birds in garden, Uncategorized

Which Birds Will I See?

I’m sitting on the seat on the front veranda at home, listening to, and looking for birds. Only in a casual way though, simpy sitting here, ready to observe any birds that come along to visit … I’m not expecting a huge variety of different birds, just stoically prepared to delight in whatever I see. There’s been mostly both male and female Sparrows so far, no surprises there, they’re the most prolific bird in every count I ever do, at home.

At the moment, there’s a male Sparrow, perched on one of our geranium bushes in a big pot off to my left, and the bird is calling out quite loudly. No, now he’s just taken off somewhere else. I’ve seen either one White-plumed Honeyeater, twice, or two different ones, getting a drink from the drip tray of another geranium. And I’ve seen two Murray Magpies, one walking on the ground, the other one flying by, quite low to the ground, it may be the same one, I don’t know.

Now another White-plumed Honeyeater just had a quick sip from that same, drip tray, and then it flew away. I’ve also seen a New Holland Honeyeater, it perched in the closest shrub to where I’m sitting. I’ve just seen three youngish Starlings drinking from the birdbath further away from me.

Two Crested Pigeons have dropped by, one had a drink from the closest birdbath, and it perched on the head of the cement Kookaburra that forms part of the birdbath, and that always makes me smile, to see it!

20200118_143849

I didn’t get the photograph of the Crested Pigeon sitting on the Concrete Kookie’ head, but this is the birdbath I was sitting near. And of course, there’s a flamingo there in the photo to see as well! There are actually two Flamingos out there, plastic ones, both treasured Christmas presents a few years back!

Another bird visited, it flew in and perched in the pine tree closest to me. I can’t say it was for sure, but think it was most likely a Red Wattlebird. It seemed to be the right shape and size, but the distinguishing wattle on the throat wasn’t visible through the pine tree needles of the branch it was on.

I’ve seen another New Holland Honeyeater, or maybe the same one back again. I’m seeing Sparrows fly past, or perch somewhere within sight, very often. And just then, a younger ie smaller, New Holland Honeyeater just took a sip of water from that drip tray. And flew away, to be replaced by another White-plumed Honeyeater.

And now, oh joy, oh bliss, a large parrot just appeared, landed in a tree, but then disappeared … such a shame, but such is the way it goes, sometimes, when you’re birdwatching. The birds are going about their usual lives, and don’t care at all what I would like to see.

After a short break, I’m back looking/watching. A White-plumed Honeyeater perched in the Bush thing about six meters in front of my seat, stayed briefly, then flew off. This bush is a native plant that doesn’t have leaves, as such, but gets long green stems instead. It gets yellow flowers in late Spring/early Summer, that have a very strong fragrance. Sparrows often perch on the tree.

I’ve had a Crested Pigeon settle down about fifteen meters away, on the ground, in the shade of the wattle tree growing there, on a bit of a rise near our front fence. Birds often land there, on the bushes and trees growing next to, and on it. The Crested Pigeon seems quite comfy there, and might actually be asleep …

In the photograph above, you can see the wattle tree, and the shade I mention in the previous paragraph, and that is the rise near our front fence I mentioned. And I’ve just remembered another bird I often see and hear around our place, but more usually in the morning, and then in the early evening, and that bird is the Galah, a type of cocatoo, very recognisable, because of its pink and grey colouration. I hear Galahs in the morning, before I actually get up for the day, they fly squawking past our place, or drop in for a drink.

Even though I can’t always see the birds, because they’re perched out of sight, in our various bushes and trees, or on the roof, there is an almost constant stream of cheeps and chirps, and if I were an expert, I could identify the species for each sound. But rather than an expert, I’m an interested amateur, so rely on seeing the various birds well enough for identification.

One bird that I’m surprised not to have seen in this session, is the lovely Willie Wagtail. I did hear a sound that may have been one of them and I know they live and visit around here, because I’ve seen them building, and then laying eggs in a nest again this season, as they did last nesting season, on our old satellite dish attached to our house. Several baby chicks emerged from the eggs laid there, this year, and they’re often to be seen in the back yard … Around the front yard too, but not today, not yet, anyway.

The other bird I almost always see in both the front and back yards, is the Welcome Swallow. They are almost always perched in our carport, near our front door, but I didn’t notice them there today. I may have scared them off when I went outside to begin my birdwatching session …

Now I’ve gone back inside, the bird watching out there all done for today. I saw six different kinds of birds, plus the parrot I saw, which I know was a parrot for sure, but not which kind of parrot it was.

If you’re interested in birds around where you live, I’d love to know more about it, why not do your own birdwatching session and tell me what you see, I’d love to read about it. Just leave a message here, after you take a look, or if you already know what birds you often see, I’d love to hear about that too!

