Tuesday, July 10, 2012

First time bird visitors

 Late last year I delivered some plants to a local couple who proudly showed me the Satin Bower bird nest in their front garden and I was able to observe the male bird tending the bower arranging the collection of blue objects to impress a beloved female. This is as good as it gets as far as attracting wildlife to a garden and I was enthralled as if I was viewing a rare plant. 
My own bird story from this week may be not as impressive, as my first time bird visitors were a small flock of Red-browed finches in search of grass seed and a wonderful young pair of Superb Blue wrens. I have always loved wrens which follow in my footsteps at my community garden plot. As you weed or dig over soil they find tidbits or tiny insects  amongst what you have disturbed.  The pair that made an appearance in the garden were a white breasted fawn coloured female and her male friend who had a mouse brown winter coat with a navy blue tail. Their arrival said more about the state of the garden which is starting to mimic their favoured habitat of dense low "scrub" of grasses, shrubs and weeds. Though this pair have been intrigued by the deck, hopping about on the furniture and annoying the hell out of the cats who like to lounge about in the sun, a paws length away from their food bowls.The New Holland honey-eaters were also not impressed by them and there was much dive-bombing and snapping of beaks in their direction. Fortunately the wrens are clever and nimble enough to disappear into the undergrowth when predators are about. Whether they stay and set up home is hard to say as, in my observation, they usually like to live in quite large extended families, so maybe this pair were just on a scouting mission.Did they see from the air that pile of fruit skins swarming with insects which had not quite made it into the compost bin and thought here is a good place to stop for a meal? I have lots more cutting back to do before spring so their favoured home may well disappear over the coming weeks. At this time of year there is so much bird activity involving swooping, calling, territorial conflicts and of course love making, as they prepare for rearing young in the warmer months of spring.
Detail from bird feeding table 


  1. We've had the red-browed finches in our garden for the first time ever too Ian. And the satin bower birds were nowhere to be seen!