14 Nov 2023

Australia : the final few days back in Chiltern

 With the weather getting steadily warmer fresh water is beginning to become quite scarce so it was no wonder birds in our daughters garden were beginning to make full use of the several birdbaths and ornamental fountain. Red-browed Finches are great little birds and regularly visit the creek at the end of the garden but as this was rapidly drying up they started using the solar powered ornamental fountain in front of the house! 

Laughing Kookaburra are seen regularly in the tree belt beyond the fields at the bottom of the garden but rarely in the garden. Recently one has begun hunting for newly emerging amphibians that'll start spawning in the creek very soon. 

Kooks are Kingfishers. Many Australian species of Kingfisher can be found in the bush as opposed to near water and Sacred kingfisher is one of these. I'd seen these regularly but one turned up in the garden constituting another garden first! 

Lots of native plants are beginning to flower and the Bottle Brush bushes in the garden were attracting feeding parties of White-plumed Honeyeater. These are the commonest Honeyeaters in the area and are seen almost daily.

Along with the Red Wattle birds.

When we visited last December a male Rufous Whistler had taken up territory in the garden and I was pleased to recognise its song as soon as we arrived this trip. Once again, with a bit of patience and some judicious 'pishing' it gave great views.

Superb Fairy Wrens are one of the areas commonest birds. Every overgrown patch of bush or garden seems to host a family group. The males are really stunning and I never tire of seeing them flitting from flower bed to flowerbed an occasionally posing out in the open long enough to get a photo.

Ornamental pear trees in the garden regularly attract the yellow form of Crimson Rosella (below) whilst Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Galahs are more often seen noisily flying over.

Other  garden visitors photographed over our last few days were Grey Fantail and Yellow-rumped Thornbill.

Every birder keeps lists. My local patch list in Chiltern now stands at 98 species whilst my Australian list is probably close to 400 species. Hopefully I'll add to that in the future 

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