden. This is also a favourite of the Scarlet Honeyeaters as the bigger birds don’t drop in for some nectar here very often. This is the first time the Brown Honeyeater has been seen at my place as well.
Well I have to fly…
….but not before the most exciting news of all. One quite rare visitor to my place has been a Regent Honeyeater. When something like this happens a lot of people like to know so it is always good to let the folk at Birdlife Aust know when you come across something special.
Many thanks to Twitter mates @DOCTOR_Dave and @caroproberts for their help in identifying the birds and butterflies I had trouble identifying as well as everyone else who also helped.
I hope I get some more new birds at my place in 2015 to add to the 88 I have already discovered.
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