Standard
birds in garden, Uncategorized

Another Random(ish) Bird Report

Today I took advantage of an earlier than usual start to the day, and the cancellation of my usual Friday outing, and went outside to see what I might see. The weather bureau forecast a stinking hot day for South Australia, this first Friday of the new year, but it wasn’t too hot just yet, I figured, so off I went!

I like to look at the sky and plants and trees out there too, and watch the passing parade of cars as the people of Redbanks and beyond go about their daily business. There isn’t traffic anything like a town, I would rarely see more than one car every five minutes, in the morning or late afternoon in peak ‘going to and from work/school’ times. I watch them and sometimes muse on the times when I was one of those commuters too …

So, I have a nice seat on our front veranda, that gives me an excellent view of our two front yard bird baths, and some of our many bushes and trees, so we often have birds around the place, drinking, bathing, dining, and sometimes getting a bit frisky, if you get my meaning!

Anyway, I sat outside, with a pleasant enough breeze swishing my hair around, and watched and listened to the birds. The most common bird I see here never lets me down and I will always see many Sparrows, as I certainly did today.

I also saw Galahs, two White Plumed Honeyeaters, some Spotted Turtledoves, a Crested Pigeon, two Noisy Miners (or the same one twice), and a Starling. Then, just before I went back inside, (it was getting warmer …) I saw a sweet little Willie Wagtail! I suppose it was one that was born this season, I wonder if it was one I saw at the Northern side of our house, where there’s been a nest for some few seasons now. The Willie Wagtail landed about three metres away from me as I sat watching, then flew off to the further away bird bath, had a quick drink and then flew off somewhere else.

I thought my bird count for today would be a reasonable seven different species, but then I saw a Swallow zoom past me, and off away, so that made eight different kinds of birds. Then I came inside, happy to have had a nice time communing with Nature … Eight birds wasn’t the total for the day though, because once I was inside, on the phone at the kitchen table, I saw a Murray Magpie having a lovely time splish-splashing in the bird bath that’s only about five metres from the lounge room window, a fine viewing spot, and lovely and cool, with the air conditioner on!

There are other kinds of birds that are regular visitors, but not today. It isn’t unusual to see Australian Magpies, or hear and/or see Crows here. There are other birds too, I actually have a list of the ones seen at or from our place in Redbanks South Australia. On my list are around 45 different bird species. Some of them are seasonal visitors, some very rare, others come often, but not necessarily every day. 

Many of the Galahs I saw flew up into our tall pine trees (Aleppo Pines), as do many other birds. The pine trees are growing new pine cones at the moment, and I’s sure at the appropriate time, we’ll be visited by other kinds of cockatoos, or many more than usual Galahs, to feast on the pine nuts, once they’re ready … Our Almond trees have already had their Cockatoo visit, and this image shows what probably happened there, they had an almond feast, not us, again … 20200103_095445

I love to see them all, these birds, and keeping a record of them satisfies something or other inside my brain – a sense of keeping track on things, perhaps, in a life that sometimes is quite random … Anyway, the birds are a reliable and regular joy to me, and I hope and expect they enjoy being here at my place, maybe as much as I enjoy having them here!

 

Standard
birds in garden, flowering plants, garden

Hot Days – A Birds Seen Report

So South Australia, Northern Adelaide Plains, an unpleasantly hot and gusty day. This intrepid birdwatcher ventured outside, nonetheless, to adopt usual viewing position, and watch, and then come inside and report!

So what different birds did I see? Well, there was not a lot of activity actually in the bird bath closest to me, but I did see two different Murray Magpies have a drink there, and a Crested Pigeon.

 

20190405_123732

The bird bath in this image is further away than the other. This is the one where I spotted those black young Starlings, which I will mention at the end of this post.

*******************************************

I saw lots of Sparrows, drinking from the saucers underneath some of the potted plants, near the bird bath (geraniums), and more exciting to me, I saw some Plumed Honeyeaters doing the same thing. The more uncommon birds are always more noteworthy, which is a shame, I suppose, because Sparrows are quite attractive little birds, really.

On with the count though – I saw around eight Swallows, possibly more than that, some zooming around in the sky, and another collection of them on the ground, near our window, which makes me wonder whether our house leaks some of the cool from our air conditioning out through the window there, which is my inside bird watching spot …

One other bird I saw was a Spotted Turtledove, which I think is these days called simply a Turtledove, or is that Turtle Dove? I’m not sure, but it really isn’t that important in terms of this informal and not scholarly blog …

The final bird species I saw as another common one, the Starling. Another common as mud bird, but interesting in their changing colours. I’m not certain, but my thinking is that the ones I saw were ‘teenagers’, younger birds in different colours to the adults. The younger birds are smaller, and more brown.

