Tag Archives: Wattle birds

Mount Taylor, a summer walk..

Summer is coming slowly to the Brindabella Mountains, a lovely blue and green tinge lingering from spring.

This is the view of the mountains from our street.

 

This region is Ngunnawal country, and it was an important meeting place and significant to many Aboriginal groups.

The mountains and hills were used as markers and were excellent vantage points for keeping an eye on enemy clans, and signalling friendly clans.

img_7623-1024x714

This is a glimpse of Mt Taylor from our back garden….a backdrop behind our  almond and  plum trees.

img_6912-1024x657

Mt Taylor is part of a green belt between the satellite cities of Woden and Tuggeranong. This was all part of Walter Burley Griffin’s plan for green spaces between town centres

Last month, the end of spring, we enjoyed an early morning walk, up Mt Taylor.

img_6916-1024x694

It was still cool, and the kangaroos were waking up slowly…

Amongst the grasses there were some wild flowers.

img_6925-1024x974

Golden Everlasting

 

 

img_7670-1024x795

St John’s Wort

Today, we did this walk again…..the signs of summer are everywhere…

img_7659-1024x720

The kangaroos are alert and looking for greener grasses..

img_7664-1022x1024

Some wild flowers are still blooming…the grasses are drying off..

The natural bush colours of summer; grey, yellow and brown are everywhere to be seen.

img_7712-1024x944

This is a Noisy Friar bird. He looks a little pre-historic, but his beak is very useful for feeding off Eucalyptus trees and wild flowers

img_7733-1024x935

What a joy to see these flowering Eucalyptus trees…the flowers and supple branches are often used in Christmas wreaths, and always remind me of summer holidays..

img_7739-1024x705

Here are two Wattle birds…like many Australian wild birds…quite bossy!

img_7699-1011x1024

The magpie calls a friendly hello from his feeding spot in the grasses and wildflowers

This cockatoo has landed with a deafening screech on a tree near us, and climbed to the top spot…

img_7746-942x1024

The Corellas (cousins of the Cockatoos) are all feeding on some wattle bushes near the road…

img_7751-1024x768

I wonder if that magnificent yellow crest increases self esteem for Cockatoos?

img_7756-1024x639

As we walk back home I can’t help taking photos of two lovely flowers, one growing almost wild in a corner of someone’s garden. I’m not sure of its name, but one of the Protea family I think.

img_7758-1024x709

Protea: Rocket pincushion

and the other, a striking Bottle brush, flowering quietly in the shade along the back track. (officially known as the Fire trail)

img_7467-1024x896

And back home to our garden. Paul has spent a few heavy lifting days putting mulch down all over the garden, to keep the plants cool for summer.

img_7650-1024x768

Here in the front garden we are planting for birds and bees…salvias, daisies, Grevilleas, and the lovely Chinese Tallow tree.

May you enjoy your green spaces, where ever you are in the world, and if you are in the depth of a northern hemisphere winter, then I hope you are planning for your spring!

Copyright Geraldine Mackey All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring flowers at the National Botanic Gardens

October is the perfect time to visit the Botanic gardens in Canberra…

 

Canberra has had very good winter rainfall, and now, at last, all the plants have sprung into life.

img_6336-1024x849

Recently we took a guided tour of the Gardens, called ”Breakfast with the birds”.

It was absolute magic to be able to stroll around the grounds of the Botanical Gardens in the warm early morning sunlight, before the gates were open to the public.

This was followed by a delicious breakfast in the café. A great way to start the day.

img_6337-956x1024Our guide said  Wattle Birds have to check each individual flower in the Grevilleas and usually only find some nectar in about one in ten flowers.

img_6363-1024x777

img_6357-1024x774

No wonder they are such busy birds. In spring they whiz about our gardens like streaks of light…my neighbour says it is like being in a Star Wars movie sometimes.

img_6358-1024x929

img_6383-1018x1024

This Wattle Bird has a nest just above her head in the Banksia bush.

img_6384-1024x811

The ever alert Currawong is in the same bush…waiting..

