Monday, May 21, 2018

Colour in the Garden

At the moment there is not a lot of colour in the garden - autumn leaves were all but absent as we had that late dry, warm summer/autumn and no frosts to bring out the leaf colour. Very disappointing as I love the autumn color. Alas, the leaves just fell off the trees and we got the usual mess without the glorious colour. At least we are now getting the rain we needed.

But, we are getting colour in the garden as you can see from the photos. These beautiful birds are Rosellas. The one we get here in Adelaide is appropriately called the 'Adelaide Rosella' and is a subspecies of the Crimson Rosella from the Eastern states.

They come in a range of colours from yellowish to orange to red and all shades in between, which makes them far more interesting than the Crimson  Rosella. The young ones are born green and gradually get their colours as they mature.

Liz Needle

linking with

Our World Tuesday

Wild Bird Wednesday. If you pop over to this link you will find a great post on the Crimson Rosella.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Rare Sight

Although we have many birds in our garden, we don't always get a chance to photograph them, or to even get a good look at some of the shyer ones. It seems to me that every time I get my camera out, the birds disappear!!

Last week I had a couple of lucky sightings. Wattle birds are very common around here, but they usually stick to the trees and rarely come down close enough or for long enough to get a shot. I guess with not much water around, they are coming closer to get a drink, because I was able to not only get a good shot of the little Wattlebird (pretty common here), but also of the Red Wattlebird - far less common.

Little Wattlebirds - here the wattle is non-existent or very small, hence the "little".

Red Wattlebird - the wattle is much larger and more noticeable.

Tasmania has a Yellow Wattlebird, not found on the mainland. This one has a bright yellow belly and long fleshy yellow wattles. Wattlebirds are honeyeaters and are often quite aggressive towards smaller honeyeaters.

Linking with

Our World Tuesday
Wild Bird Wednesday

Liz Needle

Monday, May 07, 2018

Every Garden Needs a Birdbath

With the beautiful Autumn weather we have been enjoying (and some great rain), we have spent many pleasant hours sitting on the veranda enjoying the birdlife in the garden.  I have been doing a lot of hard gardening too, cleaning up the remains of summer in preparation for the Winter onslaught.

Installing birdbaths around the garden was the best idea and they are used regularly by most of the bird visitors, especially since we have had such a dry Summer and Autumn. Please enjoy these visits just as we have enjoyed them.

A communal bathing of Red-browed Finches.

Very shy and hard to catch a decent shot. A Yellow-faced Honeyeater.

A young Adelaide Rosella, just beginning to come into full colour.

A European Goldfinch drops in. These used to be very common here, but these days they are occasional visitors. Not an indigenous species, but pretty and very welcome to visit.

And one of my favourites. This pair of Silvereyes have been hanging around a lot lately. I hope they stay a while.

I am linking this page with

Our World Tuesday
Wild Bird Wednesday

Liz Needle

Saturday, April 14, 2018

At Last - Rain!!!

At last the Autumn rain has arrived - and none too soon. The garden is cheering - as am I. Very high winds in some parts have caused a lot of damage with fallen trees on power  lines and many thousands of home without electricity - but I am happy.

More garden visitors for you. This time it is the turn of the honeyeaters. Some, like the New Holland are very common and I have photos aplenty, but others are much more infrequent visitors - or at least seen more rarely and much more difficult to get any photos of, let alone good photos. I do apologise for the photo quality.

This New Holland Honeyeater likes to cuddle up to a tin flamingo in the garden.

While this bare branch on the flowering cherry has long been a favourite roosting spot for a variety of birds.

These fellows had a wonderful time in the bird bath one warm, dry evening.

This is a Yellow-faced Honeyeater - we see him around, but he is shy and I have rarely been able to snap him.

This year for the first time I have seen this one - a white-naped Honey eater. This fellow is a juvenile and is yet to get the characteristic black head of the mature bird. He is recognisable for the orange skin above his eye. We have seen a mature one, but as yet I have not been able to get a shot of him.

Liz Needle

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Waiting, waiting.....

Well today the weather forecast said we had a 50% chance of rain, so we waited and waited and waited. It is now 11.15pm and we are still waiting. Maybe tomorrow..........!!

Meanwhile, on with the show.  This year we have seen so many little red-browed finches - dozens of them. Such pretty little fellows.

                                               How many can I get in one shot?

This little fellow seemed very taken with something in the bird bath. maybe himself?

We have noticed that the finches are very interested in feathers - not just for their nests, but at times they seem to be playing games with them. One will find a feather and fly around with iit, pursued by another who will then steal the feather and play with it. Very funny to watch the antics.

They are very fond of our wine barrel fish pond and will sir on the edge to drink, then hop onto the water lily leaves and walk across the pond. Unfortunately as soon as I get the camera out, they fly off. I was able to get a close up of this handsome boy.

More birds next time.

Liz Needle

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Still No Rain

here we are well into April and we are still waiting for it to rain. I have been so busy keeping water up to the garden that I seem to have neglected all the other things I had planned to do. Now that Bowls is over for the season, perhaps i will be able to get on with it all.

One of the few positives to come out of this extended dry spell is that we have had an unprecedented number of birds visiting the garden - probably for the constant supply of water in the bird baths and   the extra seed we are putting out.

Each day we are visited by a family group of 9 Superb Fairy Wrens - one of them a little male who has gradually been getting his blue colour. We have had up to 40 red-browed finches at a time, numerous New Holland Honeyeaters as well as several Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and White-naped Honeyeaters and others which I am too slow to identify. For the first time in several years we have reasonable numbers of Sparrows and while they are not indigenous, we have missed their cheery presence.

We have had many other species as well, but the wrens will do for today.

These feisty little females are my favourites. So cheeky have they become that they come right up to our chairs while we sit on the veranda. Unfortunately as soon as I go off to get my camera, they disappear!! I love the long spindly legs the youngsters have.

This is the little male who is gradually colouring up.  I was watching him last week as a mature male encroached on the front lawn. The youngster sent him on his way in no uncertain manner.

Here his colour is just starting.

Below is the mature male who was sent on his way.

Liz Needle

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hot, hot, hot

Well, summer has certainly hit here. Second day of temperatures over 40 degrees and the days before and after were and will not be a lot cooler. A week ago we had cool weather and rain and we played Lawn Bowls in the wet - the Saturday before that Bowls was cancelled because the temp was over 38 degrees.

I mention bowls because that is my new addiction. I only started at the beginning of the season and I am loving it - so much so that I played on Wednesday in 36 degrees, practised yesterday in 38 degrees and am playing tomorrow in 35 degrees. Am I mad??  Well I am half English and there is that thing about "Mad dogs and Englishmen" going out in the midday heat.

Here I am in my natty uniform - I do wear long shorts in the heat, but I won't bore you by showing my ageing legs.

The garden is really suffering in the heat and we have trouble keeping water up to it. We only have one tap and with about 2 acres of garden, watering is a slow process. I am always amazed at how the plants bounce back - well some of them don't, but on the whole they survive pretty well.

The poor chooks are feeling the heat and struggle to produce eggs in this weather. Who can blame them? On Christmas Eve our little bantam "Goldie" hatched out 5 chicks. They were not her eggs but the young of our handsome Plymouth Rock rooster "Rocky" and our own hens from a couple of years ago. The chicks are voracious eaters and will soon tower over their little mother.

Rocky and some of his ladies

Last time we hatched out 4 chicks - all hens. This time we have 5 chicks,but I suspect there are at least 2 roosters there!  Decisions to be made at some stage.

Liz Needle