Top End birds

To: "birding Aus" <>
Subject: Top End birds
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 14:52:37 +0000
Arising at 5 am as usual a couple of weeks ago, I noticed when painting, 
hordes of tiny insects (one can't help but notice them as they end up on 
the brush!).  In the garden  caterpillars and other invertebrates were 
stripping the foliage of several trees resulting in a large concentration 
of birds in those trees, namely honeyeaters, and Varied Triller.  

Brown and White-gaped Honeyeaters are stripping nesting material from an 
old Yellow Oriole's nest outside the bedroom window. Green-backed 
Gerygone and Little Bronze-cuckoo are calling vigorously, and pairs of 
Red-headed and Rufous-banded honeyeaters are chasing each other around 
the trees.

In Leanyer swamp Mangrove Gerygone and Brown Honeyeater are nesting 
although not without difficulty.  I found an empty gerygone nest lying on 
the ground a hole torn through the back. 

Usually by this time of the year flocks of Chestnut-breasted Mannikins 
(accompanied by Yellow-rumped) are usually making an appearance at the 
feeder on the verandah.  Not this year however with just a few birds. 
Whether this has anything to do with a second Brown Goshawk and a 
Collared Sparrowhawk hanging around, or 'tidying up' of nearby parkland I 
don't know. 

There's been quite an explosion of aquatic vegetation in and around my 
pond, including Nardoo, 'Azolla pinneata', Yellow Fringed 
Waterlily,'Ludwigia' sp., 'Hymenachne' sp., and several other plants.  
Several taxa including grasses are anchoring on the carpet we used to 
cover the plastic on the edges of the pond. Water travels up the carpet 
keeping the vegetation constantly damp.  All we have to do is top up the 
pond.  I'm hoping the vegetation will become thick enough over the wet to 
attract a Banded Land Rail - we found a dead bird of this species in the 
yard before the pond was built. 

It's a great time of year, much more exciting than the cool Dry.

Denise Goodfellow  (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)

Follow these direct links to my work on the web:
Four Short Stories

Birds of Darwin Sketches

Birding & Natural History in the Far North

World Birding Event

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