(I’m pleased to say two Wattle Birds chased it away a few seconds later)

img_6381-1024x980

I love looking out for birds, but the colourful native plants were the scene stealers on this day..

img_6396-1024x861

The Proteas (Waratahs) look wonderful alongside the ghostly white eucalyptus tree.

img_6387-1024x611

And here are more Grevilleas and other spring flowers.

img_6400-1024x927

img_6402-1024x974

 

img_6390-1004x1024

Isopogon formosus

 

img_6364-1024x783

Eastern Spinebill feeding on a Grevillea

 

img_6420-1024x967

Grevillea Flexuosa Zig-Zag Grevillea

 

img_6422-983x1024

I hope you are enjoying your plants, gardens and green spaces in whatever part of the world you call home…

I’d love to know if you have a favourite amongst your own plants.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey  All rights reserved

 

Do cockatoos seek revenge? Bulbs, blossoms and birds..

Cockatoos are frequent visitors to our garden, especially when the almond tree flowers and the almonds grow and drop onto the ground.

They spend a lot of time collecting the almonds from the ground, cracking open shells, and eating almonds on the carport roof, while socialising…

They are pretty good at putting on a show for the camera too..

img_5275-1024x1011

The almond tree has beautiful flowers and is much loved by many birds.

img_5615-995x1024

The Wattle birds enjoying the almond flower nectar..

However, there is seldom harmony amongst birds and gardeners in spring.

Recently a couple of the cockatoos hopped onto the almond tree and started shredding the leaves and the flowers. Earlier this year, they had successfully shredded our flowering Eucalyptus tree of many of its smaller branches, so we hoped this wasn’t going to start a new trend…

Paul waved the broom at them and politely said ”shoo!”

Well! We’ve never heard that tone before!

For our resident cockatoos, even implied criticism is hard to take…they collected their almonds and flew off to the neighbouring telephone wires….

and turned their backs on us!

img_5435-1024x748

….. and if you think you are going to get a photo opportunity from us…you can go sing for your supper…

They disappeared for a few days, but, sadly, the plot thickens.

Last year, I took most of these perfectly good tulips out of the front garden and put them in pots on the deck in the back garden.

img_5264-1024x883

Cockatoos frequently fly over the deck to get to the almond tree, and very occasionally they behead a daffodil or two along the way, usually the ones that have the temerity to flower early.

However, sometime after our falling out with the cockatoos, we came home one evening to find some of the early flowering tulips, and some crocus had been pulled out of their pots, and half eaten…. what a mess, what destruction!

img_5425-819x1024

The culprits had very large beaks…

img_5424-1024x964

Cockatoos are known to be curious and intelligent birds…so, were they sampling new bulbs for taste or bearing a grudge?

As my neighbour said, perhaps….”Revenge is a dish best served cold”

The cockatoos did not come visiting for a while, but we enjoyed seeing some of the other springtime youngsters…

img_5526-1024x841

Young kookaburras ”Oh did you hear what they did? We would never do that!”

img_5829-1024x579

Baby Eastern Rosellas…

 

img_6020-1024x960

I was wondering if I could come down and have a drink?

 

img_6024-1024x776

Baby galah…or Elvis impersonator..

Recently we went to Sydney for a wedding, and this time I hid my (remaining) flowering bulbs behind the camellia on the deck…better safe than sorry…

img_5846-1024x968

All quiet on the home front when we got home…

img_6053-1024x927

At least we have a few surviving tulips for the deck, so all is not lost.

There is not much chance to enjoy anything in the garden at the moment, because the rain has been tumbling down all week.

Except of course if you are a cockatoo. Word is out that the almond shells are lovely and soft, and have been lying around on the ground for some time now.

img_6037-1024x671

Well, okay you’re forgiven. We’ll just sit here in the rain and enjoy the bounty ….

img_6040-1024x824

I guess every gardener has some challenges, and at least ours are mighty big personalities!

Since I started blogging and reading gardening blogs, I’ve learnt all about a the hazards of nearby  rabbits, possums, deer, squirrels and other invaders in the garden…do you have yours?

Copyright Geraldine  Mackey. All rights reserved