But I did see three or it may have been two quite black ones that were also smaller than adult size, so now I’m wondering about possible gender differences being linked to colour or is that the other way around. Different colours being linked to gender …

So, the total is seven different bird species spotted in the half hour or so I was outside watching. I may have heard a Willie Wagtail, but didn’t see one at all, so I’m not counting it in this total. I was focusing on the two bird baths I can see from the seat on the front veranda, and the Willie Wagtails are usually to be seen on the northern side of our house, but they do often drink from the bird baths out the front of our place as well.

While I was sitting out there, I saw something that prompted a Haikuesque poem in my head, a thing that sometimes happens, and I try to remember what it was and write it down, as I’m going to do now, so I can share it with you. I love Haiku, and being able to capture a single moment in Nature …

 

Crested Pigeon clutches tight

to electric wire in gusty winds.

Afraid of falling?

 

This little poem is certainly not a classic Haiku, there are too many syllables, and I’ve put my own thought strongly in there, with that final line, rather than leaving the poem solely as a comment on Nature.

It’s a little and gentle joke poem, and I like it, so here it is. If I’d taken my phone outside with me, I’d have been able to post an image of what prompted the poem, it would have been better, or even a video, better still. That way, you could have seen what I saw, with that bird bravely holding on for dear life against the vicious wind …

Before I came back inside, I saw that bird let go of the wire, and fly easily down to the ground, and then off again, somewhere else … An amusing moment, to me anyway!

Standard
weather, workshop facilitator

Hot, Hot, Hot! Poor Plants …

At the moment, South Australia is sweltering, suffering from overly ‘summery’ Summer. Heat waves and fires are common, many people facing the decision on whether to stay and fight fire, or go to a safe place instead. A tough decision that one. I will always go, instead of stay and fight.

At the moment, my husband is outside watering some of our plants, the ones in pots, at the front of our house, on the veranda, which at the moment is shady, but will get sunshine once the sun begins to go down again. These plants lend a cool feeling when I look out of the window and see them, geraniums, ferns, and others, refreshing …

imag0373

But the lawn has been challenged for sure, with parts of it having died off. The lawn has been watered recently though, so the growing parts look good, at the moment anyway. Our pine trees (Aleppo Pines), along the front fence are still steadfastly green, in there usual pine tree hue …

And the Saltbush plants we have growing are also steadfastly holding to their grey/green leaf colour and have seeds growing still. When I drive past the biggest Saltbush, I often think, I really should do something with the leaves and seeds, but I usually do nothing.

Muffins would be good, Saltbush and cheese, with spring onions, perhaps. But it’s so hot, and our oven doesn’t work at the moment anyway … It’s on the list of things to get fixed. Not on the top of the list though. With this hot weather, the swimming pool pump getting fixed is up at the top of the fix list!

And it’s not just plants that are suffering in this heat, the birds and animals are suffering too, of course. Our dog, Missy is fine, she’s an indoor dog, most of the time, and her sofa is positioned so that she gets much of the coolness from the air conditioner … Lucky puppy!

20191103_131751

For the birds, we have several bird baths, which get used by birds out there, of which there are many. I love to see the birds come along for a drink, as the birds are obviously glad for too! So far today, I’ve only noticed one bird having a quick drink, a Sparrow, but I’m sure there will be many more dropping in for a drink or a splash in the water, to cool down.

20191227_105701

At the moment, as I think on the hot weather, on the TV screen is a report about icy conditions causing troubles for people driving their cars … Nature is a wild and can be so dangerous, in many different ways, for those out in it … I’m staying inside today, as much as I can, and that might actually be all day.

Summer isn’t my favourite season, I much prefer Autumn, with the much milder conditions, a little rain, but also many mild days of gentle sunshine …

If you have a favourite season, which is it, and why? I’d love to hear about it, why not leave a comment here?!

Standard
Uncategorized

Hot Weather Hell/p

This hot weather being experienced in South Australia in these days between Christmas and the New Year are so challenging. Keeping things going and growing means going outside into the heat, to water the garden than means a lot to us.

At the moment, I’m watching birds outside looking for water, and finding it in the pots and saucers the pots are sitting on, on the front veranda, where there is shade. There is water in the bird bath, but the bird bath is in the sunshine, and the water in it is obviously getting to be too hot for the birds now.

There were a few different kinds of birds in the  bird bath out the front of our place earlier today. I took a couple of photographs, one with a couple of Galahs in it, the other with a Crested Pigeon. I love seeing the many different birds that share our home with us!

At the moment, I can see a Murray Magpie, and some young Starlings, and a few Sparrows. If I look outside, I will always see a few Sparrows, they are the one constant bird species here. I prefer native birds, but these Sparrows have many generations of forebears who have been in Australia longer than mine have, so who am I to get snobby about things!?

