A few feathered friends

Gardens are one of the places that can bring so much pleasure and delight not just for the humans. The garden that I have created is always evolving as trees planted by my partner grow and spread. The rainfall or lack of. The garden that surrounds my home is a place for nature. I plant to encourage bird life. I ensure that there is water at different levels and flowers in every season if possible. It seems I am very rarely without birds and their songs in the garden.

Welcome Swallow possibly a juvinelle

These small birds live all over Australia even seen flying between city buildings, from the desert to the sea. They got there name because sailors noted them as they flew about the sea indicating that land was not far. Or as a sign of Spring (Imbolc) returning as I read in another site.
They build mud nests under bridges, walls of buildings, verticle rock walls the nest is a snug lined with fur and feathers. Both parents build the nest.
They are aerial acrobats swooping and turning as they chase insects that are their food source. A variety of insects are eaten. The insect is guided into the bird’s wide, open mouth with the help of short rictal bristles bordering the bill. These bristles also help protect the bird’s eye.
I often sit out and watch them flying about my place. I have lived here a long time and have never had a nest built on the house. I would love one. (many people would think I am crazy).

New England Honey Eater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

These striking little birds are hard to miss but they are easy to confuse with another bird. The White-cheeked Honeyeater is about the same size and has similar colouring to the New Holland Honeyeater. If the bird has the white eye it is the New Holland Honeyeater.
After the Dutch navigators charted the northern, western and southern coasts of Australia during the 17th Century this newly found continent became known as ‘New Holland’ These little birds are named New Holland from this name.

New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders.They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets

The long, curved beak these honeyeaters have are perfect for reaching deep into a flower to get to the sweet nectar inside.

These birds get their name from the first name given to Australia (New Holland). It was called New Holland because the Dutch were the first Europeans to visit here.

New Holland Honeyeaters have two breeding peaks, in summer and winter, when they build two different nest types. Their winter nest is built at the top of a bush facing the northern sun to keep it warm. In summer they build their nest deep in the bush away from the heat and the sun.

Striated Pardolte (Pardalotus striatus)

The Striated Pardalote can be found throughout much of Australia, and across this range there are numerous populations and subspecies. Despite being tiny birds, some populations undertake remarkable migratory movements, while others remain in the same area throughout the year. In some populations, some of the birds migrate while others remain behind. Clearly, the movements of the Striated Pardalote are complex. The best-known migratory population breeds in Tasmania and makes regular seasonal movements across Bass Strait, where they mix with various mainland-breeding populations.

Striated Pardalotes feed in the foliage in the tops of trees, although occasionally coming close to the ground in low shrubs. They eat a wide variety of insects and their larvae, which are usually captured by picking them from the surfaces of leaves. Feeding takes place in small groups and birds maintain contact with soft trills.

During breeding season, Striated Pardalotes form pairs or small groups of up to six birds. The nest is constructed close to the ground, usually in a tree hollow or tunnel, excavated in an earthen bank; small openings in human-made objects are frequently used. The birds display regularly at the entrance to the nesting chamber, and vigorously guard the vicinity against other pardalotes. Both sexes incubate and care for the young birds. Other members of the group may also help with the feeding of the young.

These are just three of the visitors to my garden. I am so fortunate and keep planting to attract more birdlife, bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Along with the wallabies, bancicoots, quolls and the tasmania devils who I heard fighting last night on the old dam wall. The possums that chase each other over my metal roof during mating season, and the one that makes Busby bark in the wee small hours of the night waking me in fright. I certainly can not forget the wonder of having an echidna or two that roams across my paddock and garden. How wonderful to have and be creating such a home for us all. To live in harmony.

I will be woken in the morning with no alarm clock but the sweet sounds of so many birds hopefully not demanding me to fill the water bowl…(just checked it and it is full).

I am thankful to have these wonderful birds feel welcome in the garden. Mother earth is so wonderful if you plant the things the birds and animals enjoy, they will come.

Blessings to you all Tazzie

Happy Birdday to me!

I am sitting writing with a full tummy. My dogs are snoozing near me one at my feet the other on her chair next to me. I feel like a cup of mint tea. I need to go to my deck and pick some mint. I get up and both dogs raise their heads, looking at me tails wagging..I am just going to the deck to get some mint, I tell them. I know they don’t understand the words necessarily just that I am going. So I open the door and the three of us step outside onto the deck.

Something made me think to check the bird bath, so we all go down the stairs, and sure enough the bird bath needs filling. Busby goes of in search of something, and Miss Treacle uses the extensive amenities provided for ablutions. As I fill the bird bath I notice I have left the vegie garden gate open after I watered this morning

last of the Anzac peaches 16/01/2020 (c)Echidna Home 2020

I picked the last of the peaches off my tree, the birds have been eating them so I left some for them and more for me. I tried to dry some but not sure what went wrong. Perhaps cling stones are not supposed to be dehydrated. Might try again.

Oh No it is 7pm and I have already seen a wallaby eating some of the peaches on the ground. I go over look in and make sure no little furry creatures are hiding in my vegetable garden waiting for a table for one, when the stars come out to dine on exquisite fresh locally grown seasonal organic vegetables. It is clear of waiting diner/s, I close the gate gather the dogs and we all head back inside.

Living at 42degrees South of the equator means with daylight saving added the sun does not actually set until 20:50 so it is still blue sky and sunshine as I type. It has been cooler today one of my friends commented she had her wood fire on. It was not cold enough here for that but I did have a jumper and ugg boots on. The joys of living here in the Huon Valley in summer are stunning evenings, long twilight’s and often stunning sunsets. The smoke has all gone and we have had some rain. My garden and water tanks are happy about that.

I was thrilled to see the Grey Shrike Thrush birds have returned to my light fitting in the carport to nest again. I do worry that it is a very precarious spot. I had meant to make sure that it was safe wired so if they did return they were not at risk of the base separating from the top. It is on my list. Fingers cross that they raise chicks and all fly the nest. In researching them I know that they steal eggs eating them from other birds..but so do many other birds, kookaburras will eat the chicks, ravens, crows. I imagine if I removed the nest they would build another. I like that they feel safe here.

When I was out yesterday I also captured some birds along the riverside. I saw a workman, well four sitting at the park having their lunch break. I had decided to stop and take some shots of the ducks.(they are so lovely) I sat in the shade of a tree and watched as one of the workmen went back to the truck I noticed all the ducks turned to watch him and see what he was doing. It was really funny they were in almost exact sync.

watching and walking behind the man

I can only think that it was not the first time this group had stopped here. As I watched the ducks followed the man to the table where his colleagues were eating. I watched as he began to feed the ducks.

It was charming and made me again acknowledge there are many more wonderful people in the world than unpleasant people. I was sad to see only one duckling. If it was the same group that I saw last week there had been three ducklings swimming behind Mamma.

Further along on my way home, I came across a sight of interest, as I said it was cool and smokey yesterday. (again I apologise for the quality of the images, they were taken as Tiff(NEF)) photos and I altered them to be JPEGS so some things lost in the transition. I am working on how to stop this.

ducks a shag and plovers all sharing the one log roost.

This photo was of different breeds of birds all sitting on the log ducks, shag, and plovers. It was windy.

Black swan and cygnets.

The bird below is a Little Pied Cormorant colloquially called a Shag, it was struggling to hold onto its perch. Not sure if it was the wind or just a wobbly bird. They nearly always have such a grumpy look on their faces.

Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020

All in all it has been a hectic couple of days and it was lovely to be home all day today.

Tazzie blessings to you all.

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