Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spotted Pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus)

The scorching hot weather doesn't seem to bother the Spotted Pardalotes, two of which have come again and again all afternoon looking for insects in the hanging baskets and rose bushes.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More lizards

These skinks are smaller than the black ones, ranging in size up to about 3 inches. They are also more abundant and can be found all over the garden, although they especially like to live amongst the rocks and groundcovers near the front veranda. The pair look as though they've recently lost their tails and are growing new ones.

Friday, December 25, 2009


These black skinks seem to move around the garden. Sometimes they live under the rocks and rose-bush pots near the front door. At other times they live under the steps of my grandmothers cottage, in the shed or in the drainage pipes along our driveway.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Heron returns

Our regular visitor was back the other day checking for tadpoles and frogs. We're going to have to do something so that some of them survive this elegant predator.

King Parrot

This King Parrot showed up at the loungeroom window looking for food or a bit of attention one rainy afternoon last week. We don't put food out for the birds every day - otherwise they become too dependent - but sometimes when we are in the garden they suddenly appear out of nowhere to see if there's something on offer.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grey Shrike Thrush fledgling leaves the nest

This is the last of three young from the first batch that our resident Grey Shrike Thrush couple raised. The first two of the brood were up and gone before I had time to photograph them. This one needed more time. The adults are now on the nest with w new batch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visiting White-Faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)

Every day a heron drops by to see if there are any tadpoles in the ponds to eat. They're very difficult to photograph because they're so cautious and will fly away at the drop of a hat. In The Wind in the Willows Rat tells Mole how particular herons are about who they'll talk to, so I guess herons in the northern hemisphere are probably as cautious as those native to Australia. The White-Faced heron is found all over Australia, except in the middle of the western desert, as well as in the islands to the north and the sub-Antarctic islands to the south. They are not uncommon, tend to be solitary, and when we have had two show up at the same time, the second arrival disturbed the first and they both flew off before I could get the camera ready.

Irises in bloom

The recent hot weather has brought our irises into bloom ... Unfortunately, it got so hot they didn't last more than a week, but some haven't grown buds yet, so hopefully we'll have more later in the year, including the white-and-purple ones.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) roosting in the shed

A pair of swallows have been roosting in our shed for years. They now have a small nest on the highest rafter, but I haven't seen any young swallows yet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Waratahs in bloom

Having been slightly frazzled by the heat last summer, the red Waratahs have made a come back with the help of all the rain in September and October.

Another Echidna

This one showed up during the humid afternoon last Saturday. They obviously don't mind the heat.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grey Shrike-Thrushes (Colluricincla harmonica) nesting

Each year a pair of Grey Shrike Thrushes nest in the back of our shed and raise 2-3 young birds. The male and female share the task of caring for their brood. We never destroy the nest after they're done so they don't have to rebuild it each year. Last year they used it twice, the first time in September, raising two fledglings, and again in November. Unfortunately the pics are not very good.

Azaleas and impatiens