Without water, I doubt we would have as many birds as we have visiting our place. Water is something living creatures need to live, and if we provide water for birds to wash in and to drink, then they will visit our homes, simple. And when you begin putting water out for the birds, and see them come along keeping cool and refreshed, it really is a lovely feeling!

Helping to make things cool and revitalising is a good thing, keeping circumstances good instead of Hellish for the birds is a happy thing to do, in my opinion! I can total up the number of birds seen in a ten minute birdwatching session and easily see more than five different bird species.

This session I’ve been witnessing as I’ve typed up the blog post showed five different ones, and there were two Red-rumped Parrots there earlier today, have a drink and a splash in the bird bath. I know if I went out into the back yard, I would probably see at least one Willie Wagtail, and if I look around in the back yard, and the sky around there, I’ll probably see Crows, and in the flowering shrubs, New Holland Honeyeaters.

Our place is a joyful place for me, an avid amateur birdwatcher! If you like watching birds too, I’d love to hear about the birds you regularly see, as well as any special visitors you’ve had, why not leave message here!

Standard
garden, weather

Nature is Beautiful, but Tough too …

I have written on this blogsite about my mandarin tree in the past, and today I’m writing about the same tree again. I’m not celebrating a bumper crop of lovely mandarins, but this time, mourning the damage of the measly crop we had growing on the tree.

The fruit on the tree, currently, consists of three small and badly sun scorched mandies, that are actually dead and discoloured, instead of green and waiting to grow bigger, and become orange in colour. We suffered a string of burning hot days just recently, and the poor tree suffered badly.

Mandarin trees need lots of water, our tree received much of the healing liquid, but not enough, losing many leaves and small fruit falling from the tree also … So the watering continues, even though there is no fruit growing on the tree now. We still want to keep this tree, we loved it when we could pick mandarins from the tree and eat them fresh as fresh can be!

But if we want to have a decent crop, or any crop again, we need to rethink how we will save the tree from extreme heat. Shade, at least in the hottest part of the day, would be useful in the hottest part of summer, which at the moment is right now, with more heat to come.

The tree has no shade at all really, where it is, and it’s planted in the ground and will remain so, so moving it to a spot with some shade is not an option. We will look into shade options for sure, before next year, and possibly before that. We are only nearly one month through summer, with two more months of summer heat still to come …

I love Nature, with the trees and other plants, as well as the birds, and other creatures (not snakes though). I love the clouds, the night sky with stars and the beautiful ever-changing phases of the moon. But I don’t love the burning northerly winds that suck moisture from everything, and fan terrible fires that can come at times, as they are right now, in many places in Australia.

We have no fire where we live at the moment, and I certainly hope that situation stays. I know a couple though, who live in the hills area that is suffering from fire right now, and they have had their home destroyed, with almost everything they owned, being destroyed too. It’s heartbreaking, but their community of friends and fellow writers have stepped up and donated money to help them get things they need.

Nature, such a beauty, but sometimes such a bitch …imag0309

This was our mandarin tree from last year, with strong growth, and with good sized fruit changing colour from green to orange … I hope to see it like this again, perhaps next year?

 

Standard
garden, Uncategorized, weather

Beware, the Heatwave Cometh!

Yes, it’s Summer in Australia, and we get hot days for sure, but the heatwave that’s going to hit South Australia in the coming week is looking like being particularly bad. Starting tomorrow (Monday) the days will get hotter and hotter, ending on Friday with a real stinker, with the maximum temperature forecast for Roseworthy, which is the closest weather forecast location.

So 48 degrees is the forecast, but cloudy with it with 10% possibility of rain. If it rains, I imagine the drops will be dry before they hit the ground, at that heat … I will be going out a couple of those days, thankful that I have air conditioning in my car, and that there will be air conditioning where I’ll be going as well.

Our garden though, and the plants in them will be challenged, but we will do our best to keep plants watered wherever possible. The bonsai trees will need particular attention, for sure, in their small pots, they’ll need to be watered every day, possibly morning and evening as well.

The mandarin tree we have planted in the yard has had mulch applied, and watered in, and we’ll definitely keep the moisture up to that needy citrus tree. I don’t know if there is any fruit left growing on the tree, but I’m certainly not banking on it surviving if there was any fruit still there. It’s been frustrating, this tree, as I suspect mandarin trees often can be.

We’ve had a first season of good amount of fruit obtained, a few years after we planted it, then not much at all last season, and this year, practically or definitely, nothing at all, depending on how it goes with this heatwave. But we have lots of trees, and lots of birds in and around the trees, and that helps to keep things feel cooler, even as the sun pounds down with the heat …

20190925_155855

The slide into Summer has been slow, but now that this year is close to ending, Bang, this heatwave … it may not end up being as bad as the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast, only time will tell, but I have to admit, even though our air conditioner seems to cold to me sometimes, I certainly glad we have it, because the week to come would be unbearable without it!

Standard