Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grey Skies

G'day Bloggers,
I thought of heading this entry, 'Promises, Promises', for that seems all the weather bureau is able to give us lately, or for ages really. (Ah, this is the blog for great sentence construction).

Despite the encouraging forecasts and approaching clouds, we still can't get any precipitation. Situation normal - cold and dry.

Incidentally, that small 'stacky' mountain on the horizon to the left is Ben Cruachan.

I think I've got enough wood in the shed for the rest of this winter, but from time to time I top things up. I was doing that yesterday and within minutes had a visitor.

The Grey Butcherbird is certainly a more cheery episode than the grey sky.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Quick Night's Spotting

G'day Readers,
I'm not sure what is going on here in Gouldiae country at present. I shouldn't be this busy - with other things. The grass has stopped growing. It hasn't rained of course, so I'm still doing some watering. (We want some rain, but not as much as southern Queensland and northern NSW, thank you). I just don't seem able to get a decent blog post up.

I think Duncan might have a job for me on the weekend. On the way to the 'puter room just now, to see what DF wants to do tomorrow or Sunday, I had a quick look in the garden trees with the spotlight. Here's what I got...

A couple of nights back I was lucky enough to spot a Ringtail, a Brushtail, a Sugar Glider and a Tawny Frogmouth all within about an hour!

Normal service will be resumed shortly, hopefully.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mt Worth - HBW May '09

G’day All,
A small number of Heyfield Birdwatchers decided to forgo Mothers Day celebrations and journey to Mt Worth State Park in the western end of the Strzelecki Ranges. The park is probably best described as principally a wet Mountain Ash and tree fern forest, (see Parks Victoria).

The main aim of the visit was to get a look at the bird life. The dense vegetation meant that we really only got glimpses of birds as they darted between secluded spots. Lyrebirds, Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Eastern Whipbirds, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and White-throated Treecreepers all identified themselves with their calls.

We had to admit, the birds were a little light on, but this was well and truly made up for by the variety of flora species and fungi – just so different from home country. Hopefully the following shots will give some idea…

There's something edifying about wandering through such a magnificent landscape, particularly in company with kindred spirits. Despite the lack of bird sightings, I had a great day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eastern Rosella

We are blessed here at Gouldiae country with ample numbers of the beautiful Eastern Rosella. Probably because they are so common, I tend to neglect them at times. When I catch a small group quietly feeding on the fairways, or splashing about under a sprinkler - something they seem to more readily enjoy than Crimsons, Galahs or Lorikeets - I'm reminded that to neglect them is my loss.
Platycercus (= broad or flat tailed), eximius (= outstanding, extroadinary or special), is not too bad a description. The English botanist, George Shaw, named the bird in 1792. 'Rosella' apparently, was derived from the name, Rosehill Parakeet, given by the early settlers when the birds were seen in good number in that area.

They are almost exclusively ground feeders and can be shy at times. They are a popular aviary species and can live to a good age of around 20 years.
Eastern Rosellas like to nest in old tree hollows, and I've found they will readily occupy a nest box. Platycercus eximius is a bit of a favourite around here. I must pay more attention. And, I must try harder to get some photos that do this beautiful bird justice.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Something Different

G'day All,
A dear friend frequently emails me with any number of humorous tales and photographs. Kevin is something of a wordsmith with a singular sense of humour. His emails often delay me from reading my blog list each morning.

This time however, he has forwarded some interesting bird pics from one of his email contacts in the USA...

The lady lives in Louisiana. Apparently her place is located in the migratory flypath for these delightful little birds and she started putting out some nectar solution for them. It wasn't too long before they became so accustomed to her, they were happy to hand feed.

I know, I know. Hand feeding of wild birds should not be encouraged but you've got to admit, they are delightful.

Nice one KH, thanks.