Wildlife Visitors in December 2017

December was a busy time leading up to Christmas, and it was hot, but I do have some wildlife visitors to share with you. And I am really excited to introduce you to several brand new visitors in my backyard! 🙂

The kookaburras have become regular visitors once again.

A pair of kookaburras

And here at long last, is my first glimpse of a baby kookie!

There have been plenty of noisy miners about, as usual. Here are some taking advantage of some lorikeet feed after the lorikeets flew off when they got scared.

Noisy miners

The pair of pied currawongs have been bringing up 2 young this time. This is one of them, still being fed by mum, but she’s now pecking them after she feeds them, maybe to start pushing them out on their own.

Juvenile pied currawong

Igor and Maggie, our local magpies, also have 2 babies who are growing up fast. Interestingly, one seems to be colouring up quicker than the other. They are starting to feed themselves now.

Juvenile magpie
Another juvenile magpie.

A few Torresian crows have started hanging around. This one was pretty hot, sitting in the gum tree with its beak open.

Adult Torresian crow

I’ve also seen several of these pretty pale headed rosellas.

Pale headed rosella

There have been lots of rainbow loirkeets around and I even managed to spy a baby lorikeet! What a racket they make! 😀

Baby rainbow lorikeet
The noisy little thing finally getting fed

Here are two pigeons taking a stroll around the lawn in front of the house after it was mowed. These are common bronzewing pigeons. They may be the most common pigeon seen in Australia, although I don’t recall having ever seen them before, but they are first time visitors to my backyard!

Common bronzewing pigeons

One early morning I was sitting on the veranda and above the bird chatter I heard a new birdcall. I set a recorder for a few minutes and have edited it so you can hear the call 4 times.

 

I’m pretty sure that bird sounds like an eastern whipbird. They are found along the east coast but I have never heard one in my backyard ever! I wasn’t able to see it or get a picture of it, but here’s what it looks like (photo taken from Birdlife Australia).

Eastern Whipbird photo from Birdlife Australia

The warm weather has seen the reappearance of the eastern water dragon. This one is full size, a metre in length from head to tail and the red colouring shows it’s a mature male.

A male eastern water dragon basking in the late afternoon sun

There has been lots of activity regarding our late night visitor possums. You might remember I have two possums living in our outside laundry occupying a box we put in there. Well, I discovered one morning that both of them have a joey! The possum I named Chloe is all grown up now and has her very first joey. Here’s a glimpse I got of the little one.

If you look closely just above the carrot, you can make out a little paw and pink nose of the little joey.

The possum I named Heidi (Chloe’s mother) has an even younger joey!

Heidi in the possum box with a pinky joey

The poor mum was just waking up when I took the photo, and clearly it was hot inside the box too. That little pinky is definitely the littlest joey I have ever seen in my backyard. How special was that!! You can see more photos of these two possums in my previous post here.

What a month – lots of baby birds begging for food, tiny possum joeys making their first appearance, the long awaited arrival of the baby kookaburras, and even a new bird species dropped by!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Recent Wildlife Photos

So here I am, one third of the way through my 365 days of Oz Wildlife Pix Challenge on Instagram. Here are a selection of some of my most popular wildlife photos in the past month –

You can see all my wildlife photos in my challenge on Instagram using the hashtag #365daysofozwildlife and you can follow me here.

 

Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon
Crested Pigeon

This pretty looking bird is a Crested Pigeon. It is native to Australia and is commonly seen on the mainland. It is often mistakenly referred to as a Top Knot Pigeon which is a completely different bird. The Crested Pigeon is about 30cm in size and is predominantly a light grey colour with a pinkish brown colour on its back and with a thin black crest on its head. The wings have black bars and a patch of green and purple feathers on each side, which look shiny and metallic in the rays of the sun.

This pigeon makes a “whoop” sound which is quite soft but you can hear it in this video.

When the bird takes off in flight it produces a loud distinctive whistling noise which is made by air passing over a primary feather on its wings. Some researchers say that there are two distinct whistling sounds made by this bird – one is a general flight sound and another is a predator alarm. My own observations of this bird seems to show this as being the case, as when I watched a bird fly away, the sound was a lower tone compared to the higher pitched whistling noise made when I scared one and it took off in fright. Below is a video showing a bird taking off when startled and you can hear the whistling noise as it flies away.

You can easily tell you are watching a Crested Pigeon by its tell tale action of swinging its tail high in the air upon landing as seen in this video.

This bird is a seed eater and is regularly found in suburban gardens perched on rooftops, fences and overhead wires. I have seen six of these pigeons hanging around our place but they are very easily startled so getting any footage of them has been difficult. Below is a close up video of a Crested Pigeon which shows some nice details of feathers and colours.