Sunday, October 18, 2009
I'm not sure whether this little bird, which was foraging in the fern garden near the back veranda, is a Brown-Headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) or a White-Browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis). Pizzey and Knight's Field Guide to the Birds of Australia informs us that the Honeyeater's call includes an "animated staccato 'chip-chip-chip-chip-chip'", which seems accurate for the noise this bird was making; but I think the facial markings are more like the Scrubwren, whose behaviour matches Pizzey and Knight's description: "fussy, hops briskly on ground, logs, undergrowth; ... tame in garden". It certainly made photographing the little bugger difficult.
The King Parrots (Alisterus scapularis) come looking for food every day. They must live close by, because often if I start working in the garden a pair show up, sitting patiently nearby waiting to see if they are going to get fed. However, they only get fed every few days because otherwise they become too dependent on human charity, rather than foraging for themselves.
A pair of Superb Blue Wrens (Malurus cyaneus) come everyday, at least ten times a day, from dawn to dusk, to catch insects that they find hanging around our loungeroom windows and in the garden in front of the house. Despite the name, only the male has blue plumage, but the female is also beautiful. It took quite a lot of patience to get a shot of them in a good position, since they flit around pretty rapidly most of the time.
Among the species of bird that coped really well out of the European colonisation of Australia are ibises. These birds love to take advantage of plowed land and wet paddocks. Sometimes you can even find them in vacant blocks of land in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. There are three Australian species, of which one is the Straw-Necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis). This flock was in a paddock near Yarragon.