Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Robber Fly


My first Robber Fly for 2019.


These carnivorous flies capture insects on the wing and sometimes spiders. They have strong hairy legs and a hairy face, thought to protect them from their struggling prey.


There is a large family of ‘robbers’ and I have no intention of declaring just which one this is.

Robber Flies lay their eggs in some soil, decaying wood or on plants. Their larvae are predators too, feeding on other insects, larvae and eggs.


A beneficial if ugly visitor to the garden.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Superb Fairy-wren


Today I tried catching up with a Mistletoe Bird I’ve been following in a patch of bush near home. Despite checking every few days, I’ve missed the first flight of the babies – the nest was abandoned.

However, in a patch of bracken almost directly below the Mistletoe Bird’s nest, a female Superb Fairy-wren was diving in and out at the same spot, indicating she was tending to a nest.


It took a little while but eventually I was able to manoeuvre into a position where I had a good view and could comfortably wait awhile.


She was wary at first but gradually moved closer and closer. At one point she sat on a branch just above me and preened her feathers for some time, called loudly - for a wren - before cautiously sauntering toward the nest.


Eventually she abandoned all discretion and made a bee-line for the opening.


After much jiggling about, she emerged and flew off, only to return shortly after and repeat the performance several times, apparently having satisfied herself that my semi-concealed presence was no threat.


I hope the contents of the nest will survive tomorrow’s predicted 41 degrees.