Wildlife Visitors in October

This is my participation in a monthly event called Wildlife Wednesdays hosted by Tina of My Gardner Says …

October was the middle of Spring here in Queensland. We only had a few days of light rain and unfortunately we need a lot more. The days have been warm and sunny and the temperature is creeping up as we head towards summer. And the humidity is starting to make its presence known too. There was plenty of wildlife about during the month, including the arrival of a bird I had not seen before and the discovery of some interesting insects.

You definitely know it’s Spring when you see these beauties – the monarch butterfly.

monarch butterfly

I’ve been seeing quite a few of these monarch butterflies as well as the caterpillars eating the milkweed. I managed to get this little video of one of them eating. Fascinating to watch!

If you’d like to see more pics of the monarchs, check out my recent post here.

I discovered other butterflies too. This one is a caper white butterfly. We’re in the middle of a mass migration of these lovelies because there has been a lot of inland rain and they are heading to the coast. With so many around at the moment, there is plenty of food for the birds.

I also spotted this pretty one called a meadow argus butterfly. These fly low to the ground and are often seen sunning themselves on the grass. These butterflies are currently migrating from southern Australia to the northern part of the country for the warmer conditions.

October was another busy month for possum activity. Remember the little joey? Here’s the latest photo of him and his mum from when I checked the possum box last week. Talk about being relaxed! 🙂

And here’s the little star himself, happily munching away on some rockmelon. He loves the seeds from the sound of it!

This short video is of another joey who got side tracked and was left behind by mum. He turned around and realised he was alone and then trotted along the veranda railing sniffing for her scent I guess. If you listen closely with the sound up, you can hear him make a noise. I’ve heard joeys make this sound before when they’re by themself, so I think it’s their way of saying “Mum, where are you?” Anyway, this little one was heading in the right direction as his mum went up onto the roof at the end of the veranda, which is where he ended up going too.

I finally managed to get some decent photos of this possum. It’s an adult female that has been around for a few months now, but she’s always been too scared for me to get anywhere near her. At the moment, she’s living in one of our possum boxes and turns up on the veranda just on sunset.

The odd thing about her is her tongue. It appears to be hanging out all the time. You can click on any of the photos above to bring up a larger image for more detail. I don’t know if she was born that way or had an injury from a fight or accident. It doesn’t seem to affect her eating, I’ve watched her eat all types of food. And I’ve also seen her fight with another possum, including a joey who mistook her for its mother, so she can definitely hold her own. When she first showed up and we noticed her tongue was always sticking out, we tried to catch her to take her to a wildlife hospital, but she was having none of it. In the end, we realised she had survived so long already, and was able to eat, so we just let her be. She has stuck around since then and has become a little more friendlier in that she no longer runs away when I go outside.

Birdwise in October, I got to see a new bird called a channel-billed cuckoo. This pair have been hanging around for most of the month and cause a stir with the local birds. If you’d like to see more pictures of them and hear their calls you can read about them in a recent post here.

two channel-billed cuckoos in a tree

These are crested pigeons and there are quite a few about at the moment. They’re very timid and fly off if you even look in their direction! I had to use a zoom lens to get this picture.

It’s not very often we see a galah around here. This one stopped by for a quick drink at our pond.

Here are some rainbow lorikeet shenanigans. 🙂

One day we had quite a turn out of rainbow lorikeets for an afternoon feeding session. If you watch this video you will see me pan out to show how many are waiting for their turn. You can’t see them, but there were also some in the trees!

And we had a few brief visits during the month by two scaly breasted lorikeets. These are lovely little parrots.

It was wonderful to see the pair of kookaburras back again. They’ve found they can hang out the back and mostly keep out of the way of the territorial magpies. Here’s one of them perched on a kookaburra nesting box we put up ages ago.

And here’s the other one all fluffed up!

The pied butcherbirds have made brief appearances as well, when they can safely get through the magpies’ defence lines that is. This photo is of an adult and a juvenile.

And this is an adult pied butcherbird with two noisy miners. The little buggers are making a raucous letting the magpies know the other bird is there. Within seconds a magpie appears from nowhere and chases the butcherbird away.

