White Faced Heron

Recently I spotted a white faced heron perched on a neighbour’s roof catching some early morning sun. This one looks like it has some breeding plumage.

These birds are usually seen around bodies of water and I sometimes see them on my walks at the local wetlands, so I was quite surprised to see one on the roof nextdoor.

As I watched, this heron proceeded to cough up something.

It’s always funny when a bird suddenly catches your eye.

The heron then gazes out looking like it’s feeling better.

Then the bird turns around to get some more sun before flying off towards the river.

 

European Goldfinch

I had been seeing flashes of a small bird in my weedy garden lately (I promise I’ll get to it one of these days ….. 🙂 ) and had been unable to determine what kind of bird it was until I spotted two of them the other day. They move so fast I couldn’t get a good photo so instead tried to video them.

I had never seen these birds before so had to research them. They are a European Goldfinch. These birds were introduced to south eastern Australia in the mid to late 1800s.

The male bird is very colourful and quite eye catching and I think the other bird in the video is a juvenile. They seem to love the seeds on the weeds. Now I have an excuse not to weed the garden bed! 😀

This is my last post for the year, so I hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

 

 

 

Frankie The Welcome Swallow

The last few weeks I have noticed a welcome swallow perched on the railing on the front porch or on one of my window sills. He is there so often, I’ve called him Frankie. Isn’t he cute?

Welcome swallows are a common bird native to Australia. They are mad flyers, catching their food on the fly. They fly so fast it can be quite difficult to get a good photo of them. But they are a joy to watch as they fly overhead catching insects.

I haven’t seen much of these birds before now, but one swallow seems to like my house (or perhaps it’s the mirror tint on the windows!). Of course, I can’t tell if it’s the same bird I see all the time, but it’s funny how this bird perches on the front railing watching me when I get home from work almost everyday, like it’s welcoming me home. 🙂

Even on rainy days, Frankie is there.

One time I caught Frankie sunbathing on a window sill. At first I thought something was wrong with him, but then I realised he was simply enjoying some warmth in the sun on a cool day.

(Yes, I know I need to clean the windows :D)

Welcome swallows have a delightful call, I have come to easily recognise it now since Frankie visits practically everyday and lets me know he’s there by his singing.

And here he is again on another day. I love the leg stretch!

I enjoy Frankie’s visits, I hope he keeps coming back. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Settling In To A New Life In Tasmania

I’m back! I didn’t mean to be away for so long, time has just been flying by.  Over the past month or so, I have moved into my new home here in Launceston, getting some small home maintenance jobs done around the place, and generally just settling in to a new life here in Tasmania. Life is good!

I have come through my first Tassie winter much easier than I had expected, not as much rain as I thought (although locals tell me it has been very dry here), not as cold as I had anticipated either. Now spring has sprung and it is so nice to see the flowers starting to bloom and new leaves budding on bare branch trees. The changing of the seasons is something I missed living in Queensland for so long where everything remains green all year round. Everyone around me is getting excited for the warmer spring weather ahead and I’m getting caught up in it too.

I’d like to share just a small selection of photos I have taken since living in my new home. It is so nice to hear the happy chirping of birds early in the mornings, and see them flying around. I’m also very fortunate in that I have nice views of the Tamar River and mountains from my house. I have seen rain roll in, foggy mornings where the river completely disappears from view, gorgeous sunrises and even a magical rainbow.

Spotted dove on next door’s roof
House Sparrows next door
Female blackbird at my kitchen door
Birds on a wire out the front of my house
Close up of starlings and blackbirds
I can watch cows grazing across the road
The moon seems to be lower in the sky here giving me good photo opportunities
Nice view of a full moon from my lounge room window
A beautiful big rainbow
A recent sunrise
My new backyard. Nothing but grass. Lots of possibilities here!

A short video of the view from my house looking towards the Tamar River. Turn up the volume and you can hear birds.

 

I am finding that this part of Australia is truly beautiful, more people should visit Tasmania and see all the wondrous things it has to offer. I’m really happy about starting a new adventure here in Tassie and I’m looking forward to exploring all the possibilities that the future holds.

 

Wildlife Visitors in May 2018

May was a busy month for me as I had a lot going on, so I didn’t get as much opportunity to take photos of the visiting wildlife like usual. So here is a short list of some of my backyard visitors.

Kookaburra
Ladybird
European Honey Bee
Type of grasshopper
A type of moth
Hoverfly
A type of moth
A type of fly
Grey Butcherbird

This is my participation in a monthly event called Wildlife Wednesdays hosted by Tina of My Gardner Says… You can see the wildlife visitors of other participants here.

This is my last Wildlife Wednesday post for awhile, and I won’t be posting as often as I usually do for a bit. Due to a significant change in my personal circumstances, I have left the Gold Coast in Queensland and moved permanently to Launceston in Tasmania. I am starting a new life on my own here in Tassie so please bear with me while I settle in to a new job and new surroundings, and I hope to be back online regularly soon posting my wildlife experiences in Tasmania.

 

 

Mimicry of the Pied Butcherbird

Many Australians may be familiar with the little black and white pied butcherbirds that frequent parks and backyards and their beautiful bird song they have, but something I discovered recently was that they are mimics, and rather good ones at that!

Pied Butcherbird

One of my regular pied butcherbirds was visiting on the veranda and I was inside the house listening to it singing away merrily and then I thought I could hear other bird calls in amongst its tunes. Being curious, I grabbed my camera and went out onto the veranda and waited. After a bit, the bird started singing again and then I heard it sing a currawong call! I started filming and was blown away by all the different bird calls this pied butcherbird sang, it was amazing!

This little birdie sang for quite a long time, so I have just taken the last 2 minutes of the recording which shows the variety of bird calls it was imitating.  Have a listen for yourself:

No one believed me until I showed them my video. I have been visited by this bird a few times now on rainy days, and it is such a treat to listen to all its tunes. Maybe it gets bored and wants to entertain me! 😀

Possum Screamfest

This is a video I took of some brushtail possums who live in my laundry. You will see a mother possum called Chloe and her joey, and there is also a smaller joey who was in the possum box on its own.

On this occasion, two joeys were screeching at each other, why, I’m not sure as I’ve never seen this before. Maybe they were two young males trying to assert their authority over the other, or perhaps they just liked to hear their own voices.

I took my cue from the mother possum who sat calmly eating some banana while this was all going on, seemingly ignoring the young ones carry-ons. Even so, I stood well back, not wanting to accidentally get in the middle of any fight that might develop.

Finally they noticed the banana that I was waving at them and the screeching suddenly stopped. I tossed up a few pieces of banana, then within seconds  this happened –

All is quiet once again. 🙂

 

 

 

Backyard Insects

On a walk around the yard recently, I captured some photos of various insects, only a few of which I recognise.

Hard to miss this bright orange coloured Slender Orange Bush Fly
This looks to be a kind of weevil.

A tiger moth

A shield bug
European Honey Bee

 

A long legged fly

A bee fly

And I spotted this strange creature on the trunk of a gum tree. It turns out that it is a gum tree plant hopper nymph!

 

What insects are in your garden?