Wildlife Visitors in January

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

January was the middle of summer here in Australia, and I can tell you, it was extremely hot! Where I live in Queensland, nearly half the month had days of at least 35 degrees Celsius (that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit for you non metric readers!) and the humidity was very high too. I think my air conditioner has been going nearly non stop 24/7 since the start of the year. Because of the extreme heat, I wasn’t out and about as much as usual, and neither were the local wildlife (and who can blame them!).

My best news of January was the welcome surprise visit from my magpie friend Ramsay! It was great to see him again, although he is missing some feathers, but otherwise, he seems fine. Igor, the resident male magpie, wasn’t overly impressed by the visit and kept a close watch on him, even giving him the stink eye! Ramsay only stayed long enough to have his photo taken, take a bit of meat from me, and then he was off down the valley. And he’s still making those funny baby bird noises (that’s how I knew it was him).

Ramsay
Ramsay

A few sulphur crested cockatoos were seen now and again during the month.

Here comes trouble!
Here comes trouble!

The large eastern water dragon made several appearances, no doubt enjoying the warmth of the season, although I did unexpectedly catch it on our verandah late one afternoon in front of the water dish, so perhaps it was even too hot for him!

Adult Eastern Water Dragon
Adult Eastern Water Dragon

And then this smaller eastern water dragon started making appearances near the end of the month.

Juvenile eastern water dragon looking very relaxed
Juvenile eastern water dragon looking very relaxed

The magpie babies are as big as their parents now, and are colouring up nicely. I have seen them eating on their own, although they do still beg for food and both parents give in and feed them. Spoiled birdies!

Maggie feeding a young one
Maggie feeding a young one
Igor feeding a young one
Igor feeding a young one

It must have been too hot for the brushtail possums as well, because they tended to only turn up very late at night after I’d gone to bed, so maybe they have trouble sleeping during the hot days. The possum box has been empty a lot too, but one morning I did see this female possum relaxing in it.

Pin Up Possum

The baby kookaburras are going great, growing quickly now, having seen them just today, their tail feathers are long now like their parents, so it’s only the size of their beaks that give them away unless you see them making those baby bird “I’m hungry!” noises.

Family portrait - L to R: juvenile, parent, juvenile, parent.
Family portrait – L to R: juvenile, parent, juvenile, parent.

There was a bit of excitement one day when I saw one of the adult kookaburras feed a snake to one of the young ones. It was quite amazing to see because it was quite a large snake and I never thought the baby bird would eat it all, but it did, even if it did take about 45 minutes to get it all down. The photo below shows the bird with the last half of the snake. If you’re interested in seeing more photos of what happened, check out my recent post here.

Yum yum!
Yum yum!

And finally, even the rainbow lorikeets felt the heat. Here’s a video of them getting cool in the house guttering which gets cool water in it from the air conditioner.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my backyard visitors. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Wildlife Visitors in January

  1. Wonderful shots of all the babies and the Kooker with snake. Just as well your gutters are not cleaned out, or the Rainbows would not be able to drink and wash. They are having a great time there. While I am writing this all I can hear is the incessant sound of Rainbows feeding from the huge old Bottlebrush next to the house. I was watching them this morning with the miners feeding in large numbers. We have had the unusually hot summer like you, but not as hot as it would be up there. Today is thankfully cooler. I love the captures you get from your backyard Sue, it is wonderful watching the bird families grow before your eyes. Hope it cools down for you soon.

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    1. Thanks Ashley. Sometimes it pays off to be slack with the house maintenance around here. 🙂 Ah, the loris would be loving that bottlebrush tree. Our neighbour has been hosting the loris this week as their umbrella tree has come into flower. It’s fun to watch the birds enjoy the blossoms.

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  2. Hi Sue, I really enjoyed your post, to see the parents feeding their young must be so rewarding and quite exciting. What is a ‘Stink Eye’? Thats not an expression I know. The heat sounds exhausting, last summer we had high temperatures by UK standards, which we did not cope well with. Did your birds nest in your garden too?

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    1. Hi Julie, the magpies have been around for years and nest in our yard or nextdoor, while the kookaburras had their nest just over the fence in the neighbour’s yard, and they seem to spend their time between both our places. And a stink eye just means a disapproving stare, which Igor the male magpie gives to just about everyone! 🙂

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  3. Love your shots–so many great birds who visit. Your possum is much cuter than our opossum! I suppose you’re in the middle of fledge time for many of your birds? Thanks for joining in, it’s always fun to see what you share your outdoor space with!

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    1. Thanks Tina. The possums may be cute but they do have big sharp claws and teeth and make the most awful noise when they fight. It’s worse than a cat fight! Occasionally I hear this going on during the night and in the morning there are tufts of possum fur all over the verandah!

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  4. Great post. We’ve had very hot weather in Adelaide too but it’s cooled off now. I love the Water Dragons, unfortunately I’ve never seen any near our place. How do you manage to get the possum shots?

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    1. Thanks! We have 3 possum boxes on our property, and one I can just barely reach by standing on a chair, reach up high, and I just point my camera in the hole and take a few pics and see what I get. I think the possums may hear my movements and so they tend to wake up and expect their photo taken. I don’t like to do this too often because I don’t want to disturb them. But they don’t seem to mind that much. 🙂

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      1. I thought you must have had a camera setup in the box. Our possum box is too high for me to reach. A couple of times I’ve heard movement in the box and stood waiting at dusk to see one emerge but it’s always been too dark & the possum too quick for me to get a decent photo.

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