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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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! 😀

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?

Wildlife Visitors in April 2018

I was somewhat busier than normal in April so didn’t have as much opportunity to take many photos of the wildlife visitors, so I only have a few to share with you on this occasion.

Here are two sulphur crested cockatoos, eyeing me off and walking up and down the veranda, probably wanting to have a chew on the wooden railing when I’m not looking!

Two sulphur crested cockatoos up to no good

I saw quite a lot of these grey butcherbirds, which upset the pied butcherbirds so I was an audience a number of times for some aerial combat between the two species. Lots of noise and flicking of wings but I didn’t notice anyone actually getting hurt.

Grey butcherbird

There were so many rainbow lorikeets around, word must have got out about our feeding station.

Rainbow lorikeets
A loving pair

They would gather in growing numbers in the gum tree by the house squawking and carrying on and then continued the din while they ate up the feed in record time.

There was lots of nocturnal activity from the regular brushtail possum visitors. There was plenty of trampling along our roof, running up and down the veranda, screeching and hissing coming out of the darkness, and in the mornings tufts of possum fur would be seen.

Here’s one of the quieter times. I shot this quick video through a glass sliding door so as not to disturb them.

This is Sassy and her joey.

And here’s George in a gum tree (complete with a bush cockroach!).

And then Mummy possum came to visit. Mummy is the loveliest possum ever. Interestingly, she did not have a joey this year. She has to be at least 9 years old and maybe too old to breed now.

When I noticed her at the door, I tried to go out with some peanuts but she wouldn’t let me as she was after the food so I had to put the container in front of her and start to gently push her away from the door so I could get out.

And then our old cat Basil woke up and came over to see what was going on. The container of nuts was shoved outside real quick and the door closed!

When I put the cat away in a room and was able to get outside without letting the possum inside, I put some nuts out for her to eat and she let me pat her for a bit. She is such a gentle creature.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my backyard wildlife visitors.

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.