And speaking of magpies, here’s a picture of Maggie and Igor, looking over their territory from our veranda. They have both been quite vehement in their actions of chasing away other birds. I think they are having a difficult time this year in bringing up babies. We think they originally had a nest nextdoor, but one day we saw them making a lot of noise and flying erratically when another large bird turned up, and then a few days later they seemed to be hanging around our place more and more and haven’t gone back there. Perhaps whatever bird it was got to their eggs or chicks. And lately, they have been chasing away the cuckoos from our place, and there was also a very big bird of prey they diverted from our house.

I took this photo of Igor in one of his menacing poses. Looks scary, right? Definitely not a bird to mess with!

And this is also a photo of Igor, but shows a softer side to him. Here he is presenting me with a bright green praying mantis.

I think this was Igor’s way of apologising because I yelled at him the day before when he attacked an innocent juvenile pied butcherbird that was just perched on some outdoor furniture. He had this poor little bird on the floor of the veranda with his talons gripped onto him and was pecking him. He ignored my cries to get off the bird and only when I took a step closer and stomped heavily on the veranda did Igor let the bird go. I told him off big time for that episode. The butcherbird is fine by the way, although a little rattled and missing a few feathers, but he still comes around to visit, but is constantly on the lookout for that menace. And who can blame him?

And I can happily say that my friendly magpie Ramsay is still around. He dropped by 3 times during October, still making those silly baby bird sounds and still happily taking food from my hand. He looks healthy too. I’m so glad to have seen him and know that he is still alive and well. Maybe he has his own territory now and just pops over for a visit every now and then.

During October, I found quite a few insects I have never seen before and I’ve been busy researching and making enquiries to find out what they are. This has definitely been a month of discovery and education!

This is a long legged fly. It’s metallic green in colour and looks quite pretty – for a fly! It’s a predatory fly that eats aphids.

This is a common house fly. Quite colourful in close up, don’t you think?

This is a bag shelter moth I found hanging on our screen door. These are originally processionary caterpillars. Both the moth and caterpillar can cause skin irritations for some people, which is why they are also known as “itchy grubs“. It turns out this one is a female moth and interestingly they have no mouth parts and do not feed. They just live for a few days to mate, lay their eggs and then die, and the cycle begins again.

I rescued this little creature from the birdbath. It’s a mango flower beetle. If you’d like to know more about this little guy, you can read my recent post here.

mango flower beetle

This cute looking little creature is called a eucalyptus snout weevil, for obvious reasons! It’s a native to Australia.

This is a concealer moth. At first glance, they look like they have horns, but it is actually their mouthparts which are upturned making them distinctive from other moths.

Lastly, there is this mystery animal. I saw this quite by accident and I have no idea what it is. You can’t quite distinguish it in the photos I took so I thought I would share a short video of it. I’m still waiting to hear back from someone to see if they know what it is. It’s very small, about 1 cm in length and is on a flower on a weed plant. It appears to have placed bits of plant material on its back to camouflage itself. Do you know what it is?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post today. Looking back, this is probably one of the longest posts I’ve ever written, but there was so much happening this month, and I wanted to share all the exciting new finds I discovered in my backyard! 🙂

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Wildlife Visitors in October

  1. I certainly enjoyed your photos and text you’ve obviously made your home a great place to live. The Wattelbirds at our place are far more aggressive than the Magpies and the Rainbow Lorikeets are definitely better looking than they are natured!

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  2. What a wonderfully wildlife filled October, you had. I’m reading a book called ‘Bird Minds’ and have just learned of the channel-billed cuckoo for the first time. They would stir up the local population, for sure. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.

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  3. Another beautiful post so full of charming details. The Rainbow Lorikeets are so funny waiting in line, they even seem to know just how long to stay at the feeder. All your birds are so amazing, even the pigeons are prettier than ours.

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  4. Sue, as always, your posts are a delight! I’m enjoying the ongoing saga of your mom (mum!) and joey possum–they’re darling! And your birds–such wonderful photos and variety, I truly can’t pick a favorite among the photos (although Mr/Ms Fluffed-up Kookaburra might take the prize). Thanks so much for joining in this month, it’s always a pleasure to see what’s in your part of the world.

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  5. Superb macros Sue of the insects, and loved the video of the possums. That unusual little creature is difficult to make out what class or order it is. Did you see six legs? I do love the shot of adult and juniour butcherbirds standing together.

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